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3 reasons to optimise your cropping software this winter

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Landmark Systems provide farm business management software including accounts, crop recording and livestock management software to thousands of farmers across the UK.

As autumn drilling draws to a close, are you considering how to best utilise the inevitable winter increase in office-bound hours?

Evaluating your current field record keeping could be time well spent. How do you keep records currently? For example, is it a paper or spreadsheet-based record keeping system, or perhaps a dedicated software program that you do not use confidently? 

Landmark Systems, a well renowned UK agricultural software provider, provides Geofolia – a crop recording software with mobile app, an option the company feels is well worth considering for the task. It is available on a 30 day free trial so anybody interested in setting it up, can get hands-on experience using it before they commit to purchase.

Geofolia has recently had the benefit of such an evaluation from Charlie Farrington, former Director of Pear Agri which was recently acquired by Landmark to continue the development of their web-based agronomy solution. 

“Software is like any other piece of kit in your business, you should review not only the way you use it, but also its relevance and also how it benefits your management and decision making going forward,” explains Farrington.

1. ELM evidence

One thing most farmers will be doing this winter, is considering the options available under ELM. As the move away from direct subsidy payments continues, more is known about the schemes that will be available.

Whether you are looking into the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery scheme or Landscape Recovery scheme, it is almost certain that these will not simply replace BPS income – you will need to do more and prove that you have worked to achieve the agreed outcomes to receive payment.

Prior emphasis has been on financial recording but going forward, environmental recording will be key.

Does your current record keeping system allow you to map each environmental asset you plan to manage in a scheme? Can you quickly update these maps year on year – add new margins, alter field corners and merge previously split areas?

If so, you can subsequently record and prove that you have completed the actions within an agreement for payment, whilst also treating each as profit centres.

Image: Splitting fields and creating margins in Geofolia

2. Cost management

“Understand the value of the records you keep! Those records are data, which when interpreted by you and consultants will provide the foundation to decision making – so they need to be accurate,” says Farrington, who now uses Geofolia on his own farm.  

“Even without the recent hike in fertiliser prices, managing production costs in 2022 and beyond will be more vital than ever. It is estimated that if farmers take no action to replace lost BPS income, revenues will be down by £230 per hectare on average, come 2028.”

No farmer wants to run an arable enterprise which doesn’t stand up on its own. Do you accurately know your true costs of production now – based on the actual cost of each unit of product as it is used, rather than an average of what you had in stock?

A system that can provide you with this information will further reinforce your cropping decisions.

In Geofolia, when setting up each environmental scheme area as a profit centre, you can plan activities with full costings in advance, giving you a good idea of whether the expenditure required to fulfil a scheme agreement will justify participation.

Geofolia App on screen display

Field profitability snapshots in Geofolia © Landmark Systems

3. Business efficiency

Input costs aside, every element of the farming business needs to be streamlined. Those who update records from the field, using mobile apps, could save hours sitting at the computer during or after periods of peak activity.

Information entered in real time should reduce operator downtime later, and importantly improve accuracy – no missing records, no updating from memory.

Image: Updating records and stock on the Geofolia app

Is your current system found wanting?

Having considered the above, are there elements of your record keeping system that could be improved? Perhaps you are considering alternatives, but are concerned about time it will take to implement and learn a new system?

While there is no denying that some time will need to be spent setting up a new system, modern crop recording software packages like Geofolia are quick to set up.

Field outlines downloaded from the RPA can be imported into the system in minutes and a morning spent with an expert will have you using the software confidently.

“With the next two to three months typically being a quieter period, it’s an ideal time to make the change and get the year’s activities to date entered up,” adds Farrington who has already helped 40% of the users of Pear Agri’s recording software upgrade to Geofolia.

Geofolia – the facts

  • Trusted by over 30,000 farmers in the UK and Europe.
  • 45% increase in UK users year on year.
  • Up to 60% cheaper than some competitor software.
  • Mapping, stock management, pesticides database and crop satellite analysis included as standard.

Geofolia is currently available on a 30 day free trial, during which you can import your own field outlines and add your own records.

Request your trial here

Landmark will also be exhibiting at CropTec in Peterborough on 24 & 25 November (Stand 1.52).

Register for your free tickets

For more information or to set up a trial, visit or call 01798 877100 to speak to your local consultant.