Unlocking Profitability through Farm Data
Farmers are not strangers to taking risks. Whether facing off with Mother Nature each season or marketing the grain crop against the futures market, the balance of risk vs. reward comes with the territory.
As margins get tighter and input costs rise, being more efficient and making better educated decisions are increasingly important. Precision agriculture, gps, smartphones and farm data provide farmers with tools to help increase productivity and profitability in the face of more risk, but where do you start?
I recently interviewed Jesse Vollmar, the co- founder and CEO of Farmlogs, a free farm management software that you can use on your smart phone, office computer and tablet. Born and raised on a local farm in Michigan, Jesse and co-founder Brad Koch believe giving farmers easy to use tools at their fingertips will improve profitability, ROI and long term soil quality.
“Everyone wants to minimize input costs, maintain healthy soil and over the long term become more profitable,” said Jesse Vollmar, CEO of Farmlogs.” “It starts by working smarter and giving everyone on the farm an easy way to plan, budget and track what’s actually happening in each field.”
Smartphone Apps such as this one from Farmlogs allow the farmer or employee to input field and activity data as it happens. The more data you input the more efficient you can become. According to a University of Minnesota report, “…more efficient growers production costs were $3.45/bu vs $5.36/bu for less efficient growers.”
Mother Nature plays such a vital role in your operation. How much time & fuel would you save over time if you didn’t need to drive across the county to know how much it rained? Desktop and mobile phone software sends rain & weather reports direct to you as it happens.
How much does a $0.07 cent swing at the local co-op improve your bottom line? Software like Farmlogs can deliver the nearby grain prices right to your phone, helping you make more informed decisions.
Activity & Fuel Consumption
When you understand how much time it actually takes to perform a job on each farm, you get a more accurate picture of how much it actually costs. Where could you save on fuel or labor?
Forecast Your Profits
How much would you profit if your yields are X bushels per acre higher than expected? What does your bottom line look like if grain prices drop 26%? The desktop software and phone apps from Farmlogs let you quickly and easily create scenarios to make more profitable decisions by estimating expenses, yields and the price you’ll sell your grain for.
The Secret & Challenge to Farm Data
As the old saying goes, “you get out of it what you put into it.” Therein lies the secret to unlocking the profitability of your farm data – you have to consistently input farm data. If you have several employees or family members that work on the farm and only one person is inputting or tracking activities and data – your results aren’t an accurate picture of your operation. It takes discipline, repetition and consistency from every person in the operation to unlock the profitability of your data. This is the key to making better decisions that lead to profitability. As software like Farmlogs make it easier to input the data right from your phone, your job will be to make sure everyone on the farm remembers to get in the habit of using the software and phone app every day.
For more information visit www.Farmlogs.com
About the Author
Johnny Klemme is a published author, graduate of Purdue University and Land Broker specializing in farm ground in West Central Indiana. Born and raised on a local farm, his commentary, interviews with Ag experts & reporting on issues important to farming and farmland real estate can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog
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