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Thread: Management software for cropping records

  1. #1
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    Management software for cropping records

    Can anyone advise on a suitable software package to record crop data,costs,gross margins etc. Currently doing this on Excel but want one system to handle everything and simplify what I am doing. Also need something that will tie in with farm data maps etc as i am going down the variable fert spreading route.

    Thinking about Farmplan Gatekeeper, is that the best around?

    Thankyou for any info

  2. #2
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    Re: Management software for cropping records

    The latest Gatekeeper update has included a change to the T's & C's that allows RBI (Farmers Weekly parent company) to benchmark your farm and also sell your data to third parties. There was apparently an opt out but they are using aggregated data from users for this. Seems like a great way of providing costs of production to buyers to me but there we go. A bit more about it here

    More on the other side too

    Cropwalker can do all of your requirements I think and there's no mention from them yet of flogging off your data.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  3. #3
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    Re: Management software for cropping records

    Both Cropwalker and Gatekeeper are archaic pieces of software and so inflexible to use it's a farmers worst software nightmare personified, with luck I will have access to something else in a few years. In the meantime I curse every time I do a recommendation.

    Both have pros and cons. Can only suggest you have a go on both and decide which one winds you up the least.

  4. #4
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    Re: Management software for cropping records

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Both Cropwalker and Gatekeeper are archaic pieces of software and so inflexible to use it's a farmers worst software nightmare personified, with luck I will have access to something else in a few years. In the meantime I curse every time I do a recommendation.

    Both have pros and cons. Can only suggest you have a go on both and decide which one winds you up the least.
    What are your thoughts on the sharing of users data by RBI then? Whilst I'm not surprised they are trying to monetise the information they are holding I do think some of the concerns users have are very valid.

    We use CropWalker but only in a very basic way, I've not got the patience to keep it up to date with prices, stock control etc as it gets out of hand so easily but the same can be said for a lot of the other farm management software too. Hopefully the next step in the development of all software will be to address this?
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  5. #5
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    Re: Management software for cropping records

    How detailed information do you want in the hands of your customers and suppliers? Or regulators?

    If your customers know your costs, they can try to drive the price they pay down to reduce your profit but still keep you in business. Same with suppliers, driving prices up.

    The same argument falls to regulators.

    In today's global economy, information that can be turned into knowledge is the most valuable commodity in the marketplace. if you give your information away for free, then . . .

  6. #6
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    Re: Management software for cropping records

    Quote Originally Posted by foxbox View Post
    What are your thoughts on the sharing of users data by RBI then? Whilst I'm not surprised they are trying to monetise the information they are holding I do think some of the concerns users have are very valid.

    We use CropWalker but only in a very basic way, I've not got the patience to keep it up to date with prices, stock control etc as it gets out of hand so easily but the same can be said for a lot of the other farm management software too. Hopefully the next step in the development of all software will be to address this?
    Muddyboots are not interested in any major changes to their program, they are far more interested in developing a tablet/cloud based design which is a bit scary. They are saying it will allow data to be shared more readily between farmer, agronomist and contractors, but that data will be in the cloud, I'm not so hot on the idea myself.

    I do not see why people should be sharing data whatsoever, much less with RBI or any software company. Your data belongs to you, and I would not share anyone's agronomic records with anyone besides the client, certainly what is in my laptop is stored on it, and is accessed by no one but me.

    That said, tonnes of farmers are more than willing to hand Promar their data or do that crop benchmarking thing the HGCA do, I have no clue why you would do this at all. I dislike any and all industry cling ons and treat all of them as highly suspect, particularly those that are funded by mandatory levies, or worse, are actual quangos funded by the tax payer. Of course this is just a personal grudge although it does give me a certain perverse pleasure to know I am routinely seeing people who obliterate benchmarking or costing type efforts you read in the press, but there you go.

    The whole idea of on the fly recommendations using an Ipad to me sounds like a pain in the ass since getting a 3G signal on a phone is bad enough in my area. I quite like wondering around crops all day and then doing recs when I get home.

    As I said, both programs have good and bad sides. There is a lot of stuff built into them that even I cannot be arsed to use, how anyone does costing data and prices and stocks with it I have no idea, the thought of that gives me a migrane. As I said, with luck, I will have access to a third party piece of software with procheck (procheck is third party and required due to the legalities and insurance purposes of it all) bolted on which will make life a lot easier in future. Maybe they will make this same product available to growers in a cut down and highly simplified version, they company in question should do if they have any sense.

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