Compliance is Coming: Be Prepared
April 4, 2017
Precision ag professionals such as Daniel Hedgecock, who runs a new Vantage dealership in North Carolina, is working hard to help growers scale their data so the system can quickly disseminate reports that will be increasingly required for compliance agencies.
This means proper naming of fields, proper record keeping and proper input tracking all the way down the line.
“A lot of vendors have data, but it may not be easy to quickly turn it into a report they need to provide to a regulator,” says Hedgecock, who works with a team of agronomists and farm data experts. “The software can do that, but it needs to be scalable.”
This is particularly important for larger growers, he says. “With large farms it can be hard for them to know what’s going on on every acre. At the same time, they are thinking, ‘I bought this tractor and I need to farm this many acres to justify that expense.”
Scaling is also vital for farmers expanding their operations in order to capture economies of scale.
“When farms are smaller they’ll have a system of naming conventions for fields, crops, zones, pivots — but it’s not a standard one that will let them scale their business,” says Hedgecock. “Think of a mom-and-pop hardware store. They can come up with part names, track them in a notepad and it works. But at Lowe’s Home Improvement everything has to be named and tracked in a particular way to move through the system. This is where larger growers are trying to get to and we have to put the data management tools in place to help them do that.”
A Good Software Solution Ties Whole System Together
Growers today are working harder than ever to squeeze value out of the technology they’ve invested in. This is made possible by the right farm data software tool…because as we know, the information coming off the equipment is only as good as the data system used to turn it into smart decisions.
This is where precision farming becomes decision farming; it is also where investments in farm data begin to truly pay off.
More and more, research is showing that successful farmers track every detail of their operations. With lower commodity prices putting pressure on profits, and the move to precision ag adding new complexities, mobile-friendly farm management software is becoming a requirement for farming today.
Most farm software tools require users to spend hours in front of a computer — something farmers simply don’t have time for. Trimble Ag Software is mobile-enabled for farmers’ busy lifestyle. Growers can set out crop plans by field (and by zone). From input purchase lists to budgets to fertility, this planning tools helps growers strategize for the best possible crop season. Some of these include:
- Fertility planning
- Crop planning
- Precision prescriptions
Another advantage is the ability to create easy-to-print field task reports — a trademark of our software since 1992 — to stay organized.
Most field activities are automatically generated from precision farming data or our mobile app. Some of the key reports include:
- Seed varieties
- Tank mixes
- Restricted-use pesticides
- Fertilizer usage
- Harvest data
- Grain storage tracking
Farmers can import yield, soil type, soil test results and other key data layers to assist in creating simple variable rate prescription maps for seed, crop protection or fertilizer applications. Precision farming maps can also flow into a farmer’s field record keeping for a complete farm management software solution. Additional precision ag tools include:
- Variable rate prescriptions
- Irrigation tracking
- Imagery support
As a supplier of both ag software and hardware tools, Trimble products are a ‘natural fit’ and integration is streamlined and efficient. Guidance lines can be stored directly in the software for use with Trimble guidance products that provide the high level of accuracy our users demand. Variable rate prescriptions and as-applied maps move wirelessly between Trimble Ag Software and Trimble displays for increased efficiency and productivity.