From $2.1 billion to $4.2 billion with a CAGR of 14.7%. That’s the estimated value growth of the farm management software market between 2021 and 2026.
This growth can be attributed to farmers acknowledging just how complex and unpredictable modern agriculture is. Farmers face many challenges and their business decisions are shaped by many factors such as climate change, biodiversity loss, evolving consumer tastes, new technologies, and global economic factors. Consequently, farmers are increasingly aware of the importance of farm management software to centralize, control and optimize their operations.
Farm management software encompasses solutions that enhance farmers’ operational and production decisions. These solutions, which include computer programs, mobile applications, and websites, facilitate everything from planning to implementation, evaluation and optimization of agricultural operations.
The result? Farmers can maximize their efficiency and harvests and boost their ROI.
Here’s a rundown of some of the top benefits of farm management software.
A good understanding of the entire farm operation helps a farmer to plan better, whether this is planning on which crops to plant or where to plant them to maximize yield.
Farm management software improves farmers’ knowledge of their land and operations, thus allowing them to make the right decisions. The following are some examples of how the software does this.
Farmers face a lot of challenges that are often beyond their control or direct influence. These include adverse weather conditions, diseases, product supply and demand, and market prices. However, farm management software enables farmers to track all these elements and more in real-time, thereby minimizing inefficiencies, waste and damage.
Let’s have a look at that last one – damage.
Minimizing damage is all about better risk management. Farm management software can, for instance, help farmers with weather prediction in addition to early diagnosis of pests, diseases and other impending dangers that may affect the crop.
Real-time tracking essentially helps farmers to deal with risks without affecting crop quality and yield.
Farm management software simplifies the collection, processing, storage and evaluation of the data needed to carry out farm operations. Elements for which data can be collected include land use, input sources and use, pest control activities, inventory management, as well as product prices.
Efficient data collection and analysis help farmers make the necessary adjustments to increase efficiency and profitability.
The data collected using farm management software can form the basis of a robust collection of best practices and processes that farmers can use to make informed decisions, satisfy market demands, and ensure sustainable business profitability. For example, farmers can use data to determine when and how to perform farm activities.
Put simply, the software gives farmers a comprehensive view of their operations, making it easier to create the best production strategies, make the best choices and get the most out of their work.
The improved planning and resource use highlighted above also helps to minimize the footprint of farm operations.
For example, farmers can reduce water waste by optimizing how water is used on farms. Similarly, more efficient fertilizer and pesticide use minimizes the number of contaminants that end up in water systems. All this plays a part in promoting socially and environmentally responsible agricultural systems.
As we’ve already seen, farm management software improves planning, which in turn ensures the best use of resources.
Take fertilizer and pesticide use for example. Good planning eliminates waste – farmers don’t have to rely on guesswork to determine how much fertilizer or pesticides they need to use at any given time. Farm management software also ensures cost efficiency in other areas, particularly when it comes to labor.
Having a good plan makes it easier to track a farm’s labor needs and streamlines labor allocation. This eliminates unwanted labor costs. Some software even allows users to determine how productive the labor force is, making it easier to see where things may be going wrong and highlighting areas where farmers can improve productivity.
When farmers optimize resource use, they are in a good position to manage their costs well and improve profitability.
Many farm management software platforms can generate legally required reports without any hassle. Reporting is one of those essential yet not-so-fun aspects of many farming operations, particularly those in the organic farming niche where farmers are mandated to have precise documentation of quantity flows. Imagine how much time and resources farmers can save by auto-generating reports.
The reporting data is also useful when it comes to complying with various regulatory standard obligations such as good handling practices (GHP), global agricultural practices (GAP), and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP).
Plenty of benefits here, but you may still be wondering if farm management is for you.
Farm management software is not for any select group of farmers. While some people think that the software is only necessary for large-scale operations, this is not true. Data-backed decisions, better tracking and monitoring, and more accurate farm records are for every farmer who:
- needs a better overview of their operations
- wants to become more environmentally friendly
- wants to increase efficiency without sacrificing product quality
- is looking to save time and money.
That’s pretty much every farmer out there, no matter the size of their business. The increasing worldwide internet connectivity and penetration of smartphones mean even more farmers will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of farm management software.
That said, it’s still important for farmers to know why they want to use farm management software. Every farm is unique, therefore farmers need to get software that suits their farmlands’ needs.
Different types of farm management software that farmers can choose from include precision agriculture software, livestock management software, budgeting and forecasting software, and commodity management software. Some software providers focus on a single functionality while others integrate several functions to streamline farm management. A farmer’s choice will come down to their needs and budget.
Whether it’s a strategic, tactical or operational need, farm management software can help farmers with it all. The software provides a high degree of unified control and allows farmers to optimize their operations in a way that brings higher efficiency and profits while lowering production costs.
What’s more, the software’s capabilities and functions will likely only get better with time, providing even more benefits to farmers and tackling the various challenges of modern agriculture. It’s onwards and upwards from here.