Wairarapa farmers Jan and Andy Tatham decided to start using farm software to set their farm business up for the future.
“We wrote a whole list down of what we wanted,” Jan explains. After a good look at what is available, they selected a software pack that has a range of features and is easy to use.
“There were a couple of things we wanted that it can’t do – but they are working on it all the time. And it does a lot. There is not really any other software that compares.”
The Tathams farm 1700ha effective hectares (2400 total), having recently brought together two blocks - Kaiwhata and Homewood - that have been in the family for four generations now. They usually run around 17,500 stock units, mainly sheep.
“We’ve got young people working for us and we want them to use things that will take them in to the future. This software works on phones with an app. How easy is that? It means our staff can do recording while they are out on the job and not have to do it on a computer later. We’re seeing the difference 20-fold."
INFORMATION FOR DECISION MAKING
Two big benefits of the software they’ve chosen are that it brings everything together in one place and information is easily shared, says Jan. “It’s all very well recording farm information, but if it’s in 15 different places and difficult to access it’s not a lot of use. Getting timely information is important when you need to make a decision. This software brings together the land, stock and cropping information, as well as a calendar and other tools.”
EASY TO USE
“A couple of young staff immediately got it going with no training – they don’t need it. They are recording things like animal health treatments and stock movements. At docking we plan to record the births in each paddock so we’ll keep track of lambing percentages in real time.
“The guy who does the cropping is excited about recording current information and being able to put past information in. He’s coming to us with ideas for using the System to make comparisons of how the paddocks are performing.
“My husband is just blown away by it. He had no computing skills and now he’s recording rainfall and animal health treatments on his phone.
“We’ve done a lot of work with the mapping function too, to get accurate areas and for planning developments, for example of fencing off waterways.”
It’s great for doing quick little calculations, she says. “For example, if farm staff look at the pasture covers, know how many and what weights of stock are going on and what they want to achieve then with this software they can quickly figure out how long stock should be in that paddock. Another example is they can use it to calculate the supplements needed to get a mob to a certain weight in 60 days.”
When they need help with the software there is “fantastic” support on the end of a phone.
Want to set up your farm for the future? Check out this farm management software...