Now you and your employees can add extra users to your account – with Linked Accounts, one account can now grant other account holders the ability to add and edit data on their farms.
Managing crops from planting to harvest is really only one piece of the farming puzzle, and through our feedback channels one of the most common discussion topics we encounter is the antiquated nature of crop tracking during harvest.
To combat this, AgDNA is currently trialing a new Harvest Tracker Tool that was designed to bridge the gap between growers and contractors, and remove the inaccuracies of pre-existing systems that monitor crops between when they leave the field, and are delivered for processing.
You can trial our new Harvest Tracker Tool now by following these subsequent steps:
Step 1 – Open the Add Control Panel using the Add Button (+) on the RHS of the map toolbar
Step 2 – Once the crop is weighed, the relevant information can be entered into the system
The Harvest Tracker Tool gives a grower’s employees or contractors the ability to enter information directly into the system from their mobile device, and the map location tool creates an accurate GPS geo-location of exactly where the information was entered.
Step 3 – Upload a photograph of the ticket
The final step in the process is generating an image of the ticket, so farm operators can generate accurate records of crop transactions, and verify the information entered by the driver or contractor.
– Thoughts? Feelings? We’d love to hear from you
It seems like such an obsequious article title, but in reality it feels there are often times when farm equipment manufacturers are behind the 8-ball when it comes to listening to critical feedback from their audience.
Huge effort is consistently put into generating social media content on their behalf, but the conversation often goes one way, and at AgDNA we feel that critical feedback from farmers is important when creating durable field-tested products.
Using their own social media, farmers are constantly tweeting, writing, creating, and sharing with the world the intricacies of their life, and most importantly the boundaries that are imposed upon them by their machinery.
Just by looking at everyday conversations, we’ve put together a list of 5 things that we believe farmers want equipment manufacturers to know:
1. Their circumstances change, quickly
Why is this important for companies to know? Personal, environmental, or financial circumstances can set back an entire harvest, destroy a vehicle, or even cripple a farmer’s ability to operate. For this reason, local dealerships and even the manufacturer themselves often become the first port of when providing solutions to important output-changing circumstances.
2. Things break down all the time
Open dialogue between manufacturers and customers goes beyond the sales process – as we know equipment sometimes has a tendency to break down , and if the communication between dealers and clients is diluted (or even non-existent), manufacturers can start watching their loyal customer base jump ship very quickly. Communication is key.
3. Farmers love their statistics
If it has lots of numbers on it, it’s a winner. After sales software is crucially important to a farmer’s business, and with the recent shift in commodity prices farmers are paying attention to numbers now more than ever.
4. Farmers come in all shapes and sizes
5. They’re online, waiting to be spoken to
For some dealers social media can understandably become distracting from a sales and service point of view, but it’s worthy to note that farmers are out there, right now, eagerly sharing with the world how well their equipment is working for them. Farmers want to be connected with, spoken to, and continue their interaction with manufacturers long after the sale is done.
One of the many things that makes AgDNA so special are our mobile services; field management, inventory, and automated activity tracking from your mobile device are part and parcel of our core functionality.
But many people don’t realize that alongside the mobile AgDNA App is AgDNA Online, a web-based control center that administers your entire farm from your desktop or laptop computer.
The added bonus of your online account? More computing power means faster response times, more intricate maps, and an enhanced user experience with access to more data than your standard online services.
It’s also completely free.
A more detailed Map Screen
Your Online MyFarm map isn’t limited by size, in fact, the map screen shapes itself to whatever screen size you happen to be working with. You’ll also notice your farm is color coded by crop types, and the added size gives you more flexible control to manage your activities and recording more effectively.
The Charts button is your online farming dashboard; from here you can get a 1,000ft view on all the agronomic data generated by your farm. View activity charts, see commodity prices, watch 24hr rainfall monitors, and view your entire week’s weather forecast with up-to-the-minute data from our partners at Weather Decision Technologies (WDT).
Here you’ll be able to browse your entire activity history, and click on each item for more details. It’s a great way of visually organizing your entire activity list, and when utilizing linked accounts it’s a fantastic way of seeing what person is responsible for each task.
Activity Calendar Button
Add Agenda items to your online farm record so you’ll never miss any of your scheduled tasks ever again.
Missing information on the map screen? Or maybe there’s too much? The Layers Button allows you to turn information that’s overlayed over the top of your maps on and off. In other words, you can make your map as complex or as simplified as you want.
Adding new content or managing existing content is easy
The Setup button is the master switch for your entire operation. Here you can view at a glance all of the separate information for all aspects of your farm, allowing you to view information without having to switch between farms on the ‘Farm Selector’ tool.
Want to add new clients? Vehicles? Fields? RCD data? The Add button on the far right of the screen is the place to do it. This is your toolkit for adding in NEW data into your system. Along with data and account information, you can add new machinery, implements, auxiliary devices and recording equipment and assign them to a particular location here.
The Details Tab
Navigating the details tab is the cornerstone of the AgDNA online profile – once the AgDNA app has finished recording your activities, all of the relevant data for that field will be automatically stored to your AgDNA cloud.
Accessing that information is easy, and can be done so using the ‘Details’ function. We’ve created a little online tutorial that will help you understand this function more.
Just play around – the app and your online account work side by side
What more can we say? To get the full user experience, just play around with your online account and get a feel for what the software can do for you. You’ll get the most of your AgDNA experience by using your mobile app in tandem with your online account: set up and record your activities in the field using your mobile app, and then track your overall seasonal progress using your online account.
Accessing your account is easy, just visit agdna.com and hit the ‘Login’ button on the top right of the screen.
Of course by “get on board” I’m not referring to anything politically or theologically minded, and I’m also not implying that we should all suddenly commence throwing Apple watches on our wrists, start believing the Kardashians have something interesting to say, and begin skateboarding down the steps of town hall shouting “Swag!” at the top of our lungs.
Especially the thing about the Kardashians.
What I AM saying however is that modern sociological attitudes aside….and using a misplaced train analogy, we should definitely jump on board the technological express. We’ve probably all been exposed already to new technological advancements for our farms, but recent upgrades in drone technology have created new points of interest in agriculture.
Linking with GPS receivers, UAV’s have the ability to create hi-definition image data and sensory data of your entire farming operation, all with a unique bird’s eye view. We’ve heard the name Drone or UAV thrown around the ag-field now for years, and with the FAA relaxing control of airspace over farms for scouting observations the sky is literally the limit on the types of data they can retrieve.
So here are three reasons all farmers need to think about UAV’s for their growing operation:
1. Replacing plane flyovers for topographical imaging data: UAV’s themselves are inexpensive and require no man made effort to fly them. In fact, GPS coordinated Drones can automatically fly pre-plotted courses and create image data of the topography of your farm for analysis. Farmers can have updated aerial images of their entire operation on a regular basis, meaning they can adapt to changing growing conditions faster
2. Detailed spatial and sensory analysis: Replace a UAV’s camera with a thermal infrared sensor and it will yield important crop analysis data. These images show differences in the amount of reflected light, and are indications of plant health or even soil type. Depending on the filter used, diseased or underperforming areas appear much darker, and treatments can be applied in the correct measurable amounts
3. Spraying and scouting: Drones can even replace humans in doing conventional forms of farm activities. While a UAV certainly does not have the payload of a traditional sprayer, it can be used to reach inaccessible areas for accurate precision crop input application. In other words, if you’ve pinpointed particular areas of interest that require attention and don’t need a large area sprayed, a drone can either be guided by human hands to the location for accurate application, or even automatically guided by GPS. In essence, a UAV used in this way is like a scalpel, doing precision work that a knife is too large for.
For more information on AgDNA, head on over to our website at agdna.com
AgDNA has been busy introducing a flurry of new filters for our online user accounts; responding to the demands from the agricultural community, this week AgDNA announces the release of the new Irrigation Filter tool.
On your MyFarm map screen, quickly and easily identify which of your fields are irrigated using the new Field Irrigation tool located in the Layers dropdown of your MyFarm Navigational Toolbar. Simply hit the Layers button and select ‘Field Irrigation’.
Alternatively color-code your map screen by Irrigated/Non-Irrigated fields by selecting the Irrigation function in your Crop Type dropdown bar at the top of your MyFarm map screen. The Irrigation tool is located on the bottom of the dropdown.
Using the Print Option located on the right hand side of your Navigational Taskbar, create a report and instantly print a complete view of your farm. Simply hit PRINT, select the overlay information you want layered over the top of your map, and use the Print options provided when your report loads in your browser.
Printing field maps is a great way of increasing the productivity of your farm, and a very simple way of creating accurate records of your farming season.
How to Print out a copy of your fields using your online account:
1. Hit the PRINT icon on your top navigational taskbar
See more exciting features now at AgDNA
AgDNA is pleased to introduce a brand new way of creating and editing your field boundaries using your online account; now you can simply draw the boundaries of your field using our all new Point and Click interface.
The all new system gives you even greater accuracy when creating your boundaries, something that in the long run makes AgDNA the most accurate way of calculating and managing every aspect of your farming operation to the minutest details.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – Click the Add Button (+) in the top right of your map navigation toolbar
The Add Button is your way of creating brand new data and editing existing data for your farm. From our updated control panel, select the ‘Field’ option in the center ‘Setup’ column. Some of you however may still see a previous version of the Control Panel; this just means your account is in the process of updating to our new updated design, so don’t fret. If so, simply click on the ‘Field’ option under the ‘Add Work’ heading.
Step 2 – Click on the Draw Field button
Whether you’re creating a new field or editing an old one, the “Draw Field” button located in the ‘Location’ section of the page will instantly take you to a new window that allows you to draw or edit your boundaries.
Step 3 – Draw your field boundary
With every click of your mouse, the point and click tool will add a new waypoint around your field. You can use the scaling options on the right hand side to zoom in closer and trace around your boundary with precise detail. To complete your boundary, simply connect the border around your field so the last waypoint intersects with your start point, and the software will automatically generate the finished boundary and calculate the total area. When you’re ready, click ‘Save’.
Step 4 – Edit your field data and save
Of course the draw tool doesn’t just add new fields – you can come back and redraw your field boundaries at any time.
The price of Corn dropped a remarkable 15.9% in August, the biggest fall of any commodity this year, and a terribly bitter pill to swallow for farmers as the price per bushel scraped barely over US$3.60.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel however – last week the USDA released their quarterly estimate of Corn stocks, and although there is a surplus, figures show there is also a greater demand for corn with exports higher than the 2013 figures.
So while 2014 may have been a dreary year for corn, there are certainly positive lessons that we can take away from the experience, particularly regarding how better management on a farming level is the key to successfully navigating the future of all commodities.
Lesson 1: Access to commodity information at any time
As much as others may wish it to be true, most farmers can’t simply pick up stumps and change their crop – climate, soil and geographical history play a large part in determining the strength of crops in specific geographical locations. However while it may be impossible for growers to change their wares on a whim, it’s not impossible, or even illogical, to assume that a lot of farmers could have better access to real time commodity prices and relevant information specifically regarding their crop.
But how and why could that possibly make things better? – Well, for a start, commodity pricing is incredibly predictive; most data sources can extrapolate the future of any given commodity for years to come, so a farmer could have a heads up of changes down the road a long time in advance of any price dips.
Tying it all back to corn, it’s important to remember that a large portion of the world’s corn supply comes from nations that are slower in adopting precision agriculture techniques. With better access to commodity and supply information, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe that a surplus could have been avoided.
DST’s such as the new AgDNA mobile commodity dashboard can feed this important information to growers on the ground in real-time, meaning on the most basic level famers can start planning their crops far ahead of schedule. The technology works by automatically assessing a farmer’s crop type for a specific field, and sending the grower useful messages on a regular basis about changes to this specific commodity.
Lesson 2: Increased efficiency means you get the most out of a low cost commodity
So $3 a bushel is a little worrying, but the impact of three dollar corn can be lessened with increased efficiency and maximum yields. I feel like I’m preaching to the converted when I shout from the rooftops “Try and maximize yields”, but the methodology behind doing just that is actually varied and a number of considerations that aren’t often adhered to need to be taken into account.
A good DST will do more than just record your yield, it will:
- Assess the threat level of pests and weeds in your fields
- Manage your seed spread and plot your seed volume
- Give you access to important soil data, including moisture reports
- Break down your time management
- Record your vehicle movements via GPS, making sure you’re covering every inch of field
- Give you weather information in real time, and record the level of rainfall on your farm
- Plot important irrigation data
- Sync with your machinery to get access to even more spatial data
At the end of the day, riding out the low prices is an alternative to changing crop. However there is still one more very important lesson to learn from the drop in commodities.
Lesson 3: Strategy is the key to success
Unfortunately in the Ag world, it seems that the concept of strategy is something that only larger growers or corporations seem to invest in. Of course ‘strategy’ conjures up images of Napoleon-esque generals standing around thick mahogany tables in pompous war rooms barking orders to subservients about warm cups of tea – the problem is with this kind of thinking is that it completely neglects the fact that DST strategy tools are not only available to farm operations of ALL sizes, but that they are fast becoming a necessity in the precision ag market.
You see not only is it important to record all your farm data, the important thing is to actually use that data to predict what’s going to happen on your farm in one, two, three years time.
In many ways that’s what is missing from smaller farming operations; most people seem to enjoy collecting data, but the application of that data and what it actually represents often falls by the wayside. A good DST will track the rise and fall of every aspect of your farm, something that gives even the smaller grower the ability to strategize next year’s harvest based on the conditions that either made the current harvest a success or failure.