Growing Stronger with Data
Growing Stronger With Data.
In this third instalment discussing the importance of data-led decision making on farms, we are showing how farm data can be utilised to support business growth.
Growth is a priority for any business, and a farming enterprise is no different. Agriculture is a commodity-based industry, and propelling your farm forwards in today’s climate may seem challenging.
Many answers lie within pre-existing farm data, which can illuminate growth opportunities for your business and highlight areas where you can maximise potential.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Any type of business requires a plan for growth, including budgets, timelines and margins. Essentially, accurate data is required to support the decision making required to achieve growth.
Being able to truly understand the strengths and weaknesses of your farm operation is paramount to growing your business sustainably. This is why the team at YAGRO conducted SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis with a farming customer recently, helping them ascertain what is and what is not working for them.
The data revealed a 60% variability in field performance over 5 years, with significant implications for their gross margin. Working towards the goal of business growth, the farmer was able use this historical data and the insights provided to pivot their decision making – adjusting practices today to support expansion in the future.
This spread in yield is something our Data Team explored more broadly in last month’s data story on Intra-farm Variation.
The same farmer utilised YAGRO’s accessible data analytics to decide upon growing Milling Vs Feed Wheat, in the context of enabling growth for the business. It was deduced that purely growing Milling Wheat could increase revenue (by £53k per annum) without acquiring more land in the short term.
These insights caused the farm owner to remark “this is going to be essential for looking at our performance in detail.”
The analysis was supported by opting to take part in a YAGRO Virtual Group – where likeminded growers choose to share their insights and best practices. In this instance, a topic of discussion was the milling spec variety KWS Cranium and how to maintain a low cost of production whilst producing premium grain.
This data was taken forwards by our customer and the insights suggested that an investment in on-site grain storage was viable to support their shifting varietal choices.
New on-farm infrastructure is an example of a decision that can be undertaken confidently following accurate data analysis, which would lead to business growth.
Should you be approaching banks or other lenders for capital, you will need to be able to provide solid proof of your performance. The cleanest and clearest way to gather, refine and present this would be through year-on-year data analysis.
The data provides actionable insights which you use to adjust decision making until you reach a level of performance at which you may securely approach lenders to fund your growth. Your data can then be presented as proof, and used to substantiate your viability for any business loans and grants you may wish to acquire.
Another YAGRO farmer has recently utilised their data to support a farm tenancy proposal. When a nearby block of land became available for tender, they saw an opportunity to grow their business and expand their operation.
YAGRO successfully ingested all their Greenlight and Gatekeeper data, cleaning and structuring it, transforming the data into accessible insights. This enabled a coherent approach for the farmer to analyse cropping rotations, budgeting costs and the viability of new environmental schemes.
They were able to visualise the Cost of Production for all their crops, track and justify spending to stakeholders and leverage historical data for analysis to support the farm tenancy proposal.
The farmer was able to collate all their relevant farm data to facilitate the submission of the proposal. Later commenting to our team “it was value at my fingertips.”
By being mindful of growth as a business goal, your data can orientate you towards this desired outcome. Data tells the tale of your farm. Your strengths, your weaknesses and your opportunities for refinement and growth are all illuminated during accurate data analysis.
Fortunately, this needn’t take days pouring over a boring spreadsheet, rather allowing YAGRO to structure your data & generate detailed, visualised reports for you is both fast and hugely empowering!
Embrace data-driven decision making to unlock the full potential of your farm and enable sustainable growth for your business. We believe opportunities for growth are in every field – they just need to be found.
Charlie is one of YAGRO’s approachable Customer Success Managers. He grew up on his family’s arable farm in Suffolk and brings hands-on experience, having been employed as head-foreman on a working farm before spending 5 years at NFU Mutual. Charlie studied Agriculture at Writtle College and is well qualified to drive value in the industry he loves. His day-to-day role involves maintaining close relationships with our farming customers and helping our partners find solutions swiftly through his personable approach. Outside of work, Charlie plays hockey and enjoys long walks in the countryside with his wife and Labrador.