Time Well Spent


Time well spent: Maximising your productivity through effective data management.  
We sat down with Will Oliver, Farmers Weekly Arable Farmer of the Year 2022, at Groundswell to get his take on how much time should be spent on farm data.  

In agriculture, time is of the essence. A farmer has an enormous list of jobs at any given time of year. They must wear many hats and perform a huge variety of tasks to manage day-to-day operations; including crop cultivation, machinery maintenance, record keeping and financial & staff management. Juggling these priorities requires constant attention and time-management. This results in farmers often feeling time-poor and hard pressed to find a spare moment across the working week.  

Given the demanding nature of farming, analysing farm data may sometimes get overlooked, as there is always another pressing task that demands attention on-farm. However, according to Will, “the time taken to manage data is certainly rewarded with value”. Largely because utilising your farm data leads to insights which enhances your ability to allocate your time more efficiently. 

In short, although it may be viewed as time consuming in the near term, it’s evident that the proper management of farm data is a strategic investment that can provide great benefits moving forwards. Be that making decisions regarding SFI’s, input allocations & timings, drill windows, variety choice … the potential is vast.  

You and Your Data 

What amount of time can you justify spending on the ability to make accurate and informed decisions? It’s hard to quantify. But what is certain is that the time-to-benefit ratio of fully utilising farm data through the YAGRO platform is firmly in the farmer’s favour. Indeed, “you can’t put a price on making an informed decision”, says Will.  

Adding “I wasn’t handling my data management at all before I joined YAGRO”, as there are always other pressing tasks. Will now attests that “once you get into the mindset of collecting data, it all becomes a lot easier”. 

Enormous amounts of data are already collected on farms as a necessity for record keeping, meaning the first part of the journey towards benefiting from your data is already complete. The next step is far less time consuming but provides enormous value - having YAGRO analyse the data on your behalf.  

Your pre-existing data can be presented back to you visually, providing actionable insights and enabling you to reach informed decisions at speed. Will agrees, stating that “you can come to a decision instantly with the data being presented so clearly, visually and accurately”.  

By using the YAGRO platform, your pre-existing farm data becomes an opportunity for resource optimisation and streamlining operations. “It’s a whole decision-making tool in your armoury”, says Will. Thereby your data becomes an investment which returns by enabling new heights of productivity and efficiency, “allowing you to justify and support your decisions”. 

In contrast to spending time in the short term, allowing your data to illuminate areas of your operation enhances your ability to manage time efficiently. For example, AH Oliver & Sons have used their data to “justify decisions, including variety choice” but also to adjust input applications, gladly noticing that “this means spending less time and money as we’ve been able to save passes of the sprayer”.  

Building Solutions 

Conscious of the time restraints on farm, we have designed our tools to require minimal manual input from our users. Our unique data ingestion engine can receive data from a wide range of data sources, such as Farm Management software, combine telematics and invoices. 

After a demonstration by our customer success team, it takes less than two hours to gather all the information required to populate the tools.  There will be some validation questions which YAGROs designated customer support executives will help you navigate to ensure you’re consistently receiving maximum value as swiftly as possible. All our processes are designed so we can understand the needs of individual farms and tailor our approach to data analysis accordingly. 

YAGRO do the heavy lifting so we can bring things to your attention when needs be, empowering your decision making and entirely reducing time spent pouring over spreadsheets and crunching numbers. This gives you time back to spend on tasks at hand. 

The ability to request detailed reports from YAGRO to meet your individual operational needs is another tool which allows you to pivot and reach informed decisions quickly. “Getting reports without having to put any time into it or even think about its layout” has become a powerful resource for our farms, says Will.  

In conclusion, time management is a crucial aspect of any successful agricultural enterprise, and data analysis proves to be a valuable tool empowering this important aspect of day-to-day operations.  

Use the YAGRO platform to leverage your pre-existing data to empower your decision-making with actionable insights. Move towards optimising resource allocation and unlocking the true potential of your farm, and your time.