“Every farmer wants to get the best returns for their efforts every year,” says Ben Hatton, Gatekeeper Key Account Manager. “Naturally, some things are out of your control, no better demonstrated than the volatility we have seen over this growing season. However, there are key agronomic and management decisions that, using the right information, can make a huge difference to a farm’s profitability and indeed its sustainability”.
Now is the time for growers to consider how best to prepare for life after harvest. Key to that is making informed decisions – through understanding and analysing farm data, choices can be made that work for you and your farm.
With that goal in mind, more and more growers are turning to Farmplan’s farm management software to turn their yield data into truly valuable and effective farm actions.
Why yield data matters
Yield data is plentiful; the technology is now commonplace in the arable sector, with yield mapping gaining a similar level of acceptance too. However, in many cases we still see a large gap between how much data is collected and how much value is ultimately extracted from that data.
So, why should growers invest their time and resources into getting the most from their yield maps? Because organised and accurate yield maps provide a benchmark and a reference for financial values and measurements.
This, in turn, allows a farm business to have a greater sense of where they are financially and drill down into those parts of the farm that are performing well and those performing less well. Gross margin reporting provides visibility across the field and farm based entirely on the user’s own records.
Leveraging data from yield mapping comparisons doesn’t just help you understand where you are but where you’re heading. It provides a reference for further crop inputs, allowing growers to use their map records this year and in the coming seasons to fine-tune their approach and make more informed decisions.
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. At the end of the season, they are the ‘benchmark’ of performance.
It’s true, yield data can be a key influencer in management decisions. The longer a period you collect your data over, the more you will have to support your decisions.
Analysis of the data you collect helps you make more of this information and Gatekeeper is one tool that can help make sense of what you are seeing. It must be seen as part of a bigger picture though – it is about using data in conjunction with historical, local and agronomic knowledge to achieve your objectives.
Collecting yield data is a good start, but it’s what a grower does with that data that matters. By making full use of smart analysis tools, growers can adopt a variable input system based on yield maps and other data. This could be to optimise inputs, reduce machine use and of course drive environmental benefits to the soil, wildlife and the wider environment.