A lot of farmers rely on gut instinct to make decisions around there operations. But an increasing number are using technology and data to achieve more accuracy and precision.
That's why understanding how farmers make decisions with farm management software is important to agribusiness that want to stay one step ahead of the market.
Every year, we see advancements in software designed to help farmers manage their farms. These software packages run everything from scheduling and accounting to livestock tracking and soil analysis. The worldwide farm management software market is expected to be worth $4 billion by 2022. Cloud-based software alone could top $2.7 billion in that time.
But who is deciding to use this software? How does it impact their business? And what do you need to know to market to this growing industry segment?
Running The Numbers
When surveyed by the USDA in 2015, 73% of farms reported having a computer but only 43% said they used it for farm business. There is no hard data on adoption rates for farm management software across the industry, but the numbers are only expected to rise in the coming years.
Some farmers like Tara Porterfield, a hay grower in northern California who now runs Ag-Biz Solutions, LLC, program their own farm management software. But most farmers that use such software rely on packages from dedicated ag-business software providers.
Many farmers are reluctant to invest in precision agriculture technologies, of which farm management software could be considered a part. Studies show that the cost savings of such technologies can be hard to predict, especially as a farm adopts more options. As the ag industry assimilates and refines these tools, however, the benefits should become more clear.
Keeping Things Straight
Today’s farms are more complex than ever. Gone are the days when a farmer could keep everything in their head. One of the greatest benefits of farm management software is the ability to keep a farm’s records in one place. A well-designed package eliminates the need for individual spreadsheets for tracking revenue, expenses, and production.
In addition to keeping records in one place, farm management software is useful for creating work schedules, tracking yields from season to season, and even something as simple as keeping to-do lists.
Software can also coordinate the information coming in from connected devices in the fields. By organizing this data, farmers can analyze it and make decisions about how to better use all the new technology at their disposal. Some farm management software also makes use of wireless technology, allowing the farmer to interact with the program through their tablet or smart phone while out on their land.
Charting a Course
While their numbers are small, farms using management software are on the vanguard of the ag industry. And this segment of the market will only grow, becoming a powerful source of business in the coming years.
As farmers explore their new options, what they need is information. They will have questions about which products will work best for their farms, how to integrate them with the systems they already have in place, and when it is the best time to switch to something new. With Farm Market iD’s leading ag database, you can be prepared to give your customers the information they need to drive conversions to your business.