FarmIQ Blog

Software drives dairy farm profitability

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 03/12/17 18:57

Northland dairy farmer Jared Going says using farm management software is helping him drive profitability.

Jared took over the family farm at Maromaku, 30 minutes north of Whangarei, in 2004 and runs it with two staff. He’s using an app to record “everything that happens on the farm” to give him insights to make informed decisions.

“And it’s easy to meet legal requirements. For example, we use it for timesheets for the boys. They are responsible for putting the information in and then I approve it. It’s all there; it’s easy. It just adds the information in to the whole farming system.”

It just doesn’t make sense to record on paper any more, he says. “The app’s simple and easy to use – a piece of cake. You enter information straight in and you can view it straight away. You can look at it at the click of a button.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, planting, paddock performance, fertiliser, soil tests, farm assurance, farm record, farm management software, saving time, farm computer, paddock history, compliance, farm information, farm map, interactive farm maps, feed budgeting, phone app, pasture covers, feed, dairy, app, timesheets, feed wedge

Hassle-free farm record keeping

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 15/10/17 21:56

Owaka farmer Penny White is feeling a lot more confident about the next farm audit now that she’s organised recording with new farm software.

Penny White With app & bike Crop 55pc.jpgIt has turned something that was always a hassle into something simple – and even fun, she says. 

Penny does the bookwork for Hina Hina farm on the coast close to Jack’s Bay, while her husband Peter does the day-to-day management. 

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, planting, fertiliser, soil tests, farm assurance, farm record, farm management software, saving time, farm computer, paddock history, compliance, farm information, farm map, interactive farm maps, digital farm maps, phone app, health and safety, land and environment, succession, chemicals, riparian

Get the best from your land

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 25/07/17 12:48

Using farm management software is ideal for a farming business that aims to get the best out of its land, says Hawkes Bay dairy farmer Lewis Knauf.

Wairua Dairies, 40km from Hastings, milk 1600 cows and raise their own replacements as well as running a significant cropping programme. Lewis is the operations manager for the farm, which employs 12 staff. It was originally purchased by his parents Ivan and Sue in 2001 and is owned by a family company.

It’s a big and busy farming operation. “If you look at the farm calendar, there’s not many days where there’s nothing happening.” This includes irrigating more than half of the 645ha-effective area and about 160ha of cropping a year, mainly maize and fodder beet, along with lucerne, rape and winter oats.

GOOD PADDOCK RECORDING

Lewis chose software that he could use to set up better paddock recording. 

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, planting, paddock performance, fertiliser, soil tests, cropping history, cropping, farm assurance, farm record, animal health, farm management software, saving time, farm computer, paddock history, compliance, farm information, farm map, interactive farm maps, digital farm maps, feed budgeting, pasture covers, health and safety, land and environment, grazing, young stock, replacements

Farm map on phone is "outstanding" says beef farmer

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 22/06/17 17:30

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.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, fertiliser, farm recording, paddocks, farm assurance, farm record, animal health, farm management software, farm information, phone app, sustainable farming, farm compliance, health and safety, communication, land and environment, environment planning, hazard register, inventory, subdivision, Northland, Maori, Scott Blair, farming

Farm recording helps build asset for future

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 27/04/17 17:00

The Douglas-Clifford family believe in building their farm asset over time – and that now includes using farm software to build an online farm record.

The family, who were recently named winners of the Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Award, run 22,000 stock units of sheep, beef and deer on 3000ha Stonyhurst on the coast south of Cheviot. 

Charles Douglas-Clifford returned home with his wife Erin five years ago and has overseen the day-to-day farm management of Stonyhurst since then. He is the sixth generation on the property. The family chose a good spot – the long, narrow farm has rolling hills going down to coastal cliffs and they look out across Pegasus Bay.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, fertiliser, farm recording, farm assurance, farm record, animal health, farm management software, farm information, phone app, sustainable farming, farm compliance, Canterbury, health and safety, communication, land and environment, environment planning, Douglas-Clifford, hazard register, inventory

Farm information all in one place

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 23/03/17 17:23

West Coast dairy farmer Neil Allers is using farm software to get all his farm information in one place.

Neil has been managing Blairs farm milking 830 cows near Lake Brunner for 2 and a half years now. He hadn't done much with computers before. “I’ve caught on how to do it – it’s not that hard. It’s a really excellent tool.”

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, planting, fertiliser, soil tests, cropping history, cropping, farm assurance, farm record, farm management software, saving time, farm computer, compliance, farm information, farm map, digital farm maps, feed budgeting, pasture covers, health and safety, land and environment

Farm software eases succession

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 24/01/17 18:00

Dannevirke farm manager Daniel Preece is finding farm software helps succession by giving a new person easy access to farm management history.

Daniel took over as farm manager at Pohuetai Station in mid 2016 and says he's made good use of the farm's online records.

“The next person can walk in and it’s there. It has definitely helped with the transition. It’s all made easier because the information is all in one spot.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, planting, fertiliser, soil tests, spring planting, cropping history, cropping, farm assurance, farm record, farm management software, saving time, farm computer, compliance, farm information, farm map, digital farm maps, cloud computing, health and safety, land and environment, environment planning, succession

Building good paddock records

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 27/11/16 17:51

Recording paddock information with farm software is now second nature for David Acland and his team on Mt Somers Station.

It means the information is easy to access when needed for a range of purposes, he says.

Mt Somers employs 11 people working fulltime, including David, and contractors are brought in for applying fertiliser, spraying, making baleage and pasture renovation.


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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, planting, fertiliser, soil tests, spring planting, cropping history, cropping, farm assurance, farm record, farm management software, saving time, farm computer, compliance, farm information, farm map, digital farm maps, cloud computing, Canterbury, health and safety, land and environment, environment planning, Mt Somers

Farming for the future

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 17/10/16 10:14

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.”

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, paddock performance, farm recording, paddocks, cropping, farm record, animal health, farm management software, recording farm information, farm computer, farm information, farm map, feed budgeting, liveweights, land and environment, environment, environment planning, mobile app, succession, health treatments

Farm software means no surprises

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 01/08/16 19:04

Using farm management software to track stock and paddocks means “no surprises”, says a Wairarapa farm manager who is part of a corporate farming operation.

Ian Evans runs 4200 stock units on the 518ha hill country property Mangarata for the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre. Mangarata has been using the farm software for two years, and it’s helping Ian keep his finger on the pulse.

“The information is right in front of you as a manager. I’m setting weight targets for mobs of R1 cattle or the ewe hoggets and 2-tooths. For example, if I want animals up to a certain weight in May, I can set targets for January and every month in between. Then I can compare what’s happening each month. There are no surprises.”

Now the other three farms run by Taratahi are also starting to use the software.

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, animal health, Lamb finishing, farm management software, recording farm information, farm computer, farm information, lambs, liveweights, lamb growth rates, liveweight reporting, liveweight gain, Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, lamb weights, hoggets, hazards, health and safety software, health and safety, land and environment, environment, corporate farming, organisational reporting, environment planning

Mythbusting on the farm

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 13/07/16 14:15

Rakaia Gorge farmer Paul Ensor is using farm software to help him bust myths on his farm.

Glenaan runs 5650 stock units of sheep – including nearly 3000 ultra-fine Merino ewes as well as cattle – on 1035ha of high-country land in the Rakaia Gorge.

They have used farm management software over the past few years to benchmark livestock performance and understand opportunities, and also to do some “mythbusting” around the value of inputs. 

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, cropping, farm record, animal health, Lamb finishing, lift value of lamb crops, farm management software, recording farm information, farm computer, farm information, lambs, liveweights, lamb growth rates, liveweight reporting, liveweight gain, two-tooths, lamb weights, trading lambs, feed, salt, wether finishing, lucerne, vitamin B12 for lambs

Farmer reduces days to lamb sale

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 14/03/16 16:25

Fewer days; more dollars.

A Fiordland farm manager says farmers need to make sure they understand the opportunity in their business.

Greg Crombie of Duncraigen Farm says farm management software gives farmers the power of numbers that can help them see where to put their effort to improve farm production and profit. “Over the next 10 to 20 years the real gains for farming are going to come out of technology.”

On Duncraigen, software is showing how they can get lambs off more than two weeks earlier, as well as making the admin side much easier.

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, animal health, Lamb finishing, lift value of lamb crops, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm computer, compliance, farm information, lambs, lamb growth rates, lamb weights, trading lambs

Software helps a busy farmer

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 21/01/16 15:56

Quick and simple recording for a diverse farming business.

Canterbury farmer Peter Lowe wouldn’t call himself savvy with a computer, but now it’s become a crucial tool for his intensive stock and cropping operation.

Peter and his wife Diane farm a 242ha block on the Canterbury Plains near Ashburton that’s 95% irrigated, as well as some leased land. They run 3500 sheep, beef and deer stock units including a Romney stud, produce cash crops and do some dairy grazing.  They employ casuals for about four months of the year to get through the work.

Peter was keen to get computer software to cover off their farm compliance and assurance. But it’s busy on the farm, and he didn’t want anything that would take too much time or be too complicated to use.

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm computer, farm owners, farm information, cloud computing

6 reasons for farmers to be in the cloud

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 23/09/15 17:05

Cloud-based software is the way to go for farmers these days.

Yes, “cloud” is no longer just the name for a mass of water vapour up in the sky! It is now also used to describe software that’s accessed via the internet – rather than sitting on a desktop computer.

It represents a new phase in information technology that’s been going for about a decade now, and many industries are shifting to cloud-based software.

It offers six big advantages for farmers…

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm computer, farm owners, farm information, mapping, farm map, interactive farm maps, planning, cloud computing

5 ways farmers can work smarter with others

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 08/07/15 10:27

New-generation farm management software provides good tools for working smarter with others.

It can help farmers work more efficiently with farm staff, as well as assisting their relationships with anyone who is key to their farm business.

Here are five ways the new software helps farmers with communication and sharing farm information…

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm computer, farm owners, farm information, mapping, farm map, interactive farm maps, planning, working smarter

Moment of truth for under-performing ewes

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 16/06/15 14:28

Taratahi ewes: selected for bounce-back ability

At Mangarata Farm in Wairarapa they are selecting for ewes that will “bounce back” after lambing and conceive twins each year.

It’s part of fine-tuning a breeding and finishing operation that could quickly bring gains from producing more quality finishing lambs.

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, farm recording, farm record, Lamb breeding, farm management software, recording farm information, farm information, EID tags, ewe performance, scanning percentage, Mangarata Farm, Database, Ewe body condition score, Inefficient ewes, Draft list, Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Ewe scanning, Ewe replacements

How to be a happy farmer

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 12/05/15 18:00

Marlborough farmer Doug Avery has been generous in sharing his story of how he went from being a miserable farmer to a happy, confident one.

Doug was stuck “farming in a way that was never going to return anybody anything”, and he knows it’s fairly common.  “There are hundreds of farmers out there who are just dazed, going through the motions as best as they can and hoping something will change.”

He’s been speaking about this publicly because he wants others to understand what’s possible. It’s a way of thanking those who helped him.

“Nothing will change until you change”, he says, and the good news is there are people and organisations ready to help.

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Topics: farm software, farm productivity, new farm technology, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm computer, farm owners, farm information, mapping, farm map, interactive farm maps, planning

Measuring liveweights key to efficient finishing

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 21/12/14 14:46

Hawke’s Bay farmer Sam Morrah sends stock to the works every month of the year and says measuring liveweights is key to efficient finishing.

He’s set up his finishing system with electronic recording equipment for quick and easy measuring. “It’s an investment in getting information that helps us get animals up to weight as quickly and efficiently as possible,” he says.

“Keeping a close eye on how fast animals are growing means I can match feed supply with demand and book kill space so it’s there when I need it.”

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Topics: farm software, Value of measuring and monitoring your lambs, farm productivity, EID, new farm technology, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, farm recording, Farm analysis tools, Lamb finishing, lift value of lamb crops, sheep, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm information, planning, weaning, ewe performance, feed budgeting, Ohineumeri, genetics, cloud computing, sam morrah, lamb growth rates, liveweight reporting, liveweight gain

Measuring ewes at weaning pays off

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 04/12/14 21:08

Condition scoring merino ewes, Glenaan Station

Weaning is one of the critical times for measuring how ewes are doing.

For one Canterbury farmer that’s a hands-on exercise. Paul Ensor of Glenaan Station in the Rakaia Gorge has introduced regular condition scoring of his Merino ewes – and it’s paying off.

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Topics: FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, Farm analysis tools, reproductive performance, farm management software, merino ewes, condition scoring, scanning, EID tags, weaning, ewe performance, scanning percentage, Paul Ensor, Glenaan Station

Breeding focus to lift lamb value by $52,000

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 15/10/14 10:50

Lift lamb performance

For farms that are breeding and finishing, there’s a natural tension between groups of stock.

On the one hand you want to get sale stock up to good weights and on the truck, and on the other hand you are preparing breeding replacements for good performance.

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Topics: FarmIQ, farm productivity, farm technology, farm measuring and monitoring, Farm analysis tools, Lamb finishing, Lamb breeding, White Rock Mains, lift value of lamb crops, reproductive performance

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