Are you adopting climate friendly farming practices? Make your data work for you with new reporting for Agreena farmers in Gatekeeper

We’re pleased to confirm that for those of your interested in adopting climate friendly regenerative farming practices on farm with a view to generating carbon certification with Agreena, you can now make use of a range of reports in system.

Thomas Gent, Market Lead for Agreena UK says “Agreena operates a world leading carbon farming program, working with arable farmers across the UK who are implementing climate friendly practices such as optimisation of nitrogen use and cover cropping. Agreena is able to work with you to generate carbon certificates which are a tradable asset providing a new income stream. Agreena is delighted to have formed a collaboration with Gatekeeper in order to make the data collection and onboarding process simple and easy.”

If you’re already a Gatekeeper user you can access these reports in the Gatekeeper Analysis Module which include Agreena Field List, Field Strategy and Soil Information.

For those not already using Gatekeeper and would like to explore your options for getting started please speak with our knowledgeable sales team on 01594 545000 or email

Breaking down barriers to migration: Make the move to cloud-based farm management tools today

The team was excited to exhibit at Cereals 2023 this year, the biggest occasion in the arable calendar. The event showcased the latest in arable farming as well as provided the opportunity to listen to talks by leading industry experts and served as a chance to have some very interesting conversations.

On the stand, we were able to talk to many farmers and agriculture businesses, big and small, about our farm management software and IT solutions and how they can transform the way farm businesses are run.

The hot topic that came up time and time again in our conversations with farmers was rural connectivity. Most of the concerns raised were around how farmers can be supported to move their businesses towards a digital future when rural connectivity is still poor in some areas.

Poor connectivity is not an obstacle to digital farm management

The team had many discussions around the use of our farm management tools such as Farmplan Business Cloud (FBC) and Gatekeeper Cloud (GKC) with many farmers asking if poor connectivity would be an obstacle to using them.

We are happy to reassure any farmers looking to adopt our digital tools that it isn’t. It may surprise you to learn that they only require an internet speed of 1MBps (1 Megabyte per second) to run, which means that even with relatively poor or slow connectivity, farmers can still manage their farm businesses and collaborate with stakeholders in real time.

While digital products like FBC and GKC do require an internet connection to run, they don’t need a lot of speed or bandwidth. For farmers who are worried about this issue, this is what we’d like you to know. If you are already doing your taxes online as per the MTD (Making Tax Digital) regulations, you already have the connectivity that’s necessary to run FBC and GKC.

Help with the transition to digital farm management

We’ve been developing farm data management solutions for almost 50 years and 65% of our team have more than a decade of agricultural experience. In fact, more than 8,500 farms, professionals, and agriculture businesses trust our digital farm management products.

We understand the issues that farmers face, and we know that rural connectivity is an important one. That’s why we work closely and patiently with customers to address any concerns while helping them transition smoothly to digital farm management.

The benefits of adopting cloud-based tools

Instead of getting by with cumbersome spreadsheets and paper records, our cloud-based tools like FBC and GKC allow farmers to input, access, and share data in real time, from any location, which makes for a much easier and flexible way of working.

Imagine having more time to focus on the farm tasks that matter, instead of spending it on onerous data entry. Being able to access and share data from any device, whether you’re in the office or the field. Seamlessly sharing data with your accountant or agronomist. Having the ability to analyse your business in detail so you know which areas of your business are performing well and where there’s room for improvement. It’s all possible with tools like GKC.

Our customers overwhelmingly tell us that once we’ve helped them with the transition to digital farm management, they’ve never looked back, and it’s allowed their businesses to thrive. Many of those same customers are located in areas with poor connectivity, but it hasn’t held them back.

Get connected to future proof your farm business

In uncertain and challenging times for farmers, improving productivity, profitability, and sustainability is essential for future success. With our range of farm management tools, farmers can future proof their farm businesses even without a super-fast internet connection.

For farmers who are considering migrating to digital farm management, our expert team are on hand to offer tailored farm-focused help and advice, call 01594 545000 or email

Carbon Bank Project

Arable carbon credits from a Yorkshire farm sold to RELX as part of Carbon Bank initiative  

The world’s first arable carbon credits verified by BCarbon have been sold in a major new initiative that could reverse climate change by using farmland to pull harmful carbon from the atmosphere.

Unlike many carbon credit programmes, the project by UK-based Future Food Solutions sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and restores soil health by storing carbon in the ground, enabling farmers to combat climate change while continuing to feed the world.

Carbon credit trading is expected to hit $50bn dollars by 2030 and the Future Food Solutions scheme could unlock millions of tonnes of sequestered carbon credits by utilising farmland around the world.

The first tonnes of verified carbon credits have been sold to RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers, after being generated by a single farm on the Yorkshire Wolds in the UK.

Working with the British Consulate in Houston, USA, Future Food Solutions partnered with independent verification body BCarbon, which is based at Rice University in Texas, to create the Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank to sell carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market.

Through the Carbon Bank, farmers are encouraged to grow cover crops that pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. Cover crops are growing in popularity for many reasons in the UK and by planting between the regular food crop rotation, they don’t impact on the amount of food UK farmers can produce.

How does it work?

Future Food Solutions conducts soil analysis before the cover crop is sown and then uses a series of rigorous tests to determine exactly how many tonnes of carbon has been removed from the atmosphere.

Much of this field data has been acquired in conjunction with Yorkshire Water and Proagrica, part of RELX, who have partnered with Future Food Solutions on catchment scale farmer engagement programmes in the UK.

“We are delighted to have played a part in the Carbon Bank”, says Jamie O’Sullivan, Group Managing Director at Proagrica.  “We have adapted our farm management software, Gatekeeper, to enable the capture of essential field data needed to give confidence that the system works. This data is fully permissioned by the scheme participants through our software. The opportunity for farming to fulfil its potential as a positive force not only to address climate change but to continue to supply safe, nutritious food has been brought much closer with this project. And we are proud that our parent company, RELX, is the first to purchase this innovative carbon credit as part of our global effort to achieve Net Zero”.

Although sequestration will vary because of weather, cover crop and soil type, on average a hectare of cover crop will deliver 2-3 tonnes of carbon to trade.  Farmers then receive money through the sale of their carbon credits.

Who buys the carbon?

The carbon credits are sold to organisations looking to offset their carbon footprint. More than a third of the world’s largest publicly traded companies have already made Net Zero pledges and demand for quality carbon removal credits is increasing.

Steve Cann from Future Food Solutions says: “This is a step change in carbon removal providing a real opportunity for organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. The Carbon Bank offers global reach as soil stock in all farming environments around the world could provide significant capacity to become a huge carbon sink.

“The Carbon Bank means farmers in the UK and beyond can provide a solution to one of the biggest climate change issues, highlighted at COP26 in Glasgow.

“Plus, if we do it right, food gets better. Water and flood management improves because the cover crops transform below ground soil structure, which in turn helps to reduce leaching and water run-off and because carbon is being sequestered back into the soil from the atmosphere, the planet starts to heal as well”.

“We can get everybody to contribute by eating smarter and actively choosing to buy food products sourced from land where this remedial process is being undertaken by farmers.”

First credits from Yorkshire

The first verified carbon credits have come from Tom Mellor’s farm High above Bridlington, in the North Yorkshire Wolds.

Tom says: “Farming is about achieving a balance, similar to the challenge the planet is facing, with regard to climate change. If we take out more than we put back in, future generations will pay the price”

Tom also commented “Knowing now that farming can be the solution, not the problem is encouraging us to rethink both our practices and mindset”

The Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank aims to bring 10,000 carbon credits to the voluntary market in the next 12 months from other farms involved in the scheme across the UK and EU.

For more information on the Carbon Bank please visit

Putting yield maps to good use

Yield data is plentiful as guidance technology has become almost common place in the arable sector, yield mapping is gaining a similar level of acceptance too. However in many cases there remains a large gap between combines fitted with yield monitors and the data that’s brought in to the office and interrogated.

Yield maps can offer insight into what’s happening and more growers are realising the benefits of this valuable information when combined with agronomic and local knowledge to aid decision making.

Adam Joslin, Gatekeeper Software Specialist says, “it’s true, yield data can be a key influencer in management decisions, and the longer period you collect it over the more reliable it is. Gatekeeper software has always been at the forefront of compatibility and can import yield data across a whole range of manufacturers. Plus provide correction and analysis of the raw data to help you make more of this information.

I was with a client recently, who was in the middle of submitting a new stewardship agreement. How do to decide what areas are better out of production? Yield information can support these decisions and more.”

Plus, the returns for growers that adopt a variable input system based on yields will not just be the monetary benefits of reduced inputs, less fuel and maintenance on the machines and reduced operator time but also environmental benefits on the soil and wildlife.

Find out more about how you can manage your yield data this harvest with Gatekeeper software call our knowledgeable team on 01594 545000 or click below to complete a call back request form.

Carbon auditing on your farm – where do you begin?

Agriculture in the UK is undergoing a dramatic sea change in a drive to become more sustainable and help combat climate change, as demonstrated by the NFU’s aspiration of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040 – a decade before the national target.

Farming businesses are now expected to not only reduce their carbon footprint but provide evidence of doing so – a pressure that comes from regulatory bodies and supply chain partners.

Can farmers take positive steps towards carbon neutrality and, in doing so, actually improve efficiency and profitability in their business? According to James Royce, Rural Consultant at Carbon Metrics, it’s certainly possible. It just requires a change in perspective.

Farming your data

“Farmers don’t just manage their crops or livestock,” says James. “They also farm data. As basic payments are decreased, it pays to be savvier in how you use that data. A carbon audit will help you identify those areas on your farm that are less efficient and where growth is possible.”

As James explains, the first step is to enter a farm’s data – which the farmer will likely already possess, especially if they use a digital farm management tool – into a carbon calculator and produce a report. The farmer is then presented with a report containing their farm business carbon footprint and viable mitigation measures. These suggested changes are rarely radical; the focus is finding ways to make marginal gains and improve efficiencies across the farm.

“Even a 1% gain makes a difference,” says James. “Those small gains add up across your farm and help cut emissions massively.”

More and more farmers are embracing the benefits that digital farm management tools can bring. Users of Gatekeeper, the UK’s most popular cropping software from Farmplan, allows users to immediately leverage their stored data with Carbon Metrics for example, instantly retrieving figures for crop areas, yields, fertiliser and pesticide usage.

“Using a tool like Gatekeeper means having all your data at hand,” says Scott Millar, Enterprise Account Manager at Farmplan. “However, data is only valuable when it’s being utilised. Making your data accessible lets you leverage it in a way that benefits your business, both in the short-term and for the years ahead.”

The benefits of carbon auditing

While reducing your carbon footprint might seem like an arduous (if necessary) ordeal, it presents a chance to determine where on the farm is inefficient, and where gains can be made.

“Where we find excessive carbon emissions tends to be in the poorest performing parts of the farm,” says James. “A carbon audit helps you identify those areas and allow you to come up with mitigation measures and increase efficiency. For example, if a beef enterprise has disproportionate methane emissions, they could reconsider the animals’ diet and possibly decrease feed consumption. That would not only result in quicker finishing times but also achieve cost savings through a reduction in overfeeding”.

“Consider carbon auditing as an opportunity, a step forward. If you’re already thinking about carbon now, you’re probably ahead of the curve of much of the supply chain.”

Whether your carbon audit reveals minimal or multiple efficiency issues, your farm can benefit – not just immediately, but using that data as a foundation going forward.

“Carbon auditing provides greater understanding of your farm,” adds Scott. “Smart digital solutions can help us all be more efficient in a way that improves compliance and, ultimately, profitability. We’re all on the journey towards net zero but you don’t have to do it alone. Remember the saying: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Find out more about how Carbon Metrics can help you on your carbon journey.

How Farmplan is helping farmers to be more sustainable

Data is a driver for massive change in farming, and more and more within the sector are seeking solutions that allow them to take full advantage of the benefits it brings. A new partnership between Farmplan, the UK’s leading agricultural software specialists, and Sustainable Landscapes, a landscape-based programme initiated by Future Food Solutions, demonstrates just what the future of sustainable farming can look like – and how it can mean a win-win for farmers and their partners within the supply chain.

“About eight years ago, we began to specifically examine resilience in supply chains for our major clients,” says Steve Cann, Director of Future Food Solutions. “Working closely with farmers demonstrated that their data is incredibly important, and that Gatekeeper, which many of them used, offered a value adding platform, as the more data farmers had, the better it would be for them in terms of managing their business.”

The goal of Sustainable Landscapes is to improve soil quality and water management for more resilient and profitable farming. In Gatekeeper, Steve found widely used software that recorded all the essential data for effective sustainability planning and execution. “We sat down with Farmplan and discussed how we could work together,” he says. “As a result, with the farmers agreement, we can now pull vital information directly out of Gatekeeper to perform a full carbon audit very quickly.”

This partnership helps farmers to improve soil health and farm in a more sustainable way, including the use of cover crops to cultivate biomass and increase soil organic matter (SOM) in their fields – a major sink and source of soil carbon. As Steve explains, a 1% increase in SOM per hectare allows that area of land to absorb an additional 240 tons of water.

“In one example, we saw a farmer increase their SOM from 2% to 6%,” says Steve. “They have close to 1,000 tonnes of water available in that hectare of land that would not have been there a few years ago. All of this is verified and driven by independent soil testing and assessment. We’re not marking our own homework. It’s a real win-win, creating a virtuous circle where farmers, water companies, and brands all benefit.”

For UK growers, this means being able to farm more sustainably and demonstrate compliance to their supply chain partners – all by simply using the data which they already capture as part of their existing practice. This extends to nutrient capture, offering a further financial benefit. For example, one farm tested their cover crops and discovered 305 kgs of N pulled in per hectare – a hugely valuable gain, especially with the current pricing.

“Fundamentally, this is data that’s already being recorded for compliance,” says Scott Millar, Account Manager at Farmplan. “This partnership just means farmers see an extra benefit from their work, from better utilisation of nutrients to more effective farm management. It’s an exciting prospect for UK farmers who are eager to derive more value from their business in a sustainable way.”

Working in association with Farming Connect (Wales)

We’re delighted to be working in association with Farming Connect (Wales) to bring members a live free to attend webinar on Monday 13th December.

Join Product Account Manager, Simon Eagle and Product Manager, Anne Cianchi, to find out more about our farming-friendly online accounts tool, Farmplan Business Cloud. This is a must-attend if you are:

  • Looking for a simple answer to compulsory digital VAT before the April 2022 deadline.
  • Curious about the value and benefits of cloud-based accounting for your farm business.  
  • Want a solution that comes with unrivalled customer support from teams based here in the UK.

During the session, we’ll also cover product functionality, pricing, and frequently asked questions.

If you would like to join this event please use this link to find out more and register.

If you would like to find out more about Farmplan Business Cloud, visit the product overview page here or call our friendly sales team today on 01594 545000.

Getting started with budgets and setting targets for growth with Gatekeeper

On 18th November members of the Farmplan team hosted a free to attend webinar which focused on budgeting within Gatekeeper software.

The webinar touched on the value of budgeting well in a fluctuating industry. With market prices climbing for fertilisers, ELMs applications, incomes being challenged by the weather, Brexit and Covid and BPS end of life on the horizon, the question is why wouldn’t you want to make the use of budgeting and planning tools to support your business decisions?

The session covered some of these key points:

  • How can Gatekeeper help you manage budgets and understand your position?
  • Budgets are easy to set up in Gatekeeper using historical data
  • Create scenarios and compare them to help support decision making – what will be the impact on your margins or profitability?
  • Help explore the value of potential enterprises and diversification projects
  • Have your workplans and product requirements prepared in advance – enabling you to plan ahead and buy in the stock/materials needed
  • Monitor your cash flow, offering a level of granularity beyond just general cash flow
  • Predicting the future

If you’d like to watch the recording to find out more please click here or on the image right >>

Please note: You will need Gatekeeper software to operate the Budgets module specifically designed for arable budgeting/planning. Ask our sales team today for more details on the set up and to discuss your requirements.