Graeme and Jenny Perks, together with son Matt, own and operate a broadacre cropping farm at Grass Patch, Western Australia, where they grow a rotation of wheat, barley, canola, lentils and peas on a total of 4,400 acres. With casual workers only joining for seeding and harvesting activities, the family performs all other duties themselves during the rest of the year. Not having employees to help out with the day-to-day running of the farm necessitates the Perks family’s focus on making their processes as efficient as possible: “Having our crop plans available in Agworld, through our agronomist Quenten Knight, helps us plan for what we need to do in-field during the cropping season, which is a big help in ensuring that we allocate our time and resources efficiently throughout the season” According to Jenny.
Graeme adds: “Instead of just having a plan on paper, we can now see all important details of the season ahead of us in Agworld. When Quenten creates our cropping plan, this automatically flows through to us in Agworld and, when Quenten makes changes throughout the season, these changes are immediately visible to us as well. As the plan gets turned into individual input recommendations during the season, we get notifications through Agworld and know exactly what we need to do in each field. The recommendations also provide us with other critical information such as chemical labels and SDSs and the total amount of chemical needed. It makes a big difference when you can access a label digitally right when you need it instead of having to drive home first, ask the reseller to email it to us, and then print it off; having them all accessible in Agworld saves us a lot of time.”
Recording farm information is only useful when this data can easily be accessed and dissected for analyses at any given time in the future, which spurs many growers such as the Perks family to start recording their farm information digitally instead of on paper. Graeme: “One of the reasons we started using Agworld is that we wanted to be able to easily keep track of which chemical has been used on each field during past seasons, so we can let it help us avoid herbicide resistance issues caused by not using the correct herbicide rotations. If we’d only have this information on separate pieces of paper it would be too hard to work out exactly what had happened over a five year period for example; having the information available digitally makes it easy to get an instant overview and helps us make the correct decisions.”
Graeme continues: “With having this information available on all our iPhones and iPads it’s not locked up just for one person to see or only for someone sitting behind a computer, but accessible for Jenny, our son and myself. With Matt starting to take over the farming operation from us it is important that he learns as much as possible about all facets of the operation, which includes knowing field history. Instead of him having to ask us questions constantly, he can just browse through Agworld and access the information when he needs it, wherever he might be at that time, which simplifies a part of our succession plan.”
A big part of every farming operation’s expenses goes to cropping inputs, and the Perks’ operation is no exception. Jenny: “As soon as we receive our detailed cropping plan in Agworld from Quenten, it’ll have the approximate cost of each operation and input as part of this plan, so we know approximately how we’ll be spending on our seed, chemical and fertiliser needs that year. The exact cost obviously depends on the final purchase price, but this gives us a really good idea of what we’ll be spending throughout the season.”
Jenny continues: “Having these product quantities available in Agworld helps us place accurate forward orders with our suppliers as well, so we can ensure that we have enough stock available when we need it. Another example is when a supplier rings us for a certain chemical that they’ve got coming in cheap or which they expect to be in short supply during the season; the Agworld crop plans allow us to quickly and easily find the exact quantity that we’re expecting to use so that we can then make accurate purchasing decision on the spot.”
Graeme concludes: “Moving our crop management data from paper to the cloud with Agworld helps us a lot by giving us access to our information when we need it, wherever we are. From planning our crop rotation to buying our chemicals and applying them, the data to support the decisions we are making is always available to us. And in the end, what good is to collect data when you can’t make use of it when you need it most?”
"Moving our crop management data from paper to the cloud with Agworld helps us a lot by giving us access to our information when we need it, wherever we are."Graeme Perks Grass Patch, Western Australia