Yield maps aren’t the only data points to collect and analyze. Farms generate all sorts of information that could be useful in determining profit, wasted time or resources, or identifying opportunity. The trouble is, some farms are either generating data with no clear means of using it, or are missing out on capturing simple data points, such as hours per repair job or financial ratios, that could inform better decisions.
Instead of distracting from work that needs to be done, turning data into useful information is a value-added venture, says Kristjan Hebert, CPA, speaker, and farmer. Data collection doesn’t need to be overly complicated, either. The key is finding someone on your team with a knack for numbers, or hiring out at least part of the job (which many farms already do with bookkeeping or agronomic data.)
For example, the people side of the business is often overlooked when it comes to tracking efficiency. From something as simple as a whiteboard with start and end dates on jobs, or a look through overtime paid during the slower season, a farm could likely begin to find areas where profit is being left behind, just through oversight or lack of planning. (Story continues below player)
Too often, Hebert says, farmers focus only on machinery and agronomic data and don’t spend enough time on financial analysis. It’s the one place where the data collection is already done, and one of the easiest to hire out.
Moving from data collection to using data to drive decisions isn’t a one-step process, and it will likely look different on every farm. But every farm can benefit from capturing useful data and learning to put it to work creating more profit.
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