Key attributes of an efficient farm management system

As they say “Data is the new Oil!”, although priceless for its value, crude oil indeed requires refining to unleash its actual worth. Similarly, unstructured data has to be compiled and made actionable before it helps optimize processes. This is true for agriculture as much as any other industrial sector.

Over the years, mankind has witnessed several reforms, out of which the digital agricultural revolution has been considered a landmark one from the point of view of sustainability. Agricultural data has played an important role in increasing the agricultural output of farms and farming efficiency.

From decreasing extensive manual toil in farms, crop planning, estimation of profits and loss, to eliminating the middleman and ensuring fair prices, using agri-data is the key to automating every aspect from farmer to distributor. Traditional agricultural practices have given way to increased adoption of technology in agriculture to facilitate increased productivity, sustainability, and profitability.

Role of ERP in agriculture

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for agriculture helps unify the multiple business functions of a farm into one integrated system. It enables the farm to accumulate data from different points such as rainfall data, crop data, price data all on one eagle eye view to help farmers manage their entire farm in one dashboard.

Agribusiness owners and farmers use Farm management systems/ ERP to decrease data management hassles. Farm management software can be used in small as well as large farms to efficiently manage farm operations and daily farm activities. One of the major objectives of farm management software is to streamline the process of recording, storing, and analyzing agricultural data by simplifying production schedules.

Similar to how CXOs make decisions on company operations based on data, a farmer can also make decisions on how to optimize their cropping schedule and strategy based on the agricultural data collected and structured by a Farm Management system. From coordinating labour and land resources to reacting to weather updates and more, the Farm ERP is the single source of truth for the tech-savvy agriculturist.

Why is a Farm Management ERP needed?

Farm management could be compared to managing a business, on a day to day level. Some operations must be carried out efficiently to certain standards for the business to thrive. From seeding to fertilizing and irrigation, if even one of these processes is mistimed, it affects the total yield of the farm. This is where the importance of Farm management software is deeply felt.

Boosts efficiency:

Farm management ERP can boost the operational efficiency of large and small scale farms alike. These programs can help in recording the produced product, unsold stocks, outstanding overhead costs make it possible to streamline a large number of farm responsibilities.

Helps drive decision making:

Farm management software can also make recommendations, run forecasts, consider the real-time scenarios and make recommendations accordingly to maximize profitability and productivity for the farmers. This helps farmers make data-based decisions even without doing all of the interpretation and analysis themselves.

Improves the supply chain process:

Farm management ERP allows farmers to access and control every aspect of the farming lifecycle from cropping and growing to facilities and fleet. An ERP could solve for short term and long term goals. Daily activities could be effectively controlled by keeping the farmers up to date about agricultural reforms that may impact the business. ERP also can develop yearly marketing plans, which may constitute specific sales goals that aim to the best market trading circles. This kind of comprehensive data on the supply chain can help the farmer decide on overall strategies to maximize income, shelf life and stability and even market their products better.

Key reasons for the adoption of Farm management software

Streamlined agriculture:

Farm management is vital in today’s era as it has the prospect to streamline every step in farm processes starting from crop planning, production to market identification, and distribution channels.

Better budgeting:

ERP can make the farm or allied business to be a more budget-friendly business by making smart adjustments in costs and by being environmentally responsible. It could respond to unplanned high costs and track expenses and thereby letting you detect cost-intensive factors and control them.

Increased mobility:

The ERP helps store all the farm data digitally which helps to access the field from anywhere. This helps you make decisions concerning your farm on the move.

Fiscal management:

Cash inflow and outflow such as loans, credits, amounts outstanding, pay dues, etc. could all be managed by Farm Management ERP.

Features to look for while choosing a Farm management ERP

Future-ready and scalable:

Some Farm Management ERPs may constantly adopt new technological advancements based on current agricultural reforms. While looking for an ERP, ensure that it suits your needs for today and tomorrow. Your agricultural business is growing and scaling in terms of land, output, needs, strategies and more. Ensure that your ERP’s architecture is flexible enough to meet your future needs.

Farm life-cycle management:

The Farm Management software must be capable of aiding the farmers with guidance at all stages of the crop including Post Harvest Management (PHT). The software must enable the seamlessly integrated working of several other applications that help add to the efficiency of the farm. E.g. An ERP that gives up to date weather reports may not be able to send Locust warning unless a pest and disease management application works synchronously with it. Ensure that the ERP you choose works with your already existing Agri-tech stack.

Offline functionality:

Network availability is still a question in many rural areas. Unavailability of network resources could hinder the proper functioning of the ERP. Hence, an ERP with the ability to perform key features offline is key to promising results in on-field conditions.

Localization:

An ERP with the ability to offer content multiple local languages has higher feasibility for the users in a rural setting. If those using the platform are more familiar in local languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, or Telugu, ensure that the system is localized to provide recommendations in the language of choice.

The way forward

As we move into a world where the population is burgeoning at an exponential rate, there is a need to step up agricultural production to keep up. As the land resources are finite, there needs to be a way to sustainably use the land we do have to maximize output. These new proprietary solutions such as Farm Management ERPs and Farm Management software help farmers find new ways to optimize their resources, land, labour and more.

With these new ERPs, farming has become an easier and more profitable business. The industry is slowly adopting agri-tech innovations and modernized processes to meet the challenges of feeding the world population. Smart farming, vertical farming, urban farming and a host of other innovations in the space are very promising and with farms becoming more and more like factories, the quality and reliability of the produce is unmatched.

Only the farmers who adopt these new technologies will come out stronger than the competition. Farming is now just as tech-savvy as any other industrial sector and agriculturists need to keep up and catch up with the times.

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