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Rural Diary August
1 August 2019 Milton Munro, Technical Team Manager

Greenlight Grower Management: A farmer's perspective

Last month Jay Howes introduced Greenlight Grower Management (GLGM), and highlighted how PGG Wrightson is using this decision support software tool to improve agronomic recommendations from Technical Field Representatives (TFRs). This month, I am going to introduce the concept of accessing GLGM yourself and explain what benefits there are to owning your own farmer subscription.

When I think of farmers and growers accessing GLGM in partnership with PGG Wrightson, I see two major benefits: 

  • Traceability and compliance

     Whether it is your fertiliser records for a nutrient budget or agri-chemical application records for compliance, the requirement for farmers to supply on-farm information is increasing. To put it simply, having a paper record is simply not good enough anymore. It is too easy to lose and ultimately someone has to spend some time entering that information into a digital format.

    GLGM takes the hassle out of this process. It stores all of your agronomic recommendations and application information, and the data can be exported with ease. Imagine not having to rummage around your office trying to find a printout from your fertiliser supplier to help build your nutrient budget; imagine extracting all the data you need with the click of a button, anytime you want it, anytime you need it. 
  • Openness and accountability

    The relationship between farmer, TFR and contractor is special. There is a high degree of trust between the three groups and for the process to work efficiently and precisely, the flow of information must be seamless and quick. GLGM enhances this process.

    The TFR can enter information from the paddock directly into GLGM which can be viewed by the farmer in real time. This can then progress into a product order and the necessary information relayed to the contractor, all with the click of a virtual button. The contractor can apply the product and notify the farmer and the TFR within the system, keeping everyone in the loop. Nothing is lost to chance and everyone knows where everyone is at.

GLGM is an ever evolving platform, new functions and features are continually being developed and released into the system. One interesting new development coming in the next couple of months is the ability for farmers to manage their own internal agri-chemical stock levels. Farmers will be able to store in the system all their current stocks that are in their chemical sheds. TFRs and contractors can see these stock levels in real time and draw on them for supply when making a recommendation, effectively reducing the chance of an order being raised for product that you already have on-farm.

Using GLGM to help drive agronomic decisions offers an unprecedented level of open and efficient communication between advisors, contractors and farmers. With subscriptions starting at $450 per year (NZD), there really isn’t any excuse not to be embracing the digital age and coming on board in partnership with PGG Wrightson. 

If you would like to know more about GLGM, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative and a demonstration of the software can be arranged.

Milton Munro, Technical Team Manager

Related Articles

The benefits of digital farming

01 July 2019

Agriculture has known a constant evolution, from the early domestication of plants and animals to the use of crop rotation, cultivation and fertiliser and the green revolution of the 1960s. Agriculture has now entered a new phase, the ‘digital age’. 

Digital technologies including the internet, mobile technologies, data analytics, artificial intelligence and other digitally-delivered services are changing agricultural practice and the food chain. Many farmers are already using GPS guided tractors to plant crops, and embracing technologies such as sensors connected to their mobile phones that deliver real time information to assist in the decision making process. 

Agribusinesses are also looking at the benefits of digital innovation to improve their services, and PGG Wrightson is no exception. PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representatives (TFRs) use the latest decision support tool called Greenlight Grower Management (GLGM) supplied by UK based software company Muddy Boots. 

GLGM is a cloud-based decision support software that enables TFRs to collect and store client specific farm data. Using this data they are able to create agricultural chemical and fertiliser plans, review past applications and activities, share crop and paddock history and view soil test data to ensure crops have the best chance to grow to their full potential. The GLGM software is unique in the fact that it is the only software of this kind that can support the user to reach the right decision using soil and crop data that is specific to New Zealand conditions. 

Using fertiliser recommendations as an example, TFRs can go into a paddock pre-crop and take a soil sample. This is then sent away to Hill Laboratories to be analysed. This soil analysis is then automatically loaded into a client specific GLGM site that the TFR has populated. The site holds information such as the crop to be grown, the expected yield and soil type the farm is located on. 
Using the soil test data, GLGM calculates maintenance and capital fertiliser requirements for the paddock taking into account specific crop nutrient removals and soil type. This then assists the TFR to choose the correct fertiliser product to provide the optimum amount of each nutrient needed and maximise crop yield while maintaining and/or improving soil nutrient status. The software creates a professional fertiliser report the TFR can present to clients and contractors ensuring everyone is informed of what is being applied to their land. 

One of the key benefits of GLGM is that it provides the TFR with a tool for customers to use for data management. The software keeps a record of all sprays and fertiliser used on a paddock. This can then help inform important decisions like crop rotation and future fertiliser applications, with the benefit of detailed reflections on previous seasons. This means the customer has the ability to review decisions from last season to plan for the season ahead. Furthermore, this historical information also can assist farmers with traceability/accountability, with regards to buyers and regional council requirements. 

Don’t miss out on the second article of this series discussing in more detail the benefits for farmers in next month’s Rural Diary.

To see how GLGM is being used to help create accurate fertiliser and agchem recommendations for your farm, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative for a demonstration. 

 

Pest control goes digital

01 August 2019

Rats can cause significant damage on farms, lifestyle blocks, and orchards, gnawing on wiring and getting into animal feed, so controlling them matters. 

Goodnature is launching their latest trapping innovation, Chirp, a digitally enabled trap that can be retrofitted to any existing Goodnature A24 Rat and Stoat Trap. Once installed, and after downloading the Goodnature App, trappers will get smartphone notifications via Bluetooth™ every time the trap kills a pest, as well as when it is time for a new gas canister or lure.

The A24 Rat and Stoat Trap has been popular in the rural sector for over a decade, known as a reliable tool to keep rat populations controlled. The A24 is a carbon dioxide powered, humane rat and stoat trap, which has a range of valuable features:

  • Automatic resetting saves time 
    The A24 automatically resets up to 24 times, killing rats and stoats one after the other, and reducing the need to check traps from monthly down to just twice a year. The latest Chirp functionality gives A24 customers even greater oversight of their trapping operation in real time on their phone. Efficiently and humanely disposing of 24 rats per trap without having to manually reset is a valuable time and money saver.
  • The A24 traps are non-toxic
    The lure used in A24s is non-toxic, so there is no threat to livestock or pets, and can be set in cow sheds. Working dogs and pets won’t be exposed to poisoned pest carcasses, as the risk of secondary poisoning, is eliminated. 
  • Keep connected and know when the Chirp-enabled trap has been activated.  
    Chirp has been designed to keep trapping on track. Chirp connects the A24 to smartphones via the Goodnature App. Being automatically notified when traps have been triggered helps trappers know how many pests have been killed. With scavenging of dead pests common, Chirp makes the unknown, known.
  • Be notified when the trap’s lure and gas canister need replacing.
    Knowing when traps are low on lure and gas is key to keeping trap networks operational at all times. Given the minimal servicing needs of an A24 trap, it is easy to lose track of when a trap needs new gas and lure. Chirp does the tracking automatically and helpfully sends reminders when it is time to re-gas, and re-lure Chirp-enabled traps. 

Chirp is being launched in PGG Wrightson stores across New Zealand in August. There will be both Chirp retrofit kits and fully enabled Chirp A24 kits as well. Visit your local PGG Wrightson store today to find out more.

Supplied by Goodnature

Pheromone trapping service

15 August 2019
It’s that time of the year! Pipfruit growers need to start thinking about pheromone trapping and registering your blocks with Apple and Pear NZ, for Codling Moth sensitive markets during August. 

Pipfruit growers should firstly identify any production sites which may have fallen into the high-risk category. It is important to identify those sites now so pheromone dispensers can be pre-ordered through your Fruitfed Supplies representative or store.

All registered high-risk production sites under the Official Assurance Programme (OAP) for codling moth (Cydia pomonella) must be monitored by an accredited Pest Surveyor, so it’s important that pipfruit growers contact our crop monitoring team to register their production site for the season. The trap surveyor will put a plan in place to position traps on the orchard maps within the high-risk production site, input trap information into Fruitfed Supplies Tracit database and send all trap information to Apple and Pear NZ before 1 September. 

The Crop Monitoring Service (CMS) has seen a big jump in growers registering for the Pheromone Trapping Service. CMS can take the pain and pressure away from the growers and take care of trap placement; weekly trap reading; compliance around audits and data capture. Once growers are on board with the service, they realise the benefits quickly. 

Fruitfed CMS has developed a seamless reporting system, utilising a scout field app to capture data in the field and a database (Tracit) which correlates the data. This is then fully automated to disseminate reports to the growers within minutes of the information having been captured in the field. All trap data is then sent to Apple and Pear NZ database without the growers having to re-enter data twice.

If you would like to sign up or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your Crop Monitoring Coordinator or your Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative. Quote packages can be put together for clients. 
 

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