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Why more farmers are going digital

Darcy Herauf of Odessa, Sask., has a good memory for inputs. But he was glad to have electronic production records backing him up over the past year, when he sold some canola and flax to buyers who wanted very specific crop protection details.

“It was easy because I had electronic records," Herauf says. "I had everything on my app and I wasn’t concerned whatsoever about being able to provide the information the buyers wanted.”

The exercise had an additional twist for Herauf. In addition to farming, he’s also FCC’s director of management software. Data from production on his farm - which also includes wheat, barley, oats and lentils - is stored within FCC’s Field Manager Pro program.

Today, he’s using FCC’s latest electronic record-keeping software, AgExpert Field, which was released in January. It’s a cloud-based program, meaning it’s available to producers anywhere - in the office or in the field.

Expect reporting requirements to increase

Herauf forecasts more digital record keeping by Canadian farmers.

“The reporting requirements will only increase,” he says. “Having all your records available digitally will help producers.”

A new independent study suggests he’s right.

In its second annual survey of field data management software on Canadian farms, Stratus Ag Research found uptake has risen. Overall figures of 700 farms surveyed show slightly more than 34 per cent of producers are using one or more of the 20 field data management software solutions available in Canada.

Strong uptake in eastern Canada

Uptake was particularly strong in eastern Canada, where new software such as Climate FieldView was introduced in 2017.

Stratus found about 35 per cent of the 200 farmers surveyed in Ontario and Quebec used field data management software. That was a leap from 25 per cent the year before,and puts eastern Canada farmers slightly ahead of their western Canadian counterparts, many of whom had already adopted field data management software technology.

But there’s still room to grow. Although the research shows producers are increasingly moving towards using field data management technology, about 45 per cent of all respondents have yet to make the leap.

Nearly one-third of them say it’s too costly, or they don’t feel it is worth the investment. Another third say their current system of gathering field data is adequate.

Still, 23 per cent of all non-users said they are planning to adopt new field data management software in the next three years.

Source : fcc