How to Develop Custom Farm Management Software?
Farming has advanced from being just an activity to produce food to a business venture. Farmers and agriculturists are now leveraging cutting-edge technologies to address challenges forced by changing environment today. Farm management software is one such example. Empowering farmers to manage field activities, finances, and inventors while gaining insights into the farming performance, farm management software is emerging as a must-have for agriculture businesses to thrive.
However, despite some popular options, businesses are turning to custom farm management software development owing to benefits such as tailor-made solutions, the ability to integrate quickly, and of course, a technical team to help you overcome technological challenges as and when you need.
If you are one of these businesses and still haven’t figured out how to build farm management software. Here are all the answers.
What is Farm Management Software?
Farm management software is a digital platform that centralizes, optimizes, and automates the production activities of farms. Farm management software is efficient at solving overlapping production and yield challenges. These software solutions help farmers and agriculture firms to overcome the challenges faced during farm-related tasks and responsibilities strategically. It automatically records and stores the farm data while monitoring the farm activities over a period of time. Additionally, the system can track business expenses and farm budgets to support informed financial decision-making, farm planning, and procurement functionality.
Here are the fundamental operations that farmers and agriculture specialists can perform with farm management software:
- Track and gain insights into daily farming operations and activities
- Leverage tools to improve production efficiency and profitability of the farm
- Track and monitor field workers’ efficiency
- Allow seamless communication between field workers.
- Manage crops
What are the Types of Farm Management Software?
There are multiple types of farm management software based on the business requirements. You may even combine these into one for comprehensive management. Let’s discuss the types here:
1. Budgeting and Forecasting Software for Farms
This software is designed for planning financial resources in the farming business. While enabling farmers, accountants, and bankers to work in collocation and access real-time financial data, budgeting and forecasting software help forecast revenue and expenses.
2. Commodity Management Software
Commodity management software, as the name suggests, is used for managing commodity inventories. It tracks and reports aspects such as logistics and finances to enable profitable sales and marketing.
3. Precision and Agriculture Software
Aiming to make farming activities more accurate, precision software ensures profitability, efficiency, and sustainability by making data accurate. It can integrate with other cutting-edge technologies such as drones, GPS-based soil sampling, and automated hardware.
4. Livestock and Mixed Farming Software
Livestock and mixed farming software allow farmers to record livestock throughout the lifecycle. These software solutions offer functionality to track animal inventory, pasture rotations, grazing, and feeding plans to offer financial tracking.
5. Broadacre Cropping Software
These systems are specifically designed for crop management to monitor and optimize crop production. It helps you create audits and compliance reports while offering a seamless medium for the farmers, workers, and agronomists to collaborate.
What are the Key Advantages of Farm Management Software for Agriculture Businesses?
If you still have doubts about farm management software development, let’s clear the air for you. Here are the key benefits that farm management software can offer.
Better Planning and Tracking
Farm management software enables deep insights into current farming activities, helping farmers to make informed decisions about the crops. Bringing detailed information on a single screen suggests farmers when and how to conduct the crop activities, take pest control measures, and apply suitable fertilizers.
Save Investments on Labor and Input
As farm management software gives a holistic view of the business and operational data, it allows you to improve efficiency and boost the ROI by optimizing Investment in labour and input.
Better Risk Management
Farmers also deal with external factors that are not under their control — for example, weather conditions, diseases, market demands, etc. However, earlier detection can help farmers to have better control and make decisions accordingly. An efficient farm management platform can garner real-time data about weather, soil health, and pest/ disease occurrence under certain circumstances. Alerting farmers on these helps them optimize their activities to take necessary measures and increase yields and returns.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Farm management software helps farmers ensure high quality and safe food for the consumers by ensuring traceability and compliance with Global Agricultural Practices (GAP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Handling Practices (GHP), etc.
Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Farm management software ensures optimized water usage and decreased fertilizers and pesticides, contributing to responsible and sustainable farming practices.
How to Develop Custom Farm Management Software?
At Matellio, we use a phased approach to build farm management software that takes care of everything from ideas to product development and deployment. Even after the successful project release, our teams stay in touch with you for any queries or concerns you may have. Let’s describe the process for you.
Step 1: Discovery Phase
a. Understanding Your Requirements
This is the step in which you, as a business owner, are required to communicate your requirements and business challenges accurately in order to ensure that the strategy we come up with aligns with them. While our business consultants are right by your side to ensure that you harness the full potential of your Investment in farm management software development, understanding your key business challenges is a must for us.
Some of the critical challenges that a farm management software can solve include: improving the value chain KPIs, profit, traceability, and data centralization. Once we are clear on your requirements, we help you get into the technicalities and ensure the right software development.
b. Proposal Delivery
Once we have a clear picture of your requirements, we build our proposal, which includes a brief of all our services that will be provided to you. It will also include the time and cost estimation for the project as well. The time and cost estimation will be based on some or all of the following factors:
- Technology to be used in the development
- Required team to build the farm management software
- The features and their complexities
- Platforms that the software will be accessible on
- The engagement models
Once you give us a go, our team kicks off the software development process.
c. Finalizing the Technology Stack
You have given us the idea and approved our plan, now our teamwork on helping you build these ideas into solutions using cutting-edge technologies. While there can be multiple options, our experts recommend the following technologies
Postman, Amazon SES, Amazon IoT, Ambassador, DevOps, Docker, GitLab, Kubernetes, Grafana, Sentry, Amazon CloudWatch and Envoy
Note: This list can vary based on custom requirements and features to be implemented.
d. Finalizing the Team
Based on the technology stack, we’ll help you meet the right experts in our team. Generally, it must include:
- Custom software developer (based on the technology)
- Front-end developers
- Backend developers
- Cloud implementation experts
- QA and testing engineers
e. Wireframe Development and SRS
Once the groundwork is done, we create wireframes for the software to demonstrate how the application will work and deliver in real-time. These wireframes will be a part of the Software Requirements Specification that will lay down the application’s working and what you can expect as the end product. After you have approved the document, we will begin with the next steps.
Step 2: Custom Farm Management Software Development: Panel Implementation
Generally, the farm management software combines the features of all the following panels:
- Budgeting and Forecasting Software for Farms
- Commodity Management Software
- Precision Agriculture Software
- Livestock and Mixed Farming Software
- Broadacre Cropping Software
Therefore, the development phase will include the feature implementation of all these.
a. Budgeting and Forecasting Features
This will be centered around the developing features like:
- Production and Tracking: Track livestock movements, crops, and production along with expenses.
- Budgeting and Planning: Seamlessly collects historical data for accurate planning so that you can focus on your core business.
- Stock Valuation Calculation: Easily calculate market and taxation valuation in a few clicks.
- Financial Reporting: Find all the reports you need in a few clicks with efficient reporting.
- Multi-farm Management: Manage forecasts and budgets for multi-farm businesses and garner reports.
b. Land Management Features
Manage your farms easily with the following features:
- Land Mapping and GPS: Gain site-based data mapping with accurate yield forecasting with the powerful GIS and GPS.
- AI-based Climate and Factoring: Smart controllers and sensor-based software solutions to gain data about the temperature, light, weather conditions, and more to make intelligent farming decisions.
- Automated Irrigation Management: Irrigation System Management: Smarten the hydraulic systems to strategize the irrigation patterns and optimize the water usage.
c. Livestock Management Features
Manage inventory and livestock with ease using livestock management features:
- Manage Inventory: Automated inventory management to gain complete visibility and manage prices.
- Livestock Tracking: Integrate GIS/ GPS mapping interfaces to use RFID, EID, embedded ear tag sensors to track livestock locations.
- Manage Cattle: Forecast stock rates, enable planned grazing, compare pasture production output, and create corresponding reports.
- Feed Mill Automation: Optimize ranch and farm livestock’ nutritional intake to ensure VFD compliance.
- Pasture Grazing: Record yields and annual pasture growth using advanced GIS and Geo-fencing to get real-time cattle movement visibility.
d. Broadacre Cropping Features
- Equipment Servicing: Functionality to conduct regular equipment inspection and generate reports
- Crop planning: Automate irrigation and optimize plantation using farm mapping features.
- Manage Labor: Quickly schedule, report or track employees and their efficiency.
- CRM Features: Automate marketing and streamline lead conversion while gaining behavioral insights.
e. Precision Farming Features
Maximize the business ROI with modules for harvesting and crop management-based and decision support systems.
- Agriculture Monitoring Systems: Integrate agriculture monitoring sensors, camera surveillance, irrigation systems, and reports to visualize crop status in real-time.
- Soil Sensor Applications: Measure temperature, pH, moisture, nutrients, and much more related to the soil to maximize the benefits of agriculture activities.
d. Additional Features
Build features that would make your software solution much more advanced and help you reap more benefits.
- Drone technology integration
- Drone analysis integration
- Drone-based field mapping
- UAV data processing software
- UAV livestock solutions
- Smart farming software
- Aerial crop scouting software
Step 3: QA and Deployment
Once the software is ready, our QA experts apply their best technical acumen to test it for accuracy. They create the use cases in collaboration with the development team and identify every problem that might cause a hiccup during usage.
After the development team has implemented remedies to all the problems, the QA team carries out the testing, and the quality solution is handed over to you. After your approval, it is deployed for the users.
Matellio: Your Partner in Journey to Agricultural Innovation Deployment
At Matellio, we empower global brands to address their technological challenges with digital transformation solutions. Having experience in building on GIS and GPS technologies, we offer value-added software development services for agriculture businesses that include:
- Custom software development
- Mobile app development
- IoT-based software development
- AI-based software development
- And many more.
Our experts make technical complexities easier for you and implement solutions based on agile principles. Still doubtful? Share your requirements and avail yourself of a FREE 30-minute consultation to experience a smooth start.
Originally published at https://www.matellio.com/ on July 28, 2021