6 Farm Information Management Systems Changing The Future of Farming
The Earth’s population is steadily approaching 8 billion. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, and it’s an especially big number when you consider how much of the world is rapidly developing.
More and more of the planet is becoming an urbanized cityscape. Because of this, the economy is now more than ever dependent on farming. Fewer people work in agriculture, and they’re doing so on scarcer amounts of arable land. Therefore, maximizing the amount of food produced and productivity on a farm is key to ensuring everyone is fed.
So how do farmers stay organized to ensure they’re running their farms as smoothly as possible? Surely their agrarian jobs don’t require them to use the latest IT, right?
You’d be wrong; the modern farm is home to some of the more advanced tech. The best farmers use farm management information systems (FMIS) or information management systems to ensure everything is carefully planned and executed.
What is a farm information management system?
Farm management information systems are software that helps farmers do their job. You can think of FMIS as one big supercomputer that keeps track of everything happening on and around a farm.
Typically, a good FMIS can help with:
- Calculating revenue, expenses, and profits.
- Determining what crops to plant and when.
- Managing inventory and figuring out what needs to be ordered.
- Customer relationship management (CRM).
- Tracking the progress of farming cycles (like planting, fertilizing, harvesting, etc.)
- Organizing employee payroll.
- Taking care of potential risks ( like bad weather, crop damage, and chaotic market fluctuations).
This is just a range of the many things that can be done with FMIS. If you’re looking for which one is right for you, look no further. Below, we’ll break down the 7 best farm information management systems that are changing the future of farming.
The top FMIS out there today
Founded in 2014, Granular has quickly become a top choice in the FMIS field globally. It’s designed for people who want a clean interface without annoying spreadsheets.
This farmers information system is easy to use and can be downloaded on your Android or Apple phone!
The popular features of Granular include:
- Inventory and cost management
- Custom scripts
- Contract management
It’s also got a task manager, a feature that many competitors lack. A recent addition is advanced coaching support. The site operated with nothing more than video tutorials for a long time. Now, you can get a dedicated “Customer Success Manager” that works to ensure the software runs smoothly and meets your needs.
The support team is available 10 hours a day over chat, phone, or email. Some pricing plans allow for the add-on of data management for total convenience.
Conservis is a farm information management system developed with a nuanced understanding of actual farming practices. Instead of being created by some Silicon Valley startup, real farmers who were fed up with running a farm created the software.
You know your farm best, and the developers of Conservis support that. That’s why the software focuses on solving actual problems rather than trying to dominate the way you organize your information.
Conservis streamlines tasks that used to be complicated and annoying, like record-keeping, communication to third parties, and calculating revenue. The customer service team is top-notch and actually understands what efficient farming looks like. You can’t go wrong with this choice.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive farmers information system that has just about every feature imaginable, this is it.
The main program of Farmers Edge is FarmCommand, a 360° view of your farm for growers and business executives alike. It comes with many different programs, all with their own fancy features.
Take FarmCommand Center, the hub of the software. Here, you can access detailed live maps of your crops, severe weather detection, and custom view options.
FarmCommand also has sophisticated weather monitoring, complete with real-time updates plus hourly, daily, and weekly forecasts. It utilizes radar of the surrounding area and historical data to calculate exactly what conditions will be like.
Their satellite imagery is top-notch: it’s high resolution and has a number of layers that show everything from crop health to weather conditions. At the same time, the interface is simple and easy to use.
Farmers Edge also offers moisture & carbon management, lab testing, and more.
Agrivi is great for farmers who want to simplify their farm administration without too many bells and whistles.
The farm information management system does a lot of the job for you without much work on the user’s part: it analyzes your costs, sales, and other expenses to see how finances can be managed more efficiently. Plus, it has real-time field data that can easily be shared.
The UI is very clean. If you aren’t very familiar with tech but still looking for something powerful, this is a great compromise.
Here’s a farmers information system that is surprisingly advanced, considering it can all be accessed from your smartphone.
In addition to the usual management features standard with competitors (like accounting, crop management, and weather monitoring), NavFarm has a few other handy tools. For example, it’s specially made for operations on many different farms. Maybe you want to manage your cattle in one place and cultivate fields somewhere entirely different. This is quite convenient with NavFarm.
It also manages the breed for your poultry, dairy, or swine. Everything in NavFarm is real-time, even the market prices!
Also, data entry is not only supported but encouraged on the iPhone and Android editions of the software, which goes to show how strong the interface is.
Designed for keeping track of feeding your livestock, Feedlot Solutions has since expanded to various cattle-oriented programs.
It is the premier software for anything cattle-related and is quite inexpensive (currently $900 for a lifetime license). Feedlot will give you the main business functions, such as analytics, bill management, and inventory data.
But it also includes two sub-programs: Feedbunk Solutions and Cattle Medical Systems. The former is built to streamline your feeding process to be as efficient as possible, while the latter keeps track of medicine administered to cattle.
Many customers report that the system is user-friendly and surprisingly well made, considering its cheap price tag.
Yes, we understand this is a shameless plug, but if you are looking for the best option in localized weather information, we are your best bet!
Benchmark Labs can give you precise measurements for temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, heat index, wind chill, dew point, wind speed, and more. It even gives you an hourly forecast you can rely on, with up to 60% more accuracy for extended forecasts.
So how does it work? Unlike free consumer weather apps (which give generalized weather reports for your municipality or neighborhood — “gridded weather”), Benchmark Labs calculates based on your farm’s remote weather stations and creates a truly local forecast.
This is the best resource for farm weather forecasting and weather alerts because it gives you a totally personalized focus.
The above list showcases some of the best farm information management systems. We recommend trying demos of each to find what suits your needs, interface preferences, and budget. Above all, make sure to use a product that maximizes the efficiency of your farm. Good luck!
Sign up for a trial today and learn more about what Benchmark Labs can do for you!