When I first started farming, my dad told me: “You have to know what every field costs to produce that crop”.
My experience working on Wall Street taught me that to measure profits, I needed to keep good records—I needed some kind of personal farm software.
I found that most farmers use pencil and paper for record-keeping, and often the hassle of digging through the mess isn’t even worth the attempt. So I started using spreadsheets. Soon, I was using those spreadsheets for almost every decision on the farm.
Since then, I’ve found some incredible farm software that puts simple spreadsheets to shame. Farming precision has never been more achievable.
Here’s the must-have farm software that helps us grow profitability on our farm. I know these tools can work for you too…
1) Cash Cow Farmer
What does it do? It measures the cost of your production, helps you manage each field separately, and reveals which sites are actually making (or losing) money. It also lets you manage your marketing contracts and track your profit on each field.
Spreadsheets are cumbersome; Cash Cow Farmer simplifies the financial side of farming and ensures an efficient operation.
Cash Cow Farmer gives you the most return on your time invested. If your goal is to make money, this is the most important farm software you’ll use.
Quickbooks is easily the next most important software for maximizing your money. You can pay all your bills, and you can categorize every expense right as it happens. You’re also able to compare how you did this year with past years.
3) Ag PhD Mobile Apps
Ag PhD has developed a handful of mobile apps that the farmer can use while scouting fields.
These are great for preemptive scouting: identifying problematic weeds, nitrogen checks, etc. You can also see how many plants are actually growing and forecast your potential yield.
And the apps are very easy to use. User-friendly and free is always a welcome combination.
4) Climate Corp
Climate Corp is a very handy farm software. There are two versions—basic and pro—but the basic alone is considerably helpful.
You can determine what your field soil moistures are and predict the weather over your fields. You put the field into their website or app by the county legal descriptions, and you’re ready to handle whatever weather may come.
This is especially useful if you have fields that are dozens of miles apart. Weather, as you know, can change drastically from one mile to the next.
5) Growers Edge
Growers Edge has great weather data too, though it’s not field-specific. The main draw here is its help with commodity prices.
It will aggregate local prices and email them to you. The farmer can go to one location and have all prices worked out in front of him.
The farmer then has access to a great source of competitive buyers, allowing him to make the most sound business decision.
The bottom line for a farmer is the cash he takes home. Farmers love making an impact on the world, but it’s nerve-racking work. The business side is vital.
Farm software automates a lot of the work, giving farmers time to be in the field. It makes the operation more profitable, so the work can continue and expand.
What software are you using to help increase profits on your farm? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Some other useful reads are:
- The Impact of the US Dollar on Grain Markets
- How to Determine if Commodity Prices are Too Low to Market Grain
- Subscribe to “Grain Markets Wizards” and get daily market comments and analysis