Agricultural Magazine Summer/Autumn 2014
Top 10 Reasons
for Using Technology in the Field
WELCOME TO THE 2014 MUDDY BOOTS AG-MAG
Dear Readers Welcome to our Summer/Autumn 2014 Ag-Mag! Over the last two years we have been investing considerably in our new Greenlight Grower Management software, which allows you to connect with your agriservice community online, enabling your crop records to be accessed, updated and shared in the field. Still not sure if this is for you? Then read our Top 10 Reasons for using this new technology on the farm on page 3. This is a huge step forward for the agricultural industry and I detect a similar transformational change as when we first launched our CropWalker software back in the mid90’s, when I was still walking fields in shorts! Muddy Boots has come a long way since then and I’m pleased to say we’re still working with the same valuable businesses. Some of our long-standing customers share their thoughts on our new Greenlight Grower Management software on pages 6-8. We are excited that this product is live with a phased rollout to agri-service clients now in progress. Its impact and value is just beginning to be understood. Soon, you will be able to sign-up for your FREE no obligation trial, and start benefitting from a truly paperless solution. Visit our website to learn more: en.muddyboots.com/grower-management
Our investment hasn’t stopped there. We are delighted to have recently partnered with the government agency Fera in the delivery of an online PPU and pesticide management system. This will broaden and strengthen our Greenlight suite of tools, delivering even more transparency on pesticide usage and management. Turn to page 9 to read more. The need for further transparency within the food supply chain is something which many retailers are now demanding. Food scandals such as horsegate, E.coli and food fraud continue to increase the pressure on our farming sector to improve transparency and deliver robust traceability systems. The need to share information more easily will only grow as retailers begin to join the dots between their supply chain members to demonstrate quality, integrity and compliance at every level. Cloud-based systems will become a backbone to this brave new world. You can read more about this on page 10. As ever, I hope you enjoy this magazine, and I welcome you to join in the conversation @MuddyBootsLtd. Best wishes Jeff Goulding Farm Services Director Muddy Boots Software
IN THIS EDITION:
WORD ON THE
Meet the Executive Director, Inas Nureldin
@FarmersGuardian Urbanisation is increasing and will have an effect on agriculture, Mark Lyons tells #agfuture, with some startling facts...
Top 10 Reasons for using technology in the field
A smarter way of working
Case Study - Agrovista
Case Study - Frontier Agriculture
Case Study - Russell Price Farm Services
Our partnership with Fera
Supply chain transparency
@FarmersHub Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he can feed a nation! @OrribleFarmer Axis also includes Greenlight Grower Management from @MuddyBootsLtd, a cloud-based version of CropWalker #Lesstimeintheoffice
MEET THE TEAM MEMBER Name: Inas Nureldin Job Title: Executive Director What's your background? I studied Management Information Systems as well as Corporate Management and Economics in Germany, before establishing a regional IT Services company in Egypt. I started working with Muddy Boots 8 years ago, initially setting up the office in Germany. I have since been working closely with the UK team on the strategic development of the farm services division of the business. Explain your job: I am responsible for managing the Farm Services team and shaping the product strategy of Greenlight Grower Management.
What do you enjoy most about your job? Working with a great team to develop a highly scalable product using the latest technology. What has been your biggest achievement so far? Working with the team to master the challenging launch of Greenlight Grower Management. We are all very excited to have developed a product that will significantly improve the way our customers work. If you could be anything in the world, what would you be? I already have my dream job so there is nothing else I would rather be doing!
With the Internet comes a generation of immediacy, we want information and we want it now! And managing our field and crop data is no different. With the emergence of new, cloud-based software, we take a look at the opportunities that will come from managing your grower records in the field and via the Cloud.
Managing your crops where it matters most
By harnessing internet based solutions your live data is accessible from anywhere, making you truly mobile. You can securely record, share and store your cropping data on the â€˜cloudâ€™ whilst harvesting crops in the field!
Connect with your supply chain partners
Collaboration is key to this next generation of crop management systems. No longer are the various stakeholders working independently of one another. With software solutions in place, agronomists, farmers and their operators can access, record and share field activity simply over the web and using a mobile offline App.
Make time critical decisions at the point required!
The wireless syncing of data and notifications of record changes gives users immediate access to important crop information, so thereâ€™s no delay in making time-critical decisions.
Errors are costly
The ability to meet customer requirements and consumer demand accurately, efficiently and sustainably is vital. By aligning the entire supply chain from source to shelf, farmers can ensure they adhere to compliance standards and maximise the success rate and security of their harvest.
Our Top 10 Reasons
For using Technology
IN THE FIELD
Cure your audit fear
With all data easily accessible from a single, searchable online location, youâ€™ll never need to worry about an audit again. You can sleep easy knowing that your grower records are up-to-date and available at your fingertips.
Instant reporting saves time and builds trust
With all of your data held online you can move from a paper-based process to a data-driven reporting system, with automatic dashboard reports highlighting the status of your crop and your business. Youâ€™ll save man hours and have valuable operational data for you and your customers.
connectivity is 10. Rural getting better... Huge investment to improve connectivity in rural areas has resulted in significant advances and wider adoption of crop recording software. Even so, new generation App technology and offline data capture mitigates connectivity issues. Business in the field can continue as normal until connectivity is found and syncing kicks in.
Free up some time
Who wants to burn the midnight oil typing up notes from the dayâ€™s activity? By using mobile devices businesses can completely remove any duplication of data entry so everyone is working more effectively and efficiently.
Safeguard your business against scrutiny
Food safety and fraud incidents like horse meat and E.coli have cast a dark cloud over the food and farming industry. Growers that can pinpoint, isolate and remove risk from their business, supported by data evidence, will fare better in the glare of scrutiny.
Your data is safe and secure
Why install a PC-based program and stress about program updates and back-ups when a cloud-based system provides a worry-free, secure and easy to use solution often at lower cost?
You can learn more about Greenlight Grower Management, the latest cloud-based solution from Muddy Boots, by watching our animation:
A SMARTER WAY OF WORKING GREENLIGHT GROWER MANAGEMENT
Welcome to a smarter way of working! Greenlight Grower Management is an online crop management system that connects the agri-food community together, making field recording and data sharing quick, simple and efficient.
Greenlight Grower Management iPad App
Greenlight Grower Management ensures that whoever undertakes the task – and wherever they are based cropping records are completed quickly and efficiently, avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort and speeding up operational processes. Agronomists, farmers and their operators can access, record, share and store field activity simply over the web and using a mobile offline App. The automatic, wireless syncing of data and notifications of changes gives users immediate access to important crop information, so there’s no delay in making time-critical decisions. Furthermore all data is securely stored in the cloud relieving any worry over data back-ups and system updates. Our CropWalker software is widely established within the farming industry and subsequently integration and automatic synchronisation between CropWalker and Greenlight Grower Management was a prerequisite of the design. Now, users of both technologies can share their data between the two systems, so cropping information is held in one centralised location.
A few taps of the finger, a couple of swipes and a multi-field and product agchem plan is created and submitted…simple and quick. The taking of images to support a crop inspection, auto-embedding into a report and sending it straight to the farmer whilst in the field really brings this software to life and keeps everyone up to speed with the changing crop conditions and impending issues. But it’s not just the benefits at field level that make Greenlight Grower Management stand out. The operational information collected provides an excellent opportunity to engage with organisations higher up in the supply chain. This not only provides the transparency they demand of the source of their products but crucially strengthens the relationship and trust between the grower and the end customer. This collaborative way of working will transform the way our customers collect and use their field records.
CONNECT WITH YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Food Processor & Retailer
Greenlight Grower Management Crop Records
Collaboration is key to this next generation of crop management systems.
AGROVISTA IMPLEMENTS GREENLIGHT TO COLLABORATE WITH FARMERS, PRODUCERS & FOOD PROCESSORS
Agrovista has been using our PC based CropWalker software for many years and it has become an essential tool for their business. Here, Lewis McKerrow, Agronomist at Agrovista, talks about the launch of our new Greenlight Grower Management software and why being able to record crop data when on-farm rather than in the office will bring huge benefits to their business.
“With an increase in both workloads and the need to record greater levels of information, it became important for us to be able to access up-to-date information and legislation at the point required and at the touch of a button, rather than having to be back in the office in front of the PC. “We were keen to work more collaboratively with our farmers, with an ability to easily collect and share data with them and we were therefore excited to hear that Muddy Boots was in the process of developing Greenlight Grower Management, a cloud-based crop recording system. “This new software meets all of our requirements; it enables us to capture all necessary information with mobile technology and automatically publish the
information onto the Greenlight cloud, providing live and complete records for us and our farmers to access. “The advantage of being a cloud-based system means that at any point in time, our customers, producers and food processors can access the latest information and share this with the relevant people immediately, instead of having to rely on a phone call or email which may be missed. This improved collaboration will save significant amounts of time and therefore costs for everyone on this new platform. “We have been working closely with Muddy Boots throughout the development process and we have now integrated Greenlight Grower Management with Axis, our own internal customer platform.”
FRONTIER AGRICULTURE WORKING MORE COLLABORATIVELY WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS
Frontier Agriculture is a leading crop inputs and grain marketing business. They work with a team of 115 agronomists to support a large customer base, which generates masses of data. James Moldon discusses Greenlight Grower Management and how this new software will allow them to work more collaboratively with their customers.
“We currently use our own system called MyFarm which incorporates all the divisions of Frontier. We looked to Muddy Boots’ Greenlight Grower Management as the solution that allows us to become more interactive with our customers, and simplify the transfer of data information between our agronomists, farmers and contractors. This system enables complete visibility of this process, which is vital to the way Frontier works. “Because we deal with masses of data, farmers wanted a solution that enables them to easily obtain and record data, whether that is for budgeting purposes, traceability or syncing purposes. There are so many solutions out there that all perform different functions, but no other system does this all in one place like Greenlight Grower Management.
“Another great benefit to this simplicity is for farmers, as the product has been designed for their use. Being web and app-based means they can use it in the field and access data with only one or two clicks. This easy access to data is particularly important during an audit, making farmers feel more prepared and helping them to meet legal requirements. “For Frontier, the speed at which we can move data in a two-way sync is also beneficial. It has always been one-way traffic until now. Farmers can now input data for the agronomists to use as well. This software also loops the operators in, making it the first solution that is not designed only for the farmer and farm manager.
“Greenlight Grower Management provides time savings through one time data entry, and cost savings through “We did look at other companies but none offered such better efficiencies. If you are working more efficiently, simplicity. Our agronomists are also already familiar with you are less likely to miss out on opportunities to get Muddy Boots’ CropWalker product, avoiding retraining and your timings right. This gives us an edge in the market ultimately saving time. place. Because of our use of Greenlight Grower Management and MyFarm, farmers can see we have IT solutions in place that will help them with their management of data, helping them make decisions that are right for their business.” For more information on Greenlight Grower Management, please contact Jeff Goulding or Richard Esson on+44 (0)1989 780540 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUSSELL PRICE FARM SERVICES INTEGRATION BETWEEN AGRONOMIST, OPERATOR AND FARM OFFICE ON CLOUD PLATFORM Russell Price Farm Services is an agricultural and contracting service but with a diverse portfolio of services on hand, there is a lot of information communicated via paper. CropWalker is currently used for gross margin detail but the company was looking for integration that allows sharing of reports and the ability to slot them straight into their existing business accounts system, giving it a more accurate way of looking at stock and valuation. Here, Russell Price discusses how Greenlight Grower Management will offer big advantages to how they work with their customers.
“The ability to produce figures that integrate all the work we do for a farm means we can show farmers where accounts stand at the end of each year, highlighting all variable costs within a gross margin calculation. CropWalker does this very well but if this process can be carried out more easily, there will be a big advantage in how we work with our customers, which is where Greenlight Grower Management comes in. “The challenge for our business is that there is a long trail of activity when it comes to ensuring all parties involved in the spraying process in particular are working cohesively, and to the same specifications. Currently this involves a long paper process which repeats itself on a monthly basis.
has been carried out. This makes for a system that is more integrated and open to everyone in the trail. This also results in less room for error as information in an electronic device is safer than carrying around and relying on paper and hard copy reports. Details can’t be changed, lost or misread and it is always there for reference later. “Greenlight Grower Management delivers on all of these requirements, and as an existing CropWalker customer there were clear advantages to using a Muddy Boots solution and streamlining our systems.
“It is the integration between agronomist, operator and farm office that is most appealing about the solution. We spend a lot of resources paying employees to trawl “What we really want is to see the agronomist going into through paper to create reports, invoices and budgets. the field, making his recommendation on a hand held Doing this automatically saves a lot of man hours and device, posting it to the cloud that then automatically keeps our bottom line at a minimum. Greenlight Grower sends the information to the spray operator, the farm Management also keeps us out in the field doing what we office and the farmer. This information can then be shared should be doing and not stuck in front of a PC inputting with spray operators and they can record what activity information.”
OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH FERA TO BRING IMPROVED PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT TO OUR PRODUCTS We are pleased to announce our partnership with the UK Government’s Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera) to bring pesticide management into our Greenlight quality assurance offer.
This new system will automatically cross-reference supplier Proposed Pesticide Usage (PPU) against the individual retailer’s pesticide requirements and specifications, using Fera’s comprehensive database. Traditionally, the supplier would be required to manually cross-reference the PPU against specific requirements, costing both time and money.
Andy Reeves, Finance Director at Muddy Boots, and Dr. R Angus Hearmon, Director of External Affairs at Fera, signing the contract.
The software will not only result in huge time savings and therefore reduced costs, but will also offer transparency throughout the supply chain, reducing human error by using automated validation.
This partnership comes at a key time in our development. This new functionality will bring huge value to the food supply chain; allowing retailers and shoppers to have total confidence that the produce available in store meets government and retailer standards for pesticides. It is something our customers want and we are very pleased to be able to deliver this to them in 2014.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? •
Remove duplication of pesticide information
Drive quality throughout the supply chain
Improve due diligence and transparency
Benefit from huge time savings and reduced cost
Our knowledge solutions experts have extensive experience in the design of products which allow producers and retailers to identify, manage and mitigate risks from a variety of potential food contaminants. We are pleased to be working with Muddy Boots on this new partnership, which will provide vital support to businesses involved in the food supply chain, from field to fork, ensuring high standards of food and environmental safety. Fera Chief Executive, Adrian Belton
SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSPARENCY BEATING THE BAD, THE DANGEROUS & THE FRAUDULENT In a recent nationally representative study, 38% of 900 food samples turned out to be something other than what was claimed, highlighting the abundance of fake food in the UK, an issue that with decreased testing looks to be sticking around. The farming industry has already faced huge media scrutiny with issues such as mad cow disease, E.coli and the horse meat scandal, and these latest statistics have once again undermined the public’s trust in the food supply chain.
towards understanding how these issues continue to happen; due diligence is complex and time consuming. By using new supply chain technology, businesses can easily monitor and measure quality and compliance from the field right through to the supermarket shelves, resulting in data that can be shared back and forth between all supply chain members.
73% of food businesses don’t
Food businesses who manage this effectively will have a greater degree of knowledge of their supply partners and the ability to isolate impact, not to mention a more collaborative relationship with their supply-base. But the benefits of harnessing technology are also evident further down the supply chain; with the ability to pinpoint problem areas and take action without delay, growers and suppliers gain a competitive advantage, enabling them to easily demonstrate their adherence to the retailers’ quality and compliance criteria.
have confidence that their suppliers always meet their customers’
For the retailer, the importance of understanding their supply chain is now paramount; what products are being supplied, by whom and their level of compliance to specific criteria are just some of the elements of due diligence that need managing every day.
Our own research of 60 leading food suppliers found that this basic requirement is not being fulfilled. 73% don’t have confidence that their suppliers always meet their customers’ compliance standards and more than 1 in 3 don’t know who is in their supply chain. Yet despite this, 90% claim to spend more time on due diligence than they’d like. These findings go some way
To learn more about our grower to retailer quality and compliance solutions, visit our website or contact us on email@example.com.
your partner for good
Muddy Boots Software Ltd t: +44 (0)1989 780540 e: firstname.lastname@example.org @MuddyBootsLtd Contact details for our worldwide offices can be found at ww w. mudd yboots. com