Today I want to share with you some powerful farming tools that can dramatically increase your productivity in the farm or garden.
They are all online farming tools!
Why online tools?
Simple answer, because that’s where the money is.
Besides, how many hours do you spend online each day? How many hours do you spend on social media?
If you’re like most people, you’re spending more and more time online, and you’re spending much of that time on social media networks.
If you’re not preoccupied with Facebook or looking at trending topics on Twitter, you’re glued to your mobile chatting on WhatsApp.
This proves one important point:
The internet has now become such a force to reckon with, responsible for trillions of dollars in direct and indirect revenue annually, and understanding how it contributes to the growing world economy will only help your agribusiness grow.
The impact of the internet will only keep increasing, but only the informed will benefit.
Therefore, it’s only fair that I compile online tools that would help you use the internet craze to your advantage.
These online farming tools comprise software and Apps that can help you;
1. Calculate and make budgets for your farm or garden
2. Analyze and mitigate against farm risks
3. Plan and execute farm operations
4. Network and sell your farm produce
5. Run your business with efficiency and ease
Now, let’s cut to the chase and dig in through;
17 Farming Tools That Will Make You Insanely Profitable
1. Tried &Tested Website
The website provides advice on good nutrient management.
Nutrient management is one of the keys to farm profitability.
Broadly applying nutrients at recommended rates doubles the yield of most crops.
Getting things wrong risks yields, profits, the environment, and non-compliance with regulations.
You can get their farm and field record sheets that can help you learn more about nutrient management.
2. Grassfed Beef Financial Calculators
Grass-fed Beef Decision Calculator – This is a comprehensive, interactive Excel spreadsheet that allows you to examine the costs of various beef cattle enterprises and make informed financial decisions.
The spreadsheet is broken down into multiple worksheets modeling various cattle enterprises such as Cow/Calf, Stocker, Finishing, and Direct Market.
In addition, the decision calculator also provides a five-year cash flow projection tool that allows you to change various inputs and model cash flow for a multi-year period based on anticipated input costs.
Finally, there is an Overvalue/Undervalue decision calculator that helps in making informed sell-buy decisions.
3. Cost of production calculator
Understanding the unit cost of production is one area that most farmers struggle with. In fact, I’ve received countless emails on this very same issue.
Thankfully, this calculator will help you estimate the costs and returns of corn and soybean cropping systems.
To run the calculator, you can either use 1) predetermined variable costs based on figures calculated by Iowa State Extension or 2) your variable costs or figures calculated by your nearest college of agriculture.
Don’t mistake this tool for calculating costs related to corn and soy only. It can be used in calculating almost any farm budget.
The calculator is free and pretty easy to use.
Like I’ve repeatedly said before, farming is risky, challenging, and not for the fainthearted.
Farmers and agripreneurs deal with unpredictable situations, such as crop failures and market fluctuations.
One year may produce a bountiful harvest, while another may bring total devastation and little or no income.
This is all part of the business of agriculture. It always pays to consider insuring your investment against any eventualities.
But what will a crop insurance policy cost your farm?
Estimate your costs with Ag-Analytics’ fast crop insurance quote estimator.
The estimator is free to use as many times as you want.
It will help you understand what information you need to enroll and give you an idea of your premium cost at different coverage levels before you talk to an agent.
As a small farmer or start an adequate budget is sometimes just a luxury that you can’t afford. Without funding opportunities, it might be close to impossible to scale your Agribusiness.
And it follows that to get funded, you need a good credit score.
Luckily enough, FarmDrive offers an alternative credit scoring for smallholder farmers.
The system uses mobile phones, alternative data, and machine learning to close the critical data gap that prevents financial institutions from lending to creditworthy smallholder farmers.
6. Fair Rent
FairRent helps farmers evaluate land rental decisions.
Use it to evaluate cash, share, and flexible rental arrangements. The results will help you set a realistic bidding range for cash rental negotiations.
Add flexible parameters to evaluate risk and returns across a range of yields and prices. FairRent will help you bid for land rental tracts with confidence.
You need to register before using their services.
Kenyan startup SokoNect has developed an agribusiness tool that provides small-scale farmers with a platform to sell their products from home using their mobile phones.
The platform links smallholder farmers to buyers of livestock, and agricultural and horticultural products within their locality, cutting out farmers’ reliance on middlemen who traditionally take a sizeable portion of sale proceeds.
The solution also provides market news, and details of market times and locations within the area, and enables farmers to query current market prices.
8. Square point of sale
Accessing every possible sale is a common goal for direct market farmers.
How many times have you watched potential customers slip away when they find out you only accept cash?
Do you want to capture more sales at the market or your roadside stand?
Do you want a portable credit card machine that is free, easy to use, and gets you paid faster?
The Square point of sale is a free device and application for iOS and Android devices.
The tiny white, plastic square plugs into the audio jack of your device and allows you to quickly and easily slide Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit or credit/debit cards.
The free application turns your device into a mobile cash register.
Receipts are sent immediately to the customer via email, and transactions are deposited into your bank account within a day.
9. FarmFan App
Using a combination of loyalty and text messages, the FarmFan App drives traffic to your market stand or on-farm retail market.
This App automatically sends a text message to customers an hour before the market starts, which has a powerful effect on increasing sales.
FarmFan also includes a customer rewards program that acknowledges loyalty to your farm.
10. Estimate – disease severity assessment
Estimate is a tool to assist in the assessment of disease severity in plant pathology and other agricultural sciences.
Research scientists, crop consultants, and other professionals would use the application.
The framework provided by Estimate serves as a repository for standard area diagrams to enable users to accurately and precisely estimate plant disease severity.
The application allows users to select a specific disease from a pre-populated list, specify either a logarithmic or linear categorical scale for estimating disease severity, and touch photographic images corresponding to the various percent categories for quantifying disease intensity within a pre-specified plot layout or experimental design.
Several options for data entry are included within the framework of the application, ranging from the specification of plots and sub-plots to the assessment of multiple, single sampling units with an undefined experimental design.
The data are automatically saved as a spreadsheet within the application that can be emailed to a recipient at the end of the session as a CSV file.
This farming tool is available for free download on iTunes.
Canopeo is a rapid and accurate green canopy cover measurement tool.
Use this app to quantify the percent canopy cover of live green vegetation for any agricultural crop, turf, or grassland based on downward-facing photos taken with your mobile device.
Knowing the green canopy cover of crop will be instrumental especially when formulating spray programs for proper coverage.
12. Grow and Tell
Grow and Tell tells you what grows where and how.
The farming tool availability is still limited to various geographical locations but hopefully, will be available globally in the future.
Farmers and gardeners can use the app to rate varieties in terms of taste, yield, and how easy they are to grow.
Growers can also record other information about their experiences with a variety. This information is then shared with other farmers within the same or different geographic locations.
This is a Kenyan version of Grow and Tell. It’s currently used in Kenya, Uganda, and a few other countries.
WeFarm has a peer-to-peer (P2P) knowledge-sharing platform for small-scale farmers in rural communities, which allows farmers to ask questions via SMS shortcodes and receive answers from other registered users.
The platform is open to anyone, including experts and those wishing to do business with farmers, and is available in both English and Swahili.
It is approaching 100,000 questions asked on the platform, with 60 percent of its users active monthly.
14. Local food marketplace
Local food marketplace supports food hubs selling to consumers, restaurants, grocery stores, and institutions with tools dedicated to making it easy to support your customers as you grow.
In other words, this is a premium wholesale-based website that gives farmers the tools necessary to establish online e-commerce to sell their farm produce.
Making better management decisions has never been easier
FarmLogs provides field information, alerts, and recommendations to help you prevent unnecessary yield loss and improve profitability across your entire operation.
This is a very powerful tool that can easily be used by anyone.
Signing up is free and there are premium options for those who want more.
MFarm is among the most popular online farming tools, especially among East African farmers. Much of this is attributed to the value farmers have got over the years.
You need to first create an account with them.
17. MbeguChoice or SeedChoice
MbeguChoice is the result of collaboration between the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya’s crop seed companies, Agri Experience, Ltd., and Kenya Markets Trust.
MbeguChoice aims at:
• Helping Kenyan farmers, extension workers, and agro-dealers better understand available seed varieties
• Help ensure that farmers are planting the crop varieties best suited to their areas, that is, ensuring that seed is suitable and not “out of position”
• Showcase the excellent new varieties available on the market, including the special attributes of the crop varieties, and
• Improve yields on Kenya’s farms
You can also add this farming tool into your arsenal to better choose plant varieties.
18. AgrimarketAdvisor: Reliable Buyers and Suppliers of Farm Products
AgrimarketAdvisor is an equivalent of TripAdvisor or Yelp but exclusively for the Agribusiness industry.
On this site, you can list your farm produce and let buyers find you. You can also list your Agribusiness so that you reach more people who care about your brand. By listing on AgrimarketAdvisor, you’ll receive reviews of your brand from your customers which will in turn help you with more social proof.
You can either choose a free account with limited functionality or go for a paid premium account that has more features.
You’ve just read 18 online farming tools that if used correctly could change your farming business forever.
However, these are just tools, and without your input chances are you’ll achieve nothing. So, go right ahead and experiment with these farming tools.
Please note that the material in this blog post may include information, products, or services by third parties.
Third Party Materials comprise the products and opinions expressed by their owners.
As such, I do not assume responsibility or liability for any third-party material or opinions nor am I affiliated to any of the tools I’ve published.
The publication of such Third Party Materials does not constitute my guarantee of any information, instructions, opinion, products, or services contained within the Third Party Material.
The use of recommended Third Party farming tools does not guarantee any success and/or earnings related to you or your business.
Publication of such third-party tools is simply a recommendation and an expression of my own opinion of that material.
See you in the comments.