Profit. The math is simple on paper if you’re running a lemonade stand. But a globally connected business, like a farm, is another matter. For decades, farmers have contended with fluctuating prices of inputs, operational costs, labor and more. This volatility has made a challenging profession even more difficult. Connecting what happens on the field to the balance sheet is no easy feat. FieldView™platform partners like Conservis, Ag-Analytics and Traction Ag are harnessing software to empower farmers with more knowledge about their financial performance.
Yield and profitably are not necessarily the same. This is a harsh reality that plagues many farmers at the end of the season. When you’ve cultivated more bushels, one would logically think, “I made more money.” The truth is more complex. You need a comprehensive understanding of every pass in the field, every input in the ground and even the time required to produce a crop. But factoring all these variables is too much for one brain, one notepad or even masterful use of a spreadsheet. This is why farmers are taking cues from other industries that also deal with complex, ever-changing supply chains, markets and accounting.
The Cost of Turning a Wrench
Throughout the past few decades, the aerospace and airline industries have taken a close look at the cost of every single part that goes into building and repairing a plane. But even further than that, with the help of finance departments and complex software, airliners have even been able to estimate the cost of tightening a single bolt. How can they do that? They add the cost of purchasing said bolt, the time it takes to deliver the bolt, the labor required to supervise and tighten the bolt along with an estimate for how long that bolt will last before it needs to be replaced. This is what many call the true cost of production.
Help From the Dirt Up
On the farm this takes the form of not just the cost of buying seed, but the fuel consumed, labor to operate the planter and the cost to rent or own the land that seed is planted in. Conservis has many expert solutions that can help you reconcile every cost in your farming business. As they say, having a partial view of your farm’s economic performance simply doesn’t cut it in today’s environment. Conservis helps you create a full financial picture of your operation. When you till a field, plant, spray or harvest, all of this can be tracked with the push of a button on their software. Just like tracking field data, you can monitor the financial impact of every field activity. All of this leads to more control over your financial performance and less room for operational gaps.
Giving You Control Over Profits
What is a good deal? In its simplest form, it’s gaining more value out of a good or service than you originally paid. When you purchase or lease a farm, you enter into it, hoping the person selling or renting the land has undervalued their asset. Using data to measure property value has long been a staple in commercial and residential real estate. Many factors can affect the financial performance and value of a property – and farmland is no different. Ag-Analytics is providing solutions that closely measure the profitability of every acre. Their product ProfitLayers® uses your precision data to generate profit maps and perform advanced profit ROI analysis. You can measure by crop hybrid, application spray, custom management zones, and more. Ag-Analytics also equips farmers with historical data on soil health, elevation, and crop history to better evaluate the potential of farmland. By looking at non-traditional data points and analyzing for ROI, Ag-Analytics tools and services help you gain the upper hand in boosting your field profitability.
Tracking Every Aspect of Your Fields
With all that’s involved in running a farming operation, you need to keep accurate, detailed records; be it for compliance, end of year projections or to gain insight into the financial health of an operation at any given moment in the season. Traction Ag is making this much more attainable with mobile-first software solutions. Through this farm management software, farmers can blend the worlds of agronomy, farm accounting and operational data into one platform. Their products make it easy to keep great records, manage day-to-day operations and focus on bigger goals.
Traction Ag is not yet integrated into the FieldView platform, but will be in Spring of 2022. Image courtesy of tractionag.com
Retail outlets have long pursued a single source of truth for their operations. The technology that scans an item in the warehouse, tracks delivery to the store, puts it onto a shelf or checks-out a customer – could all be different platforms. Put simply, they all need to talk to each other to give the retailer a clear view into their operation. In a way, Traction Ag is solving a similar problem for the farm.
More Data Working Together
FieldView platform partners like Conservis, Ag-Analytics and Traction Ag embody the openness and inventiveness required to advance farming operations around the world. We’re proud to partner with the best Ag Tech solutions in the world because the more data farmers have at their fingertips, the more thoughtful and informed decisions they’re able to make. Farmers should always have control over who has access to their data, and all FieldView platform partners uphold themselves to the same high standard. The more we work together, both farmers and platforms, the more we can solve some of the most pressing problems facing our planet.
About the Author
Scott Speck is currently an Activation Manager for The Climate Corporation. At Climate, Scott works with internal and external teams to ensure customers of Climate FieldView are utilizing data to make decisions and drive profitability on farm. He has a passion for connecting foundational agronomy to technology tools and software, helping identify problems and opportunities while bringing the insight to solve them. Scott holds a B.S. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Agronomy and a M.S. from Iowa State University in Agronomy and is a Certified Crop Adviser.