Agriculture is the only industry that has been in existence since the dawn of humanity and is never going to lose its significance till infinity. As the world population continues to grow at a fast pace, so does the demand for food and crop production. The increasing food demand and modernisation has triggered a significant shift in the agriculture landscape – from traditional farming to smart agriculture. Today’s farming landscape is more technology-oriented than ever where farmers and growers are dynamically adopting new and innovative technologies and practices – like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), automation, satellite imaging, vertical farming, big data farming and more, to achieve greater levels of efficiency, productivity and sustainability on the farm.
With a growing number of people to feed, modern farmers and agribusinesses have to be innovative and digital rather than conservative and conventional. The increased adoption of farm software development amongst farmers and agriculture marketers has resulted in a huge leap forward into the digital age. Agriculture and farm management apps are being rigorously used in combination with other smart farming techniques including big data, machine learning, drones, sensors, environmental controls and more.
WHAT IS FARM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE AND HOW DOES IT HELP?
Gone are the times when farmers would use notebooks and spreadsheets to record and manage their farm operations. The modern farmer has to deal with much more than crop planting and food production; there are several challenges to cope with, such as climate change, constantly changing consumers’ taste and expectations, rising demand for food of higher quality, pest and disease attack, decreasing soil fertility and depleting resources. And to optimise farm processes and overcome these agriculture challenges, farmers need farm management software.
Irrespective of whether one is running a small family farm or managing a well-established big agribusiness, a farm management application allows farmers to be more strategic and efficient in their day-to-day operations and responsibilities by effectively centralising, processing and storing all farm-related data in one place. With custom-tailored farm management software, farmers can manage and optimise their production planning and bring about convenience and organisation to each and every task performed on the field. The specialised farm management software come equipped with record-keeping and farm monitoring capabilities and automation tools that put all the fieldwork and paperwork under one single dashboard so that you can get a holistic view of all farm activities. By consistently monitoring both scheduled and on-going activities in real-time, farm management software help prevent or minimise waste and damage. In addition, some applications are designed to help manage farm finances with accounting capabilities, farm planning, marketing and budgeting tools.
So, the use of farm management software is comprehensive. When developed and managed strategically, an agriculture management app can enable farmers to maintain a profitable business operation and make everyday farm tasks simpler.
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR AGRICULTURE APP
Agricultural applications are packed with a range of capabilities that simplify farm operations and data collection and analysis so that farmers can make informed decisions to improve operational efficiency. While each feature is designed to assist farm operations in a certain way, not all farmers will need all sorts of features in their agriculture app. The set of features you need depends on your farming business and your budget. A study conducted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the functionalities and technologies most preferred and widely adopted by farmers to assist in precision agriculture practices are GPS guidance systems, soil sampling, yield maps, and computers with high-speed internet connection.
A thoughtfully developed mobile app can help farmers to take advantage of these features. Let’s explore important features in detail that a farm management app should include:
- GPS and location-based services
You cannot imagine successful implementation of precision agriculture without Global Positioning System (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS). These technologies enable farmers to collect real-time geospatial data through drone inspections for enhanced farm planning, soil sampling, crop scouting, field mapping, tractor guidance, yield mapping and variable rate applications. They can easily locate crops and animals that need extra attention and build treatment strategies that can improve efficiency and production on the farm.
While the technological shift is on the rise, there are many farmers who have been involved in conventional farming practices for decades and may find the transition to new technology-driven agriculture complex and confusing. This is why a thoughtfully-designed farm app should include chat support for farmers to get advice and guidance they need to implement new innovative technologies.
- Drone Integration
Drones are one of the most significant and popular agriculture technologies allowing farmers to effectively monitor crop growth, optimise farm operations and increase crop production. The data collected by drones can be stores in your farm app to access and analyse anytime, anywhere to make planting decisions and decide on most suitable crop treatments.
- Video Calling
With a video streaming feature in farm management app, farmers can consult agriculture advisors to ask farming related questions, join live video sessions and even share their own experiences and useful tips with other farmers and growers to promote overall agriculture growth.
As the agriculture industry goes through a massive technological shift, farmers and agribusinesses are demonstrating more willingness to embrace digital innovations to boost their income and business growth. And therefore farm management apps are gaining more traction and adoption for providing endless opportunities for farmers to work smarter and drive more value with less effort. They no longer have to inspect large farms personally to monitor their crops or guess how the weather is going to be in the future to make production-related decisions.
While there’s a pool of agriculture apps to streamline and ease different areas of farming – from cattle management apps to GPS tracking, ranching, mapping and weather forecast apps, it’s a good idea to get your agriculture management software tailored to meet your specific business needs. A custom-built app will include a set of exact functionalities you need to manager your farm-specific activities and data, so you don’t have to for features you don’t need and can get most value out of it.