App-based connection eases time pressures for farmers
One of Western Australia’s leading agronomists is generating serious efficiencies for his grain-growing clients through the capture and use of data for crop planning, protection, nutrition and management.
Geraldton-based Landmark agronomist Grant Thompson was an early adopter of the Agworld application (App) platform, noting its time-saving potential for recording key production information and advice in the paddock in real-time for immediate sharing.
“During the growing season, I spend whole weeks driving around many farms monitoring specific paddocks,” he said.
“Farmers rely on my recommendations, received directly on their mobile device (or computer) via the Agworld App, about fertilizer use, what fungicides or insecticides are needed, application rates and other management issues.
“They can carry on with what they are doing and our head office in Geraldton, which also receives this information from me in the paddock, can batch-up necessary products and arrange delivery to their farm that day.
“All of us are able to more efficiently manage our time, streamline our operations and keep businesses rolling.”
Mr Thompson said the recommendations he sent to his farmer clients through the Agworld App were converted to ‘actual’ actions in the system when adopted, underpinning the ability to analyze agronomy decisions at the end of the year and plan for the following year.
During this summer, he will be preparing 2017 cropping plans with his 20 clients networked through the Agworld App. The system will also be used for another 50-60 cropping plans for other Landmark clients around the Geraldton region.
Mr Thompson said the platform allowed advisers and farmers to closely track what was actually happening in the paddock and the financial spend on that paddock.
He said this allowed inputs to be tailored to specific areas of need, down to the nearest hectare and kilogram of product needed, which meant no wastage.
Dongara grain and livestock producer Brad Kupsch has been using the Agworld App on his smart phone for several years and said it was a great time-saver that freed him up to do other tasks while Mr Thompson - his agronomist - concentrated on monitoring his crop growth and protection.
He farms a total 7500ha with his parents Peter and Celine in a predominantly sandplain area that is cropped with wheat, lupins, canola and oats (depending on soil type) and supports sheep and Angus and Limousin cattle studs.
Mr Kupsch said the Agworld App platform had simplified crop management recommendations and input use and allowed the business to collect a range of data in a central location without repetition or double-entry.
“We are good at measuring and managing production data, but in the past have not necessarily been that effective at looking back on this information and seeing how we can improve year-to-year,” he said.
“With this system, we can easily see the break-down within paddocks and, in time, we will be able to make decisions for even more targeted input applications.”
Mr Kupsch said there were also real-time benefits during the crop growing season in having agronomic recommendations available immediately through the Agworld App, rather than getting emails that needed sorting or were lost in inboxes.
“We are getting efficiency in data management and doing budget and financial break-downs at the end of the year are very easy, rather than trying to correlate invoices to paddocks,” he said.
“In most cases, my recommendations are done in the paddock and emailed to the grower before I even leave the farm,” he said.