Map of Agriculture was formed by a kiwi farmer, Forbes Elworthy. Back in 2012, he was overseeing 27 dairy farms for a farming company that he set up, called Craigmore.
That company has a family-farmer attitude with a “bottom up” approach. The farmers, not the managers or advisors, make the day-to-day decisions.
The farmers were after a “whole picture” view of what was going on their farms. To do that it meant manually logging in to several separate supplier websites – one to get the milk production figures, another for animal health, plus a work-around with the accounting package to try and tie it back to the financials and pull it into Excel. A bit of a nightmare.
Coming from a technology background, Forbes wondered if it might be possible to create a web-site that brought all these things together in one place. A kind of family-farmer with a corporate level of systems and technology. That meant pulling in a tech team with farming backgrounds to start developing the systems.
The main request was for a farm reporting tool that could make life simpler, not more complicated. Most importantly, his farmers wanted automatic input of data wherever possible and simple dashboards that made the information easy to see and interpret.
Pulling information straight into the Map of Ag dashboard meant easy reporting for the farmer, but it also meant that the information could be passed back to the support offices in Christchurch for their management reporting. In other words, the same information could be used for different purposes.
It soon became apparent that Map of Agriculture’s mission was not just to enable the farmer to make his own decisions, but also to allow the farmer to connect the various information flows with their trusted advisors, to get the best results for each individual farm.
It’s time to start connecting agriculture.