29 May 1998

SOFTWARE SUITS ASSURANCE NEEDS

CROP assurance schemes mean growers now need to keep more comprehensive field and management records than ever. At Cereals 98 an updated software package which will help farmers do just that is due to be launched.

The new Field Management software generates the records farmers need to meet the requirements of the various quality assurance schemes, says supplier Sum-It.

Field management programs will comply with the requirements of both the Assured Combinable Crops and Scottish Quality Cereals assurance schemes.

Each field has its own record file which is updated as tasks and treatments are completed. Facilities now exist for recording growth stage, application timing and nozzle pressures when loading spray and fertiliser details.

The software also includes provision for grain store management, keeping a diary of post-harvest treatments and storing machinery calibration and maintenance records.

A rotation planner also allows previous crops and their management to be viewed within each field record, as well as allowing a look forward to future options.

"Reliable, transparent records will be increasingly important as buyers become more interested in the way produce and commodities have been produced," says Sum-It technical sales manager Ben John. "Markets need more and more data. The back of a fag packet wont do any more."

"Its not just an assurance system – its a complete field recording system, and keeping it all in one place makes good sense," says Mr John.

About three-quarters of the companys 700 existing software users subscribe £60/year to its annual software support scheme. In mid-June they will all receive updated versions of their field management software, free of charge. For other users, the upgrade will cost £100.

Price of the full management package is £500 or £250 for 15 fields or fewer, with annual software support costing £100.