Daniel Jacobs is a commercial farmer of corn (mielies), sunflower and cover crops in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is in the process of migrating his farming technique from “no-till” farming to incorporate more regenerative farming practices. In addition, he is also commercially farms with a number of cattle breeds, such Santa Gertrudes, Bonsmara and Nguni cattle, utilising an intensive grazing system also known as strip grazing.
Daniel has been using fieldmargin for one year to set day-day tasks and store farm information including field records, animal locations and rainfall monitoring.
“I’ve told all of my neighbours about fieldmargin, it is the app that farmers have been waiting for. I have really enjoyed using the app and find it much easier to use than other software I have tried previously.”
By attaching notes, jobs and tasks to fields Daniel has started to build up a field history that can be viewed instantly. He also gets a reminder when jobs need to be done. Daniel saves details of products and rates that he has applied to the fields. He also attaches photographs to notes to have a visual record of land over time.
“Once I record the data I can get an instant overview of conditions on my farm. This app is extremely practical for use in the field. I like that you can add as much information as you like to each task. Other software requires a lot of specific information that I do not need and do not have time to add.”
Daniel uses fieldmargin’s monitoring sites to record rain readings and animal numbers. He has rain gauges throughout his farm and collects data every week.
“Instead of using paper or notebooks I can add readings directly to my phone. The data is then shared instantly to the web app. It is very easy to use and I feel good that everything is saved in the same place.
Over the last couple of months Daniel has been using Field Health on his farm to monitor his crop health using NDVI satellite imagery. This has allowed him to spot problem areas and assess if improvements or applications to crops are working.
“The imagery from Field Health has given me an idea about what goes on in my fields and also given me an indication of yield. It was really useful to compare the two maps function to see how the plant mass changes over the season. From the imagery I have seen damage from rats in sunflower fields and also spotted mistakes during planting. After highlighting problem areas with the Satellite imagery I can use a drone to go scouting details of the damage.”
Spotting issues early can have a positive impact on the farm’s financial bottom line. Daniel is very keen on utilising all types of technology on his farm including drones and GPS tracking devices for livestock and tractors.
“In the future I would love it if all the technologies could merge, currently I am very happy using fieldmargin, I use the app every day.”
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