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Moving towards the connected farm

What does the future hold for UK farmers? The sector faces consistently evolving challenges from all directions – we need to feed the rising world population in a more efficient way, while simultaneously addressing issues of climate change, sustainability, and animal welfare.

For Farmplan, which claims to be the UK’s leading agricultural software specialists, these are issues the company is keen to meet head-on.
“These challenges can often throw up new opportunities,” says Ben Hatton, sales and key account manager at Farmplan.

“These challenges include: how can we achieve more value from the work we put in? How do we reconcile maximising profitability while increasing sustainability? What are the right tools to do so?

“More than ever, farmers are asking themselves these questions. The reality of agriculture is changing. Agriculture is always evolving. Our objective is to help our customers meet these changing requirements and fulfil new opportunities.”

For Farmplan, this means providing the right tools and connections for its farmers and end-users, whether that be those that are farming or helping those that are to do the job and drive further value from the company’s solutions.

Where does the value come from? A large and increasing part of that is through connectivity and integration. Farmplan sees the successful farms of the future as being “connected.”

Moving towards the connected farm

Ben Hatton, sales and key account manager at Farmplan

“For us, connectivity and integration should add value for the farmer – not just those that want to integrate. In the same way that data and tech are not the only solutions to the challenges facing agriculture, data and its connections and integrations should complement the local skills and knowledge that are on the farm,” says Ben.

“Currently, there’s lots of data within agriculture. A huge amount of it is siloed, sitting there unused and generating very little worth for the farm. Joining that data together – and facilitating its smooth travel in a way that removes stress and unnecessary admin for farmers – is how you can strike gold.”

To demonstrate just what kind of difference integration can make for UK farmers, Farmplan highlights its ongoing updates and expansions to its existing suite of software solutions. Although products like Gatekeeper and Business Cloud are robust and powerful in themselves, Farmplan understands that other providers may offer specific features that Farmplan does not.

“Rather than seek to challenge this space and expand functionality in an attempt to be the one and only provider, we recognise the power of partnerships and complementary systems and providers,” says Ben. “For example, users of our Gatekeeper crop management system can now access the data collection capabilities of Climate FieldView, the digital farming platform from Bayer, or wirelessly transmit data sets between Gatekeeper and Claas machinery.

“Moving towards a connected farm isn’t just an ambition for Farmplan. It’s an active ongoing mission. There are many challenges and also opportunities. We’re enabling UK farmers to grow their business and improve their productivity, all in a more sustainable way. It’s an exciting time for agriculture.”

For more information visit farmplan.co.uk

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