FarmSmart Overview

The newest product from Agsmart, FarmSmart is a web and mobile device application for on farm record keeping assisting with QA compliance for dairy farmers. Modules include paddocks, animals, stockfeed, reporting, reminders and notes. It also includes Dairyweb News.

After initial setup, FarmSmart can operate effectively regardless of internet connectivity. Data can be synced back to our cloud servers whenever an internet connection is available.

The paddock module is map based, giving farmers an easy tool to use when adding records of various types including chemical applications, paddock grazing rotations, irrigation records and effluent irrigation records. FarmSmart includes a chemical database providing alerts for incorrect usage and withholding periods for grazing.

Animal records can also be included in FarmSmart. Again, FarmSmart includes a treatment product database to guide farmers in usage and availability of animals for milk or meat. While FarmSmart does not replace herd recording systems it provides a solid platform for QA reporting about animals.

FarmSmart will be developed to provide similar functionality in other agriculture sectors in the future.

Overview

Farmers need to record a range of common farm activities for QA and food safety compliance purposes. Currently farmers commonly use a range of paper based systems to record this activity.The recording, retrieval and reporting of these activities can be significantly improved using an electronic mobile solution.

FarmSmart is an online easy to use desktop and mobile application that will enable farmers to record important farm activity and includes additional functionality that will assist the farmer in managing the many tasks required to run a productive farm enterprise. FarmSmart includes the ability to create a farm/paddock map that can show paddock attributes and status depending on what activity has occurred.

Introduction

Today, more than ever an organisation’s supply chain management is an area of great reputation risk. Get it wrong and your reputation can be in tatters. Get it right and you can leverage additional revenue and margins for your product. Australia has a reputation as a provider of safe, quality food. Export markets (consumers) particularly those in Asia want and expect that our produce is most importantly safe to consume. 

Most food processors have on farm assurance and food safety programs in place. The basis of these programs revolve around ensuring the supply chain from supplier to processor meets expected standards for Food Safety, Animal Welfare, Quality assurance and traceability. A majority of the processes contained within these programs typically focuses on farmer’s manual recording of specific farm activity and the review of these records intermittently by food safety auditors and food processor staff.

Government and industry regulation of farm practices is increasing. Farmers need to effectively manage their farm to ensure they adhere to expected food safety, animal welfare, environmental and health and safety regulations. The extent to which food processors are really aware of their supplier’s adherence to expected practices is mixed at best. This is understandable as the degree of complexity and administrative workload to manage this is significant. The damage to a processors reputation as a trusted provider of safe, healthy food products can quickly vanish and lock out of markets can result if a processors product is shown to be unsafe or contaminated.

FarmSmart is a solution that is designed to improve on farm recording of common farm assurance activities. The FarmSmart application will provide farmers with tools to assist them to avoid making mistakes that could compromise food safety and manage their environmental and health and safety responsibilities. At the same time FarmSmart will also provide farmers with valuable tools to improve animal and paddock management. 

FarmSmart will help processors manage supplier compliance, reduce food safety risk and potentially increase the organisation’s reputation for safe and sustainable farm practices.

The Solution

Farmers today are required to record numerous on-farm activities that are completed to ensure their farm and the products they produce are safe. The milk processors they supply are vitally interested in the quality of the milk supplied. Milk Processor organisations typically provide their suppliers with a Quality Assurance Manual that contains information and templates for on farm record keeping. These activities are usually recorded on paper and therefore can be hard to retrieve and understand later. On-farm record keeping is a requirement for Food Safety and is typically checked by independent farm assurance audits every one or two years. The requirements for farmers to be able to demonstrate safe and sustainable work practices is increasing as buyers and consumers of these products become more demanding.

FarmSmart is an application that will enable farmers to digitally record these activities on farm quickly and easily. We have worked with farmers, processor and farm audit organisations in the development of this application that we have called ‘FarmSmart’. FarmSmart will be branded with appropriate ‘processor branding’. Processors who provide this application to their farmer suppliers will be in a better position to understand the extent to which their supply base is following best practice and is providing safe produce.

FarmSmart Application Modules and Tools

FarmSmart is an online application that is available on desktop, tablet or smartphone devices. The FarmSmart application can be tailored and branded to suit individual processor programs for on farm Quality Assurance. FarmSmart functionality includes:

  • Stock  (Animals)
    • Stock list
    • Treatment – Intra mammary/non intra mammary
    • Purchase, Sales and Disposal
    • Calving
    • Agistment (stock movements on and off property)
    • Availability (for milking/meat)
  • Paddock
    • Paddock List
    • Treatments
    • Soil Test
    • Feed Diary/Grazing records
    • Availability (for grazing)
    • Irrigation (volume per hectare and rate mls depth)
    • Paddock Map
  • Incident and Activity Recording
    • Milk Quality Incident Recording
    • Safety Incident Recording
    • Plant, Vat and other checks completed
  • On Farm Notes and Reminder
    • Send messages and notes to other farm staff
    • Record notes
    • Schedule reminders for future actions
  • Online Farm Map
    • Record/draw farm/paddock map
    • View paddock attributes/activity and status
    • Colour coded soil test value overlay
    • Displays on a mobile device

FarmSmart includes some smart tools that will help the farmer manage their on Farm QA program, potentially avoid product quality issues and improve on farm efficiency.

FarmSmart will check that treatments applied topaddocks or animals are within stated guidelines and/or chemical/pharmaceutical label rate restrictions. Alerts will be shown when farmers apply treatments at a rate that is outside the label rate or are not registered to treat the selected pest/disease.

FarmSmart will calculate availability of individual paddocks for grazing or animals for milking/meat based on the treatments recorded.

FarmSmart will enable farmers to record soil test data for their individual paddocks. The values of individual paddocks soil test results will be compared with appropriate regional nutrient values for healthy soil and issues identified. (FertSmart Guidelines) Colour coded nutrient status based on actual soil test data of individual paddocks can be shown on a map.

FarmSmart will enable users to view farm maps once their farm and their paddock GPS co-ordinates have been recorded. FarmSmart will enable farmers to view a map of their farm and paddocks on a mobile or desktop device.  Relevant data recorded using the FarmSmart application can be shown on the farm map – paddock availability and nutrient status are some of the variables that can be recorded and shown on the FarmSmart map. 

FarmSmart will use the camera feature of the smartphone to enable farmers to take a picture and then file in FarmSmart relevant documentation such as Vendor Declaration paper documents, plant and vat checks and chemical training certificates etc.

FarmSmart Reporting (optional)

Online or paper based reports can be generated. The scope and extent of reports will depend largely on the strategy of individual processors and how they wish to introduce FarmSmart to their supply base. We have worked with an international food safety audit organisation in the development of FarmSmart and there is clearly productivity benefits for the farmer and the auditor if FarmSmart is used to record important farm audit information and this is made available either online or in paper form for the auditor to review. Processors can also benefit from viewing important on farm information the extent of this reporting can be discussed as required. 

Farmers using FarmSmart may authorise other third parties to view certain on farm data. Vets, Agronomist Advisors are examples of 3rd parties who may benefit from viewing data captured using FarmSmart.

FarmSmart Technology

FarmSmart is a cloud based application. This means that farmers do not need to worry about losing data. All data is stored securely and backed up within a Tier 3 Australian hosting facility that provides users with access to powerful, high performance infrastructure. Their farm data and their records will always be available whenever and wherever they need to access them.

FarmSmart is a downloadable online application can be accessed using a smartphone or tablet device (iOS and Android). The application can be used online and offline although some functionality does require access to our FarmSmart database which will require internet access. For example Animal and Paddock Treatments uses the FarmSmart database which is frequently updated reflecting the latest information to check for compliance and potential alerts. The application can also be accessed via a desktop PC. Additional functionality will be available via a desktop PC where farmers can use the power of a PC and the flexibility of the larger screen.  FarmSmart will enable processors to make available Procedure/Instruction Templates or Manuals that can be created or edited on the desktop and printed by the farmer.

FarmSmart Help

FarmSmart users will have access to the Agsmart helpdesk. Users can contact the Helpdesk Monday to Friday - 8.30am to 5pm AEST by calling the 1300 help desk number or via email.

FarmSmart Fees

Our agreements for FarmSmart are typically a three year agreement. Fees for FarmSmart consist of –

  • Initial set up fee – This fee varies depending on the extent of tailoring required, the number of farmers to be registered, any pre loading of paddock GPS data and the extent of any individual reporting and 3rd party interface requirements. It includes the development of demo videos that can be viewed by users.
  • Annual Service Fees – Usually based on an annual cost per registered user and varies depending on the number of users registered.