Farm Management Software Guide
Updated: Sep 22, 2022
How to pick the best farm management software for your farm
Farmers find themselves overwhelmed with choices of farm software these days. With so many choices how do you make the right one so you only move your data once?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and the different software companies as makes your decision.
Is the farm software easy to use?
Now that you put all your data into the software. Can you get your data out easily? Can you access your data from anywhere? Is it set up in a way that is customer focused?
Does this company really understand your needs as a farmer?
Many companies in this industry do not come from a farming background. So, do they know what farmers need? Do they listen to their customers and get regular feedback from them? I would ask the company those questions.
Are you managing a diverse operation?
Many farm management software systems on the market are focussed on single species or single enterprise operations. Are you growing crops and raising livestock? Do you have multi-species of animals you're caring for?
If you are growing or raising more than one product on your farm be sure that the system can support your needs. Additionally, if you're considering diversifying your operation, be sure the farm software can scale with you.
Farm software is business software
Your farm is a business and it deserves software that can help you make real-time informed business decisions about where to invest and where to scale back. Good farm management software should do more than just keep notes and records, it should be a business tool to help you run a more efficient and profitable agribusiness.
Are you raising and selling livestock?
If you're raising and managing livestock be sure that the system supports the types of animals you are raising and that it can provide you with the insight you need to make breeding, culling and other critical management decisions. Are you raising multi-species of animals on a diverse farm or doing multi-species grazing? Be sure the farm software can handle your business needs without adding extra overhead and complexity.
Do you need an eCommerce site to sell things?
Getting products to customers is even more complicated with Covid 19. Is your farm management platform making it easy to sell your items?
Farm management software should save you time
You don't have to recreate the wheel here. There are many software companies out there that have been working to solve these issues. Many farms spend a lot of time building their own spreadsheets, input data into multiple applications on top of running their farm. Entering farm data is not why you got into farming. Like any tool you use on your farm the software you use should fit the job.
How to choose software for your farm
There are a wide variety of different online and desktop systems these days on the market for farmers. In our experience the right software really depends on the type of operation you are running, how much automation you may or may not have in place, you’re level of experience with farm planning, management, or record keeping software and what’s important to your business.
Key farm management software features:
Record keeping & traceability features
Crop growth and yield tracking
Farm mapping / Field mapping and boundaries (also key for organic certifications)
Farm schedule, task and work management
Geotag notes and activities
Field and crop production rates (harvests and yields)
Field & crop activities (this is critical for a successful agricultural business and any organic certification) - Weeding, fertilizing, pesticides, etc.
Accessible online and offline
Financial health and reporting
Expenses and income (general profit and loss) for fields, crops, and other ventures
Soil and crop treatment tracking
Crop loss and loss reason (disease, pests, etc)
Soil health monitoring (soil sample / nutrient tracking)
Inventory and warehouse management
Equipment (tractors, etc) service records, operating costs, etc.
Contact and vendor records
Order and sales management
Reporting and analytics
Store files and photos
Key livestock management software features:
Animal record keeping & traceability features
Animal breeding and genealogy
Livestock schedule and task management
Animal health & treatment records - vaccines, deworming, neutering, etc
Animal growth tracking - Average Daily Growth (ADG) tracking
Feeding and feed conversion metrics (FCR)
Grazing planning and management
Production tracking - milk, eggs, meat, wool, etc produced
Some farm management systems focus on niche needs and others have solutions that are designed for a specific scale of operations. For example, features like automated tracking and reporting integrated into IOT devices or tractors. Other systems offer a broader set of features that can help with your whole agriculture business. For example, farm accounting capabilities, livestock tracking & genealogy, grazing management, tractor and equipment record keeping, CSA management, etc.
At the end of the day I would recommend taking a few different software solutions for a test drive. Look for an online solution that offers you a free no hassle trial, so you can really try it out. See what makes the most sense for your operation and is easy to get started with and use.
Farm software should support your business needs
A good farm management system should help your business be more efficient, productive and inevitably profitable and it should be able to provide you insight into what is working and not working for you.
Beyond the key features of any system, I’d also keep in mind:
Is the system safe, secure and built to protect your data
Is it easy to use? You don’t want to waste a bunch of time fighting with the software.
A good solution that can help you doesn’t need to cost as much as a new tractor
Does the company provide good support? Are they easy to do business with?
Do you get a free trial period?
What are the goals of the company who developed the software? Are they heavily focussed on profits for their investors or are they customer feedback driven and focussed on helping their customers (farmers) be more successful?
Who is Farmbrite?
We're an all-in-one farm & ranch software We’ve designed it to be different from other farm management systems out there as it provides a set of solutions to help you get organized:
Crop tracking and planning
Manage farm scheduling, activities and tasks
Manage all your livestock needs (record keeping, expenses & production reporting, grazing management, genealogy, breeding, etc)
Flexible and customizable to meet the needs or all kinds of operations and producers
Accounting and Schedule F reporting
Keep detailed records for all your inventory, equipment and customers
Our goal is to help get farmers better organized, keep better records, manage their resources, track production and identify trends to gain valuable insights and increase efficiency and profits.
If you have questions about finding the right software for your farm, contact us, we'd be happy to help - even if we're not the right fit for you.