Agronomists play a key role in many farms. So much so that some people joke a farmer is more likely to leave their spouse than their agronomist!
Working with your agronomist on fieldmargin can save you time by streamlining communications and reducing repetition of work if they set up their recommendations on your farm as field jobs. This means there is no chance of email attachments getting lost. Fieldmargin reporting means that the chemicals you need to order for planned jobs are calculated for you, ready for you to get quotes.
When it’s time to get started on the job you or your team will just need to open the job on the app and tick off the fields as you go. No printing job sheets! Since your agronomist can see this as well they can see straight away how far you have got or if conditions mean you can’t get a spray on.
All your field operations will then be automatically part of your field history and reports for when you assess farm performance.
If you have a question about a recommendation or note your agronomist has made you can add a comment to the Field Job which they will receive in real time. This will mean that discussion or changes to plans is visible on one place and won’t be lost in emails or text conversations.
This also makes things more efficient from your agronomist’s side.
When they visit your farm they will have an up-to-date farm and cropping map in the palm of their hand, including cropping history, past operations and measurements you may have taken. This means they will have all the context they need when assessing crop performance.
You can even mark out problem areas or things that you have questions about as you see them using notes. If you add some pictures your agronomist may be able to answer the question remotely, but otherwise they can make sure to look at these areas when they are on the farm.
Using Field Health satellite imagery with NDVI analysis problem areas can be identified ahead of time to ensure issues don’t get missed.
With fieldmargin, all data is stored on the cloud, meaning that all devices and users that have access to a farm are up to date with no need for manual syncing. The mobile apps are designed to work offline. You can update information and complete work without connection and then when you have internet access again everything will be backed up.
You can find a demo video of what fieldmargin can do here.
It’s very quick to get started, all you need to do to sign up is go to notes.fieldmargin.com on your laptop or download the fieldmargin app on your phone, register for an account and then you will be prompted to make your first farm.
This article covers how you can use fieldmargin for
A shared farm map
Information in fieldmargin centers around the digital farm map. Sharing this with your agronomist will help them when navigating around the farm. You can also use it to let them know about any hazards. They will also be able to see the layout of your crops and past cropping.
Once you create a farm you can quickly set up field boundaries by:
- Importing them from existing map files, including shape files, kml files or RPA boundaries.
- Drawing them using our ‘autoboundary’ tool which picks out the edges of a field from satellite imagery.
- Drawing around them.
Once you have your fields mapped you can set up crops using field usages. You can also add features for additional map information such as infrastructure, buildings, or gateways. If you are working with a farm that is in a Countryside Stewardship scheme or similar you can use sub-fields to record field divisions such as margins or beetle banks.
Inviting your agronomist
fieldmargin is at its most powerful when all the farm team uses it. This means that everyone can update records and you will have an up-to-date history of what has happened in each field when you visit a farm.
You can invite your agronomist either by sending them a link to join the farm or by adding their email. They will need to make a fieldmargin account if they don’t have one already (it’s a good idea to check in case they use the app with other farmers). Once that has been done they can accept your invite.
Field Work and Recommendations
Field Jobs can be used for planning and recording everything that happens in the field from cultivation, through to spraying, fungicide application and harvesting. On each Field Job you can add input rates for things such as seed, pesticides and fertilizers (with NPK content).
To save you time, you can ask your agronomist to set up and spray or fertilizer applications as Field Jobs in fieldmargin so that they are part of you and your team’s digital job list. Pesticides added from the Pesticide Database include the registration number, pesticide type and actives so that you will have all the data stored that you need for compliance inspections.
If they have another software they they use for recommendations they can attach the pdf generated by that to the job. They can also use comments to add any additional important information such as required growth stage.
As they add jobs to your farm you will get a notification on your phone and see it in the activity list. You can even ask questions using comments, for example if it is possible to substitute a different product.
As work gets done, all the operator needs to do is open the job on their phone or tablet and tick off each field as they complete it. The completion date/time will automatically be included with the person who completed it. There is also an option to add a start time and weather conditions.
All field jobs become part of the field history, a timeline of everything that was done in a field. This makes it very quick and easy when your agronomist comes to walk your crops to look up information such as when it last had a fungicide application or the drilling date, saving phone calls to the farm office.
Scouting observations can be quickly recorded using notes. These use your phone’s GPS to drop a pin where you are, and you can add photos and descriptions so that when you get to planning your recommendations for a farm it’s easy to remember what the problems were. You can organise notes by attaching them to a field or by filtering to only show notes on an area of the map to help with field recommendations.
If your agronomist adds their scouting notes to fieldmargin it will give you a clear picture of what they have noticed and any issues that need to be addressed without them writing a separate report.
They will also be able to see any notes or measurements that you have recorded so that they have full context.
You can even add in things like soil and tissue tests as files attached to notes.
Reporting and costings
You can get a quick overview of the inputs and yields for a field each year using the field input summary from the field view.
The reporting section on the web app gives more in-depth reports. Input summary shows the total of each input used on the farm. Input report gives a breakdown for each input of which fields it has been used on, the rate per hectare and total applied. Yield report shows yields per field is a bar chart so it’s easy to pull out poor performers.
You can change the filtering on this from ‘All jobs’ to show only incomplete jobs. This will give you a handy summary of the inputs that you need to order.
This can be downloaded as a csv to send to suppliers for quotes. Pesticides added using the Pesticide Database have the registration number included with them so it will be completely clear which product is required.
If you add in your input and output costs fieldmargin calculates the Gross Margin for each field as well as an Input Cost Breakdown so you can compare spend by input type.
Inputs don’t just have to be seed, spray and fertiliser. Some farmers choose to record things like the machinery used in each job to get more complete farm costs.
These can be useful when discussing management plans with your agronomist so they have full context. It also means that when they suggest a spray you can immediately see the impact that would have on your bottom line and do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it is the right decision.
Field Health and additional map data
Field Health provides regularly updated satellite imagery with NDVI analysis. This shows the level of vegetation across a field with red being low vegetation or bare earth, and dark green being high levels of vegetation.
You and your agronomist can use this to pick out areas which need investigation during crop walks to make sure their time on farm is used efficiently. You can also use it to measure the extent of a problem by drawing around a problem area with a note to help you assess the potential impact of a problem vs the cost of treatment.
fieldmargin also integrates with Drone Deploy so you can overlay drone maps and has the option to upload other maps such as hand-drawn drainage maps or yield maps. Seeing these alongside a field’s history and scouting notes gives your advisor more context that they can use when working out what might be causing a problem.
If you have livestock on your farm your agronomist will also be able to see grazing history. For pasture management they can factor this into recommendations. If you are grazing livestock as part of an arable rotation they will be able to factor the nutrients from their dung and urine in any fertilizer recommendations.
You can also get started trying fieldmargin for free. Sign up and start setting up a farm here:
If you have any questions or need help getting started you can email us at email@example.com