In the northern hemisphere, this year's farming season is coming to an end. Most crops are harvested, and farmers have switched to post-season spraying, pruning, maintenance, and other activities, setting them up for a good 2023 season. It's also time to think about farm management practices.
We know this is the time of year when farmers assess the successes and failures of the season and what it all might look like next season. This is when the main agronomy and machinery investment decisions are made. This year, however, we encourage the farmers to also take stock of their agtech positioning. Granted, you don't necessarily want to be an early mover, but are there things happening that you should take note of? Things that will have an impact on future operations at the farm?
There is not much to be done in the fields for the next few months, and it's cold and rainy anyway, so it's time for some office research time. Here are a few topics you should keep an eye on:
There's a lot more, but nothing that feels very urgent.
For all the topics above, taking the next step will be much easier if you already have all your farm data in a readily available format. So this year's season review should include inputting all the data into Farmable (or another Farm Management Software that, for whatever reason, you think is better). It's really quite straightforward:
The benefits of putting in this effort will be immediate, as you'll see profit graphs for each field populate as you work.
Here's an example profit graph. This is our raspberry field, it shows the value of the crop sold in July and August, and it shows all the costs related to spraying and fertilizing and labor costs for harvest and pruning. As a final result, we have a thin profit, but it was a year with very low crop volume, which drives harvest efficiency down - the only way we managed to keep the harvest costs down was to harvest every 3rd day and only one quality class. Hopefully, we'll have a better season next year.
Once a benchmark is in place, it's so much easier to look for improvement areas. You won't waste time and effort on things that don't really matter. As the old saying goes, "if it gets measured, it gets optimized."
Good luck, farming profits are so thin in general that we can't afford any unnecessary cost.