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By Emily Enns

Take a giant step ahead by using farm management software for your crop planning 

As the influx of agtech sweeps across fields today, the old adage that best-laid plans often go awry no longer applies to your farm. Crop plans may be as old as farming, but the latest in farm management software takes your farm’s success to a new level.

With solutions like Farm At Hand, you track everything happening on your farm from seed to sale in one organized place, easily accessed from your mobile device. Crop year plans, input needs and action plans have never been so easy to record and share with your team.  

Garth Donald, Manager of Agronomy for Decisive Farming, says crop planning is all about fiscal responsibility within the farm operation and that solid planning is the best way to ensure a positive ROI year-over-year. Having every piece – including seed, crop rotation and nutrients, timelines and budgeting – captured in one easy to access place is a game-changer. 

“We all love to use pen and paper, but how many books are you going to go through to get that information when you can use software like Farm At Hand where it’s all right there,” he says. “It’s a live entity. This is big when we look year-to-year.” 

That real-time aspect allows you to enter information as things are happening, keeping it up to date and on track. You always have an accurate picture of your farm at your fingertips. 

There are countless ways a farm management solution like Farm At Hand elevates your farm’s success. Here are just a few we’re excited to share with you.

Defined activities with attached timelines and cost estimates. “This includes keeping yourself organized,” says Donald. “Having that to-do list in [the digital format] is huge. Beyond the overall planning of ‘where am I going day-to-day’ I also know what I’m doing this year and how it affects next year’s crop plan.” Knowing each field’s plans early, you also know everything you need to buy. Bring on the early purchase programs and volume discounts. 

Keep everyone up to date and on the same page. As farms grow larger with more people involved, communication is everything. “With this software, important information such as grain storage are no longer just on a piece of paper or whiteboard,” says Donald. “Knowing which bin to pull certain loads or commodities from, for example different types of canola with different premiums, having this kind of information is crucial when we come into the larger operations.”

See the virtual implications, financially and agronomically, of different scenarios. A simple click from page to page allows you to see exactly what’s happening in each field and compare it to previous years’ details. You can consider the possibilities in trying a different crop, see if increased inputs are actually improving your profits and project future revenue. “And you can make good decisions on the fly,” says Donald.

Prepare for the future.  As the agriculture industry increasingly demands traceability from field to table, there is no better time to bring technology like Farm At Hand to your farm. “It’s easier to start now and have these records than have to go back five or 10 years, because traceability is coming to the farm,” says Donald. “You’re familiar with your system and you’re already a big step ahead.”