FarmIQ Blog

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

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

Easier farm bookwork

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 21/06/16 19:40

Southland farmer Megan Vande Sandt went looking for a new way of recording farm information and has found software that fits.

Megan and her husband Justin run a 240ha drystock and grazing operation on the outskirts of Mossburn in northern Southland, which includes grazing dairy heifers for 21 months as well as leasing out Jersey sires.

Like many farming partnerships they divvy up the duties, with Justin focusing more on running the day-to-day farming and Megan running the bookwork side of things, as well as doing seasonal work off the farm organising calf contracts. She makes sure the right information is being recorded for any farm activity or event.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, new farm technology, farm technology, paddock performance, farm recording, paddocks, cropping history, cropping, farm assurance, farm record, animal health, farm management software, recording farm information, farm computer, paddock history, farm information, phone app, liveweights, farm business, mobile phone, grazing

Keep a realtime stock rec

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 08/06/16 11:38

Keeping a realtime stock reconciliation online means it will show you what's actually on the farm at any time.

FarmIQ helps keep your tallies up to dateThat makes monthly or end-of-year reporting easy.

Now is a particularly good time to get set up for this, with the new financial year starting.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, Beef, farm management software, recording farm information, farm computer, farm information, lambs, stock tallies, Ewe replacements, farm business, trading lambs, grazing

Farming through drought easier with software

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 20/05/16 10:00

A farmer struck by two years of drought says farm management software is helping him make timely decisions and get better results.

Rob Lawson farms with his brother Willie and father Jim on the 2300ha family farm Moana, just north of Dunedin.

While many parts of the East Coast seem to have dodged the predicted El Nino, Rob says it has been “very typical” in their area over the past two years. In fact the rainfall has even been lower this year than the worst drought his father has experienced before now – in 1998 and 1999. “That’s East Coast farming, and that’s what we’ve got to contend with,” Rob says.

Despite the severity of the drought, so far they have not lowered their capital stock numbers at all. Rob puts that down to close monitoring of stock.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, farm computer, farm information, mapping, ewe performance, lambs, Ewe replacements, farm business, trading lambs, drought

Farmer saves time and no worries

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 16/05/16 16:48

Young sheep and beef farmer Amanda Anderson had a painful experience of losing all her farm information. 

But now she's got it securely stored and is saving time too, with new farm management software.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm computer, compliance, farm information, farm business, communication

Farmers use software for health & safety

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 04/04/16 16:29

Communication in farm workplaces has become more important with the Health and Safety at Work Act that came into effect on 4 April.

The new legislation has mostly not altered farmers’ responsibility to manage risk and ensure safety on farms. The main difference is now almost everyone on the farm has a role.

This comes down to communication, and farmers are looking to new farm management software to help.

Two farmers say software helps them work with staff and visitors to improve safety and make sure there are “no surprises”.

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Topics: farm software, FarmIQ, new farm technology, farm technology, farm recording, farm record, farm management software, recording farm information, saving time, farm contractors, farm computer, compliance, farm information, mapping, farm staff, farm compliance, farm business, hazards, health and safety software, incidents, training, Health and Safety at Work Act 2016, risk, visitors, health and safety, communication, emergency plan, team meetings, contractors

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

Farm adviser feels positivity about sheep

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 17/11/15 10:42

Working with new farm management software gets farm adviser Graham Butcher mixing with people who are very positive about the future of sheep farming.

Advising sheep, beef and deer farmers is Graham’s specialty: “I decided dairy was not my cup of tea.”

Based in Gore, Graham has been on the steering committee for farmers Barry and Julie Crawford’s technology project since it started in 2011.

It has brought together people who are ambitious for their industry, he says. “It is really good to be working with farmers who are so enthusiastic about the future of sheep."

The software that has been developed out of the project can help advisers like him work more effectively with farmers, he says.

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Topics: farm technology, farm recording, cropping, Lamb finishing, sheep, farm management software, sustainable farming, Southland, farm adviser, red clover, targets

Farmer puts away spreadsheets

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 14/10/15 17:37


Canterbury farm manager Hamish Chamberlain has put aside his spreadsheets this season. Instead, he is using online farm management software to help him manage finishing around 12,000 stock units.

He’s also using the software to produce the new kind of maps required for Farm Environment planning.

“I was looking for a system to simplify things,” says Hamish, who runs a 520ha property near Cheviot with one shepherd.

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Topics: Value of measuring and monitoring your lambs, fertiliser, farm recording, animal health, Lamb finishing, lift value of lamb crops, farm management software, paddock history, mapping, farm map, lambs, pasture covers, lamb growth rates, sustainable farming, Canterbury, spreadsheets, trading lambs, sales, purchases, chemical, meat company

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

Quick & easy farm compliance - and more

Posted by Team at FarmIQ on 18/09/15 11:39

Sheep and beef farmer Marcus Edge has found a quick and easy way to present the right information for farm assurance and compliance audits.

He has changed his farm recording this past year, and the key has been using online farm management software with a mobile phone app.

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Topics: farm recording, farm assurance, farm management software, paddock history, phone app, finishing, Ewe replacements, sustainable farming, farm compliance, Wairarapa, Marcus Edge, NAIT, information, mobile phone, one less thing to do, quick, easy, audits, diary

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

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