Management Helpers in the Cloud

Management Helpers in the Cloud

More developers see the cloud as a better way to provide management tools for farmers

As you will read from our feature story on p. 36 in the May/June 2013 issue, farmers are seeing more and more cloud-based management tools.

Conservis, based out of Minnesota, has developed an input management program that applies the inventory control and cost analysis concept used in manufacturing.

One of the keys Conservis used to make these concepts farm friendly was to keep data on the Internet rather than on a farm computer. This opened the door for the use of mobile and other wireless devices to collect and upload data directly from the field.

CLOUDS AND DATA: New farm-focused data management tools store key data off-site in a 'cloud.'

The result is a system that uses little note taking, manual inputting or paper – and makes crop input inventory, cost and use information available almost instantly anywhere you’re in cell range or have an Internet connection.

Look for other companies to begin offering cloud-based recordkeeping services to farm operations. One such company is FarmLogs, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. It launched its program in August 2012.

FarmLogs does not focus on a particular facet of a farm operation, such as inputs, but rather integrates all farm data into one platform, explains Jesse Vollmar, FarmLog’s founder and CEO. It's a comprehensive farm management system, all in one app. It can track expenses and activities, forecast and measure profits, study field performance, manage inventory, schedule operations, link to markets and track rainfall amounts by field, all from your smart phone or tablet. The app provides paperless activity tracking so you can toss your pen and paper.

The company offers unlimited support and live chat. Vollmar says his company wants to work with all size operations. It charges 5 cents per acre per month, or 50 cents per acre per year.

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