Tough market conditions, climate change, and population growth are among the reasons that encourage farmers and agricultural cooperatives in the US and all over the world to rethink the way they work together and the practices they utilize. Following the sustainability trend and the variety of affordable agri tech appearing on the market, more and more farmers made decisions to try out the benefits of farm management software.
No matter if it’s a digital farm management platform, weather stations, ground sensors, or other agri tech solution, all of them enable growers to shift towards precision and sustainability while increasing profits. As farmer co-ops have very similar goals, this article will focus on how farm management software can aid agricultural co-ops in the USA and other countries in achieving the best results.
According to the National Cooperative Business Association, there are over a million farmer co-ops across the globe. And 2 million farmers belong to more than 2 thousand agricultural cooperatives in the US. So, why are agricultural cooperatives so popular among growers? Let’s try to answer that.
In modern conditions, agricultural cooperation is a socio-economic phenomenon, the essence of which consists in economic relations between its members with the goal of achieving a common goal at minimum cost on the basis of mutual benefit and cooperation. Despite the predominance of economic interest in agricultural cooperatives, its basis and the main idea remains mutual assistance, interdependence, and interest in common success.
The achievement of this goal is ensured by solving such problems as the purchase of agricultural machinery and implements, fertilizers, and seeds; repair and maintenance of machinery; performance of a certain type of work, requiring special equipment; research and demonstration fields; organization of cheap credit for production purposes; consulting and information services, etc.
An example of how agri co-ops help farmers would be the USDA, known as the main advocate for farm co-ops in the US. The aim of its cooperative programs is to encourage understanding and use of the cooperative form of business through technical assistance, knowledge exchange, research, and statistics.
The advantages of agriculture cooperatives in the USA and globally are quite diverse, but there are some key benefits that are easily defined:
- Operations transparency
- Higher profits
- Better quality of products and services
- Saved costs on inputs
- Access to larger markets
- Legal support
Farmer co-ops frequently lack data when it comes to making important farm management decisions. Whether it’s for agricultural input application or the prediction of crop threats and future yield, co-op members are in need of constant field monitoring, usually performed through scouting, which consumes a lot of time and money.
Farm management software offers online access to the necessary field data in one place, which leads to higher precision, effective resources management, and increased productivity. However, cooperative members often use different farm management software, which may negatively affect decision-making due to miscommunication and confusion. To avoid this issue, it’s best for agri co-ops to use an all-in-one software solution that will enable them to provide invaluable insights to the members.
An example of such a digital solution is EOS Crop Monitoring by EOS Data Analytics. The set of features available on the platform is developed to match the needs of every farming cooperative. Here are the ones that are most valuable to agri co-ops:
- Zoning enables farmers to decide on the precise amount of fertilizers relying on historical data about each field zone’s yielding ability.
- Vegetation indices allow for adjusting farm activities based on the current state of plants and soil in each field.
- Weather data offers access to 14-day weather forecasts, historical weather data, and current weather. With all this information, agrarians can analyze local weather patterns, plan field activities based on upcoming weather conditions, and prevent crop stress due to weather-related threats.
- Scouting enables remote problem areas detection, scouting tasks assignment and management. Sending scouts exactly to the field zone that needs inspection, farmers can track assignment progress and results on the platform and via email notifications.
- Field leaderboard displays critical characteristics on all fields in one place, sorting them by size, crop, change in vegetation index, sowing data, and more.
- Team management enables improved collaboration among the members of agri cooperative thanks to effective sharing of the necessary data among team members.
All these features supply farmer coops with the most actionable data they may need for smart field management. They will be able to track crops’ health, growth stages, and detect threats before they damage the crop. Eventually, the cooperatives reach higher yields and profit, while spending less time and resources on production.
Agri coops that are willing to reap the benefits of EOS Crop Monitoring platform can choose one of the following partnership options the company offers:
- Subscription to EOS Crop Monitoring platform starting from 5,000 ha.
- White Label — EOS Crop Monitoring platform customized according to the cooperative’s corporate branding.
For those who require a specific types of data, the company also provides several custom solutions, including crop types mapping, field boundaries detection, yield prediction, and soil moisture mapping.
Overall, farm software can become a perfect add-on to every agricultural cooperative willing to optimize production, increase profit, and ensure effective data exchange among members. Having all the necessary insights online in one data-rich platform, cooperatives can also provide advisory services to the members.