Having a strategy in place to make sure you don’t lose boatloads of money in a tough year is wise. A recent article in Precision Ag argued that data centralization is the key to remaining profitable in a tough growing season. We agree with the author’s conclusion: one farm management system to bring your data together is what’s increasingly missing from farming operations.
Farm data centralization is key, especially in a tough year
Staying profitable is important in any business, but in a year like 2019 it’s more important than ever. One bad year can put a farm operation in a tough spot for many years to come.
The author of the article talked with crop growers about the hard year and their ideas for what can be done to help manage profit margins in a challenging season. There were numerous (farmers are never short on great ideas). Then he asked the growers a version of the same question: What prevented you from implementing some of these strategies this year?
“From all the answers I got, most of them led back to one reason: the data needed to change current farming practices is spread over too many different sources, preventing layers from being overlaid or datasets from being used in conjunction with each other,” he wrote. “When this happens, maximum value cannot be derived from the data owned by growers.”
No matter how challenging the season, understanding your business by having your data in one system is the strategy for ensuring profitability. “The logical solution for this problem is centralization of farm data,” the author stated.
Conservis is a farm management software system that brings your data together and helps you make sense of it. Our Zone Economics tool, which we released this year after years of work, brings data together in even more detail.
Zone economics: centralizing data even further
The author above described data centralization and its benefits this way: “Having every dataset, all geospatial data layers, complete budgets, and every crop-input related application available on the same platform, will enable growers and agronomists to utilize this information and make more profitable decisions when it counts.”
Sounds like Conservis Zone Economics.
“It's the key that I've been missing the whole time."
We recently talked with Conservis customer Mark Anderson about Zone Economics. Mark admits he was one of the less enthusiastic members of their team about farm management software—until he started learning about Zone Economics.
“In starting with Conservis, I was one of the reluctant ones. I stood back. I was like, ‘This sounds like one more process for me that I'm not sure I'm going to see any real benefit out of,’” he said. “Until they introduced Zone Economics to us.”
Mark ended up as an early adopter of Zone Economics, a farmer we partnered with to help make sure the product was as useful as possible. “It was in the phone conversation where they're like, ‘Hey, we want you to try this,’ that it dawned on me what I was going to be able to see out of it. That's when I was like, ‘Yes, I'm all in,’ because it's the key that I've been missing the whole time.”
Mark is thrilled with Zone Economics, as it allows him to see what his margin is on every acre. “My goal is to get the highest yield possible with the lowest inputs possible, or with the most control on the inputs, to make every acre as profitable as possible,” he said. He loves that the system helps him get a sense of his return on investment. “Before I even put the yield map in there, I can see the dollars per acre I've got based on the prescriptions, the amount of seed we applied here, the amount of nitrogen we applied there, the various passes,” he said. “I can layer it out and I can see where my yield needs to be to break even.”
Getting a handle on all the data the modern farmer has the capability to collect is the next big step in ag. Data here, there, and everywhere isn’t all that useful. What is useful is the integration of data, getting it into one place so that you can use it to guide your decisions and manage your farm’s profitability.
Interested in getting your data into one central place? Consider Conservis, the leading independent farm management software system.