Thinking about farm software

Farm software will help automate farm activities such as record management (e.g. stock movements), data storage, monitoring and analysis of farm activities; some can even keep track of farm schedules. 

There are plenty of options in the marketplace, but it is important to take some time and give consideration to what you require and want in a software package(s) – what are the ‘must haves’ versus what would be great. This will help guide you so you don’t get lost in the hype of what a product can do for you. 

Take the time and give some serious consideration to your needs. This should include: 

  1. What type of functionality do you need, might include: 
  • farm mapping
  • record keeping and compliance e.g. animal treatments, chemical inventory
  • grazing management e.g. mob movements, pasture management 
  • cropping management e.g. chemical applications
  • calendar for keeping track of important dates
  • Other functions which might be useful but may be optional include OH&S, biosecurity, individual animal management, or integrated financial record keeping. There may be a need for different types of software for different parts of your business. 

2.  Data – increasing the functionality of the software increases the amount of data/information you are collecting (might also have a financial and time cost). So, reflection on what information/data you are going collect and utilise (hopefully) in the management of your farm business is critical otherwise it is just data! 

3.  Ease of entering, managing and reporting information - can data be easily exported if required

4.  Does the software need to integrate with other farm software such as financial records, or cropping management?  

5.  Cost - software ranges from free to > $100/month depending on the number of users and properties or numbers of DSE

6.  Accessibility 

  • the number of users and logins available
  • does the software have off-line capability, and sync to the cloud when connected?
  • is the software compatible with your mobile device? 
  • can your livestock and cropping advisor access the software? 

Next steps – try the trial software available or, speak to one of the company reps or even ask your neighbours, they might have the app on their phone. 

Note I couldn’t find farm software that will make a coffee or enter the BAS – YET!

More info:

Article written by Jodie Reseigh