For many agronomists, the smartphone has become a full-fledged working tool thanks to developments at the intersection of IT and the agro-industrial complex. In the current state of growing global food demand that is usually satisfied through monoculture, modern farmers need to be mobile in every sense – quickly solve production issues, easily adapt to changes on the market, and stay effective and sustainable while doing so.
Agribusiness implies the presence of many unique business processes that are typical for farming only. Managing all of them can be quite overwhelming, especially if there is a big farm. To save time and resources on different tasks while maximizing revenue, farmers can harness the power of specialized software designed for agriculture. Ultimately, farming software allows for automating the operations and processes to increase farm sustainability through optimizing production.
Depending on the scale and focus of the farm, growers can choose the most fitting software among a huge variety of those already present on the market. We will break down the main points to consider when choosing the right software for your farm.
Best Features in Farming Software
Satellite monitoring enables remote assessment of crop and soil health based on advanced satellite imagery analysis. Such analytics is based on vegetation indices, or their measurements to be precise. The most popular index in the agricultural sector is NDVI, helping to estimate vegetation health throughout plant development.
The main advantage of satellite monitoring is retrospectiveness. Most software that leverages remote sensing offers access to archive imagery, which means farmers can compare data for several years to forecast weather, predict yield, analyze and manage crop rotation, etc. This allows for easily identifying mistakes made and making changes to the new work plan.
The possibilities of software that relies on satellite data are almost endless. Depending on the app, it can have numerous features that enable precise field state analysis allowing farmers to make smart decisions on all farm activities, including the implementation of VRA approach in resources application. This is of particular importance for big farms with many big fields that are much harder to manage offline. Satellite monitoring software offers such opportunity by collecting, storing, and analyzing all the necessary data on all fields in one place for the users convenience.
Managing weather and climate-related risks in agriculture has become an important issue due to climate change. The threats are associated with: limited water resources, drought, desertification, land degradation, erosion, floods, early frosts, and many others.
Effective weather and climate monitoring can help farmers make the right decisions and better manage the associated agricultural risks. Software that enables weather analytics can help develop sustainable and economically viable agricultural systems, increase the volume and quality of products, reduce costs and risks, improve the efficiency of water use, conserve natural resources, and reduce pollution from agricultural chemicals or other substances that contribute to environmental degradation.
Among the most critical weather data a farmer will need are:
- Air and soil temperature
- Wind speed and direction
- Air pressure
Customized Water Application
Agriculture accounts for 70% of all freshwater use worldwide. In order to ensure food security and sustainable water use in agriculture, there is an urgent need to increase the ratio of the produced crop to the volume of water used for the needs of agriculture, and, thus, to ensure increased efficiency of water use without compromising the quantity and quality of running water.
Faring software allows for planning water use wisely by estimating the field data and making smart irrigation decisions based on the current state of crops and soil. This will allow for applying water only when and where necessary, hence significantly optimizing its use and preserving water resources.
Complete Farm Management System
If you are seeking a full-scale farm management platform, the key feature to consider when choosing would be the following:
- Farm management ( people management, crop plans, inventory, equipment records, etc)
- Precision farming (creation of maps for VRA approach implementation).
- Integration (connections with sensors, hardware, and other software via API)
- Data ownership (high-quality, efficient software that communicates who owns the data and what ownership really means)
What to Consider When Selecting a Farm Software
Finally, when deciding on a farm software, pay attention to the following simple but important factors:
- Mobile app support
- Data security
- Compatibility with other software
- Data backup
Faced with climate change, rising costs, and other global challenges, farmers must make the most of their existing resources. Mobile applications and innovative technologies can be faithful assistants for agribusiness owners in any domain of the agricultural sector, whether it is data collection using satellite technology, ground sensors, drones, or mobile weather applications. In addition, they will help farmers stay in touch with all employees in real-time, while increasing the efficiency of the common cause.