Benchmarking with Data Forward
Benchmarking is the practice of measuring the financial health and performance of your farming operation by comparing it to your performance, and to similar farms. Benchmarking can allow you to improve your financial position by identifying specific actions that can lead to increased profitability and long-term success.
Both internal and external benchmarking require accurate and timely data. Organized data related to your income, expenditures, as well as inventories of assets and liabilities, allows you to easily make benchmark measurements. This is where precision agriculture can be a time-saving advantage for you.
Precision agriculture tools can organize years and years of on-farm data to establish trends. Comparing your farm’s performance in 2019 to its performance in 2018 can help you understand the impact of changes in the market or changes you may have implemented internally.
Production benchmarks through Latham Hi-Tech Seed’s Data ForwardSM program can help you start benchmarking years of information related to crop yields, seed and fertilizer use, as well as planting dates. Together, we can study the numbers. We can note where there are efficiencies, and develop a plan to increase efficiencies in other areas.
The next step is to compare your operation to similar farms in your area. For example, you might plant soybeans in 15-inch rows while someone else plants in 30-inch rows. By comparing your farm to others, you can gain knowledge and ideas. Group comparisons allow you to see the benchmarks of less profitable and more profitable farms, and all the information remains confidential.
Look again at the financial aspects of your operation after you have calculated production benchmarks. Are you reaching your targets? If not, what strategies and tactics do you want to try for 2020? Perhaps you want to try variable rate fertilizer. Maybe you’d like to reduce plant population in lesser productive areas of the field and increase it in higher fertility area. Through Latham’s Data Forward program, we can help you make changes with confidence.
While harvest results are fresh in your mind, plan for spring 2020. Now is a great time to schedule a Data Forward Needs Assessment, so we can help you achieve your goals.