A top priority for Scott Blair when he took on a new farm management position two years ago was getting good farm software.
In fact, he was so keen that he initially paid for the subscription himself.
Scott manages 1500ha Pukekaroro Station in the far North, running about 2700 cattle – a mix of bull beef, dairy heifers for live export and carryover dairy cows. He works with three other fulltime staff.
The software he has chosen gives him “an electronic filing cabinet” for all the farm information.
“I got the best software I could find that could do everything we would want. We’re getting it set up to record everything. What we don’t want is a heap of different places to put information. This is our go-to place for recording and reporting.”
One particularly valuable feature is being able to use a farm map on a phone. It is "revolutionising" their farm management he says.
ONE PLACE FOR FARM INFORMATION
“At the moment we’re mainly using the software to document everything that’s happening on the farm day to day and for a real-time stock reconciliation,” he explains. It complements their use of specialist software packages for feed budgeting and financial management.
He has arranged third-party access to the “cabinet” for the farm’s consultants and also the iwi owners’ accountants.
VIEWING THE FARM MAP ON A PHONE
Being able to use the software on a phone app with an online farm map is a huge advantage, he says. “It is a wonderful tool. It’s just outstanding from our point of view”.
“When you are doing a pasture cover, it knows where you are standing and what paddock you need to enter data for. We do pasture covers every second month to get a snapshot. We put that information together in our farm management software and then we can transfer it to the other software.”
The property came into iwi ownership following a successful Treaty of Waitangi claim, and Scott is now running a large subdivision programme. “We used the interactive farm maps in the software to draw in new fences and measure fencelines. It told us there are 82 km of new fencelines we need to put in! That’s good information because then you can put your plan in place and cost it out.”
With the farm map on the phone app, they’re now finding it easy to view the marked-out new paddocks and lanes. “We used to use laminated paper maps, but now we can open up a farm map on a phone at will. It loads really quickly and all the features we want are there. We can see all the detail drawn in. It’s just fantastic.”
Pukekaroro stock manager Ian Candy is running the livestock recording, including recording all cattle movements on and off the property. Eventually Scott would like to have stock shifts around the farm recorded as well. “I see tremendous use for that – to help with feed management and assessing paddock performance.”
Scott values being able to put forward his ideas for developing the software, too. “This software company is only too happy to hear about my requests for reports. The ongoing development is just awesome.”
Want to learn more about software that includes an "outstanding" farm map on a phone app? Click here