A Focus on What Farmers Can Control: Ag Tech, Management Tools, and Integrated Labor Systems

There is doom and gloom surrounding predictions of the impacts of climate change on water supply, degradation of soil, pollination, weed control, and lower specialty crop yields. Continued uncertainty about trade relations may take a toll on exports. An inability to create a cohesive immigration policy to provide adequate, timely, and legal labor for seasonal jobs when our domestic workforce can’t, or won’t, fill the need…. There are without question factors working against the Ag Industry that seem almost too big to control or change quickly. So, what can a farmer do today to keep the operation going?

It’s time to embrace innovation. Companies see what Ag is up against and are out to develop hardware and software solutions. Labor management technologies utilizing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, cloud-based mobile labor tracking apps, and payroll integration can greatly improve payroll accuracy which saves time and money. Scanning and data logging in the field allows for GPS traceability and a more streamlined process. Implementing electronic labor management cuts down work in the office and improves labor and yield records.

Labor management tools are nothing new. The good news: this technology is now adapted specifically for farms, orchards, and nurseries and they do not have to break the bank. There are solutions that exist that fit a budget of the 20- or 40-acre farm. This is important at a time when even the family farm needs to run like the thousand-acre operation.

It’s time to ask yourself, “How can my operation become more efficient?” But, can you even answer the question, “Where is the money and where are my farm’s resources going?” It’s time to explore solutions that will give you the data you need to analyze and review what your farm is doing right, where you can cut down on expenses (labor hours down to the block or row level), your workforce’s efficiency, and the direction you need to go to remain competitive in an uncertain Ag landscape.