Five Software Packages Your Farm Can No Longer Afford to Do Without
27 June 2016
The right software solutions can make or break your farming operation. Incorporating software into your everyday routine can streamline your management activities and ensure the highest degree of productivity and profitability for your farm. Here are five of the most important software packages you need to consider this year.
#1. Accounting Packages
Modern accounting packages let you to manage your finances more effectively in a number of ways, including:
- Tracking expenditures immediately and over time
- Creating predictions for future expenses
- Recording profits accurately
- Establishing emergency funds for unexpected
- Managing tax obligations and other recurring
costs more effectively
implementing these software packages, you can ensure the most accurate
financial records for your entire operation. Doing so allows you to manage your
budget more effectively while planning ahead for both unexpected expenses as
well as planned upgrades for your farm.
#2. Human Resources Management
Keeping accurate employment records is critical to the success of any operation. HR software packages are designed to provide support for your farm by tracking a full range of data, such as:
- Recruiting procedures and compliance
- Application information and hiring dates for
- Onboarding information and procedures
- Payroll and benefits data, including health care
and other insurance packages
- Information regarding workers’ compensation
- Data regarding termination of employment with
- Features for managing reporting requirements
for local, state and federal agencies
Programs like Bamboo HR are designed for ease of use and offer robust features for comprehensive human resources management.
Integrating an HR system into your regular routine can help you realize a greater degree of control over all the human resources functions throughout your farming operation.
your farm equipment in top condition is essential to ensure maximum
productivity, especially during planting and harvest season. Fleet management
software packages were originally designed to help the transportation and
shipping industries manage the acquisition, maintenance and turnover of their
vehicles. But today, these same packages can provide great support for your
farm equipment and vehicles, allowing you to optimize productivity and
profitability in this area of your farming business. Some of the most important
features of these software packages include the following:
· Tracking of acquisition costs and resale values, allowing you to retire or upgrade your vehicles and equipment in a cost-effective manner
· Monitoring fuel costs for vehicles to help you weed out underperformers
· Providing reminders for recommended maintenance tasks
Offering suggested guidelines for replacement
of aging equipment, ensuring that you can plan effectively for these necessary
management software packages like those offered by FIIX CMMS and RTA Fleet Management provide
real-time tracking of the locations of your vehicles and field equipment and
help you keep up with the maintenance necessary to ensure your farm equipment
is in top shape. Some systems even offer mobile applications that can deliver
anytime, anywhere access to this data with a swipe of your Smartphone’s
#4. Precision Farming Solutions
One of the hottest trends in the agricultural software marketplace, precision farming encompasses a wide range of tools and computing solutions that work together to provide you with real-time information on the state of your crops. Typically, these systems comprise three separate categories:
- Sensors are installed in various areas of your
crops to monitor soil conditions, growth rates and other factors that could
- Transmitters carry this information to a
centralized data hub
- Computing resources then decode this
information to provide you with actionable information regarding soil nutrient
and moisture levels, variances in growth rates and other data
packages and services from companies like AgSense and SST
offer remote-control convenience and ease of use for farmers. Though the
initial investment may be costly, once mastered, the results derived from
precision farming can allow you and your employees to manage your crops more
effectively from first planting to final harvest. This can boost your profits
and ensure the most practical use of available resources in applying fertilizer
and pesticides, promoting efficient water use and ensuring the health and yield
of your crops.
#5. Supply Chain Management Software
Once regarded as a simple tracking tool for monitoring vendors and managing payments, supply chain management packages can now provide your farm with support for an extensive array of activities that include the following:
- Creating expense and profit predictions for more
accurate financial planning
- Comparison of performance and cost for vendors,
transportation companies and other suppliers
- Real-time monitoring for commodities pricing to
help you sell at the right time and for the right price
The software packages offered by Infor Supply Chain Management, used by Organic Valley Farms, and Commodity XL for Agriculture offer start-to-finish support for farming operations while
optimizing your profitability in the competitive agricultural marketplace.
Some companies offer software-as-a-service (SAAS) options for these computing packages, allowing you to access top-quality computing packages without the learning curve associated with installing, upgrading and maintaining this software on-site. Cloud-based solutions are also becoming increasingly popular in the agricultural field thanks to the convenient access they provide for you and your staff.
By upgrading your farming operation with these five key software packages, you can achieve a higher degree of success and profitability now and for the future of your farm.
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