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Ever have that gut feeling that you’re missing something? Sure, you’ve sent some scouts out to patrol the fields, but how much can be seen from sporadic drive-bys and random checkpoints?

The real question is how much will it cost you come harvest when it’ll be too late. This is where remote sensing, or observation without touching, commonly referred to as satellite imagery, can truly benefit your operation this 2018 growing season.

Yield Maps—Too Little, Too Late

For years we’ve been printing out pretty yield maps at harvest time. And yeah, it’s cool to see the correlation between actual yield numbers and the problem areas you saw in the field. Definitely helps inform your game plan for next season. But that’s just it, it’s already too late to course correct for this season.

Yield maps are like report cards at the end of the school year. Grades are turned in, the crop is harvested, better luck next year.

We want you to help you be better prepared—with frequent, actionable updates throughout the season, kind of like progress reports where you can improve outcomes before it’s too late. Daily satellite imagery gives you snapshots of your crop’s progress, with crop health data showing you potential issues.

Satellite Imagery + Crop Health Data by Encirca = Scouting Efficiency

Our industry-leading imagery solution is layered with millions of acres of data from DuPont Pioneer field tests, images, and agronomic models, all analyzed to produce crop health difference maps that show you exactly where to prioritize your resources.

To learn more about how our technology works, how it can save time scouting, or even save costs on more expensive types of imagery, check out our webcast, led by Encirca agronomic and product experts.

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September 11, 2017

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September 11, 2017

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Karl Wozniak, Role
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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

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Grow 2018

Granular's Annual Customer CEO Summit

March 21-33, 2018

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Jeana Harms is a CFO at Clete Inc., a family row crop and cattle operation in Gering, Nebraska. She has been a Granular customer since June 2015. We caught up with her recently to understand how she makes input inventory management decisions throughout the season.

Tell us about yourself and your farm.
Clete is a diversified farming and cattle operation. We farm corn, sugar beets, wheat, dry edible beans, and alfalfa, mostly under irrigation. We run a cow/calf herd as well, and operate three feedlots. My background is in finance, actually. I got a degree in Accounting and then worked as a loan officer at Farm Credit. That’s where I met Mike, my fiance, who runs the farm. My role officially is CFO but I take care of all of our data management – more than just the financials. I don’t decide what seed goes where, but I give the guys the data to help them make the decision.
Describe your process for planning what inputs you’ll need each growing season.
The five of us (the two farm owners, our agronomist, our ops manager and myself) sit together to figure it out. We used to decide how many acres of each crop we were growing where, and then manually estimate what inputs we would need. Now we use software to develop our crop plans, and it gives us a quick total of each product we’ll need the upcoming year.
What strategies or practices do you rely on to make sure you’re getting the best prices?
Based on our volume, we will check with a few different suppliers to compare prices. We do almost everything locally – we get good prices locally. We don’t switch for pennies, though. The relationship we have right now is important – we rely heavily on customer service and really value the ability to get our products right when we need them. Waiting a day is a big deal, so the delivery is important. We’ll probably get our own tanks soon so that we can do it on our own.
How do you keep track of your input inventory throughout the season?
We have software that keep track of this for us. As we complete our field tasks and put in our deliveries, we can easily access what our inventory to know what we have and what it should be. Since we get fertilizer delivered to the fields directly, we know how much was applied where and when. Everyone puts it on their mobile app and then I can see it on my side on my desktop.
We used Excel before. And we had to trust our suppliers a lot more and had to rely on a text message or a phone call. Now I’m much better at catching errors because I have an app I can hold everyone accountable to. When they don’t do it, I get on ‘em.
How do you manage unexpected changes in plans or field activity?
It depends on whether the operator is in the field already. If we know about it before the operator is in the field, we will change the task in our software so that his work order is correct when it shows up on his mobile phone. If, for instance, our spraying operator is in the field already and he needs to use a different chemical, he will change this on the phone app and then apply it.
Three days ago we changed a few fields from corn to beans. I can manage these from the computer, on my side, but then the guys see it when they’re out. And if they change what they’re doing and then enter it in the app, I see it on my computer when they hit “Complete” on the work order.
What advice would you give other farms to improve their inventory management?
Obviously for me, the most important is technology. But even with the technology, communication is key. Getting employees on board, and explaining to them why we’re doing what we’re doing. I have meetings with them to explain the importance of our data. They buy into that and they realize that this is their job, and that they can make a difference on whether the company makes money or not. Having the employee care about it. That’s helped us the most. Doesn’t matter what systems you have in place if the team doesn’t believe they can help everyone.
How has Granular’s farm management software caused you to think differently about your business overall?
We now utilize Granular to keep track of all of this for us. As we complete our tasks and input our deliveries, we can easily access what our inventory should be. It’s made it clear that we can’t really rely on our memory. We’re all so busy, and we all think “oh well, I’ll write it down later.” There’s a high chance that you’re not writing the right thing.

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Karl Wozniak, Role
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September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Industry Insights

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

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Grow 2018

Granular's Annual Customer CEO Summit

March 21-33, 2018

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

So what’s it like to manage a farm with Granular? Many of our customers have been with us for a full year now, so we’ve asked them to share some of their experiences.

Latest

How a Potato Grower Found 11% More Profit Using Granular

Learn how Granular helped a real farm discover that their variety choice was costing them $800 per acre

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Company News

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Industry Insights

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Events

Grow 2018

Granular's Annual Customer CEO Summit

March 21-33, 2018

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Jeremy Jack and Dr. Trey Koger from Silent Shade Planting Company talk about the goals, challenges, and what’s next for the successful 8,500 acre operation in the heart of the Mississippi delta. We are lucky and excited to work with them. Learn more about their farm here.
 

Latest

How a Potato Grower Found 11% More Profit Using Granular

Learn how Granular helped a real farm discover that their variety choice was costing them $800 per acre

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Company News

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Industry Insights

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Events

Grow 2018

Granular's Annual Customer CEO Summit

March 21-33, 2018

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Granular’s Chairman of the Board of Advisors Kip Tom was featured today in the New York Times.  The article, written by Quentin Hardy, profiles Tom Farms and describes the way in which technology has helped the operation grow and adapt in a rapidly evolving ag industry. We are proud to have such an innovative leader as Kip on the Granular team. Read the full article  (and watch the video) on the NYT site by clicking on the link below.

Latest

How a Potato Grower Found 11% More Profit Using Granular

Learn how Granular helped a real farm discover that their variety choice was costing them $800 per acre

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Company News

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Industry Insights

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

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Grow 2018

Granular's Annual Customer CEO Summit

March 21-33, 2018

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Kip Tom discusses a new approach for proficiency, profitability and long-term success.
Tom Farms has existed for more than 175 plus years. The technology and business of farming has changed dramatically over those years. When I think about the next 175 years for Tom Farms, the one thing I know for sure is that the pace of change is going to be even faster. To be successful, we will need to react to changes in markets quickly, learn technology fast and use data to improve our efficiency and decisions. In fact, the single most important advantage for any farm business is becoming its ability to “learn fast.”
With this in mind, it’s critical for our industry to take an honest look at how much we learn every year in the forty chances we have in a lifetime as a farmer, how we manage information and how we make decisions. Historically, farming has been a “learn from your dad” and “learn by doing” industry, which is good, but we need to increase the velocity of learning and change. Even the best run farms don’t spend enough time understanding what works and what doesn’t every year. Many important decisions get made with intuition, not data. Most of our institutional knowledge lives in people’s heads and in Excel worksheets.
We can do much better. We need to bring the intuitive nature that we’ve learned over time out of our heads and into a system that translates it quickly for the next generation. Other industries have successfully used software to get control of their data, improve their efficiency and make better decisions. It has been difficult for farms to use software because most of our critical production activity and decisions happen outside and away from the office computer. However, advances in cloud computing, mobile phones and big data analytics have made it possible for the whole farm team to access super powerful capabilities right from their smart phones.
Some of you may be familiar with farm management software, but farm decision systems take the value much further. They not only empower us to better manage our farms, but to also take the data – that has been sitting dormant in our office, on our fields, or in isolated software – and transform it into a valuable resource that allows us to make better decisions that dramatically improve our businesses.
Tom Farms is one of a growing group of enterprise-level farms that has adopted Granular’s farm decision system. Granular is a San Francisco company backed by Google that has assembled a top team of software developers, designers and data scientists. They are focused on serving large, enterprise-level growers and are building a sales and support team in all the major farming states. Granular is rapidly adding new capabilities to its software and aims to support all the key operational, agronomic and financial processes on the farm.
We ran Granular’s farm decision systems for the entire 2014 crop season and found that it made our business more professional, more efficient and smarter. Some of the key benefits we experienced were:

  • We used Granular instead of Excel for many things this year. It is much faster, easier to use and less error prone.
  • Rather than going back and forth between multiple software systems, Granular gives us one system to collect, organize and analyze our data.
  • Granular allowed everyone on our team to see what was happening on the farm in real time from any device.
  • Granular allowed our whole team to work from the same production schedule and list of tasks. Sending work orders to mobile phones replaced dozens of phone calls, texts and emails every day. It even allowed us to connect when some of us were away from the farm.
  • Granular’s smart scheduling tool estimates field conditions, growth stage and grain moisture. This allowed us to set the order of field operations without having to drive around the farm
  • Granular helped us better understand how long it took us to complete each major field operation and highlighted ways we could get more work done faster.
  • As we roll into the 2015 cycle, Granular gives us all our 2014 results – agronomic, operational, financial – right where we need them to make key crop planning and budgeting decisions.

Like any new technology, it took some time to adapt our workflow to Granular’s farm decision system. But, very quickly we saw our team operating more efficiently, more collaboratively, more informed and with fewer fire drills by running the business on Granular. And, I am confident that Granular is setting Tom Farms up to learn faster, make better decisions and quickly adapt to what the future has in store for us.

About the Author

Kip Tom is the Managing Member of Tom Farms LLC and the President of CereServ Inc. In addition to being active in Agri-Business operations in Indiana for the past 39 years, Kip has also served as a crop production consultant to various companies in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Today Kip leads finance, strategy and production operations for Tom Farms and CereServ in the U.S. and Argentina.

About Granular

Granular is a breakthrough software and analytics platform designed specifically for the professional farm. After launching commercially in July 2014, Granular is being adopted by producers nationwide who are investing to make their businesses more professional, efficient, and profitable. Granular helps these producers organize their operational, financial, and agronomic data into one system and use it to make better decisions. Granular is backed by leading venture investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Khosla Ventures.

Latest

How a Potato Grower Found 11% More Profit Using Granular

Learn how Granular helped a real farm discover that their variety choice was costing them $800 per acre

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Company News

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Our Continued Committment to Independence and Data Privacy

Karl Wozniak, Role
  |  
September 11, 2017

Industry Insights

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Events

Grow 2018

Granular's Annual Customer CEO Summit

March 21-33, 2018

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

All Posts

Show All (50)
Industry Insights (6)
Granular Suite (12)
AcreValue (12)
Company News (1)
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Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest

Three Ways to Run a Successful Harvest