New Year Message from Piers Costley

Get more from your farm assets with smart tech

Why cloud-based solutions are gaining momentum amongst forward thinking farmers.

It is an undeniably challenging time for farm businesses of all sizes. In the face of relentless changes and multiple shocks, they are still striving to both perform and profit. Industrywide, agricultural businesses have been conducting their farming in more innovative and exciting ways. Farmers want to understand what’s working and what’s not, and how to get the most from the assets they farm.

Piers Costley, Managing Director at Farmplan, part of Proagrica, discusses why it is so important for farms to be able to record, track and understand their data – “only then will they be able to remain agile, forecast accurately and plan accordingly for whatever tomorrow may bring. But this requires both clarity and simplification”.

“Only with the right information at your fingertips can you make the right decisions at the right time, on everything from inputs and machinery to selling and compliance,” says Mr Costley. Simplifying and standardising data so that you can not only record it easily, but also use it across multiple platforms, sounds complex, but with the right tools can be anything but.

“Essentially, it’s about standardising core data and making farmers’ lives easier,” continues Mr Costley. “Farmplan Business Cloud is a good example of a tool that has been specifically written for a particular market. However, there are numerous examples in the industry of generic technology being applied to various markets, which then lack the focus, requirements and expertise that farming needs.”

“These smart tools know your pain points, know the stumbling blocks you come across, and aims to either eliminate or massively reduce those by being intuitive, collaborative and flexible. With your data standardised and at your fingertips, you can make decisions far more easily.”

Mr Costley adds: “These tools can highlight where the most potential lies, and identifies the parts of your farm that are performing well so you can make informed decisions. And because it is a cloud-based product, you can easily share your data with your chosen business partners for added value.

“Updating in-line with UK farming regulations, ensures these tools remain agile enough to accommodate diversification or expansion – they are designed to help your business thrive.”

Smart technology means farmers can get the basics right so that they can focus their efforts on what matters. Farmplan Business Cloud is incredibly simple to use, but has a level of sophistication below that, which means it is intuitive enough to ensure current and future requirements are met, such as those surrounding HMRC legislation.

“As farmers know only too well, the agricultural industry never stands still,” adds Mr Costley. “We have a range of intuitive cloud-based solutions on the horizon, which are easier to use for farmers, are more flexible on-farm, and allow data to be shared more easily with advisors and other required stakeholders, at the right time. Farmers face a challenging future environment but with the right tools they will be better equipped to efficiently manage their farms and be agile and ready to take advantage of the opportunities to come.”

Our commitment to sustainability

We are proud to be part of the Farmers Weekly led Transition Project which aims to drive awareness of the ways and means available to UK farmers in order to become more sustainable as BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) becomes a thing of the past.

Find out more about the Farmers Weekly Transition Project here.


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