As an agronomist, close collaboration with your clients is key to providing them with the support they need to improve farm productivity and meet their business goals.
Technology that you, the farmer and the farm team enjoy using can help towards this, and also save time and reduce the opportunity for error.
By having all the farm data in a place everyone can easily access and update; queries can be answered in real time, plans can be amended and information is always up to date. This means there is less back and forth by phone and email to check what has been done and records won’t get lost.
fieldmargin is an easy-to-use farm management software which works on your phone via our Android and iOS apps or on your computer using the browser-based app. It combines a digital farm map, field work including input rates and yields, scouting notes, livestock grazing records, and satellite and drone imagery.
This means that you have an up-to-date farm and cropping map for each farm that you work with in the palm of your hand when you are in the field.
If you need to look up a field’s cropping history, past operations or measurements they are just a tap away. You can log observations as you walk the fields with pictures and locations to use as you put together recommendations.
You can create recommendations for all field work including spraying jobs, fertiliser application and drilling. The integrated pesticide database makes it quick to add products and fertilizer nutrient content makes planning a target application a breeze.
Jobs you set up are immediately accessible by the farmer on their phone or laptop and can be assigned and marked as complete with just a few taps. This means you have a record of what work got completed and when the next time you visit the farm. The farmer can also add other field work such as cultivations so everyone has a full history.
Farmers can also use comments on jobs and notes to ask questions. For example on a spraying job about what the conditions need to be like, or make a note of an issue they spot in a crop.
You can even use satellite imagery with NDVI analysis to identify problem areas when you aren’t on farm to ensure issues don’t get missed and your time on farm is used as efficiently as possible.
Reporting tools such as yields, field gross margins and nutrient management help the farmer to assess how the season is going to inform ongoing management.
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
Mapping a farm
Information in fieldmargin centers around the digital farm map.
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.
When you are using the farm map on your phone you can see a blue dot of where you are when you tap on the crosshairs symbol (like Google Maps) so it’s easy to see which field you are in when you are on an unfamiliar farm. You can also get directions to a field by opening a field and then tapping the ‘get directions’ icon.
+ Setting field crops and planning rotations
Inviting team members
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 either do this as soon as you make a farm so that the farm owner can help set up the map or once the farm has been set up so that all they need to do is just update field records and notes.
+ How to invite people to a farm
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 (using the Pesticide Database with reference numbers and actives) and fertilizers (with NPK content). You can also attach files to a job so if you have a pdf recommendation for an operation you can upload it.
When you add a job, you can tag who needs to complete it and even set a due date. They will then get a notification on their phone. They can ask questions using comments, for example if they want to know if it is possible to substitute a different spray.
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.
Everyone on the farm can see this information straight away so you will know if a recommendation was followed through, instead of only finding out a herbicide application was missed when you visit a field and it is full of weeds! 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 you are out scouting to look up information such as when it last had a fungicide application or the drilling date.
+ Using the pesticide database
+ Recording field completion including weather conditions
You can quickly record scouting observations 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.
This is also a good way for the grower and farm team to let you know about issues that they have noticed which you can plan to look at on your next visit. After all we know the sprayer driver is the one who sees where all the problems are!
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.
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 farm strategy and the pros and cons of different cropping or treatment regimens with a client because you can quickly highlight which fields or crops have been good or poor performers in a very visual way.
+ Yield recording and reporting
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 can use this to pick out areas which need investigation during crop walks to help you use your time more 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 when discussing the cost impact and treatment options with a client.
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 can help to identify the causes of issues or trends in a field.
+ Using the Drone Deploy integration
If you are working on a farm with livestock the farmer can also use fieldmargin to record where their animal herds are grazing. fieldmargin automatically calculates how long a field has been grazed and how long it has had to recover. This helps to understand grazing pressure if making recommendations for pasture management or even for cover crops which are grazed with livestock.
Are you interested in using fieldmargin for agronomy? Book a demo session to discuss your needs with us.
You can also get started trying fieldmargin for free. Sign up and start setting up a farm here:
You can find out more about our plans and pricing here.
If you have any questions or need help getting started you can email us at email@example.com