Past Research

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Identification and Classification of Farm Tools and Apps

DairyNZ asked the Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management to investigate the use of farm tools by rural professionals and farmers. In 2011, James Allen and Sjaak Wolfert did a stocktake of farm management tools used by farmers and rural professionals in Australasia as part of this work. The 2012 work added to these findings. The farm tools identified in the 2011 work were classified by decision type (e.g. financial, production), decision level (operational, tactical, strategic) and reason (planning, control).

A similar search for applications (apps) for farming available for Apple and Android tablets and smartphones was undertaken. These were classified using similar criteria, with comment provided. Over two months (March-May 2012) only 59 agricultural-specific apps were identified. Most of these were from overseas, and some would need to be adapted to be applicable in New Zealand. Only two New Zealand specific agricultural apps were found.

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The majority of farm tools and apps were for production purposes, particularly feed and stock management, and cropping. There were fewer resource and nutrient tools. There were also fewer tools and apps available for finance, HR and marketing (only 2). Overall, there were a similar number of tools available to assist with planning and control decisions, although the distribution varied within decision level and type. There were more strategic tools for planning decisions, and more operational tools for control. The majority of the apps were production apps for operational and tactical decision making.

The 2012 work is summarised in the final project report, “The Use of Farm Tools by Rural Professionals and Farmers” by Dooley, Hammond, Allen and McLean (2012).

The individual reports associated with the project (shown below) are also available. Short report summaries are provided at the beginning of these individual reports (Executive Summary).

Allen, J. and Wolfert, S. (2011). Farming for the future: towards better information-based decision-making and communication. Phase 1: Australasian stocktake of farm management tools used by farmers and rural professionals. A client report for the Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management. AgFirst Consultancy.

Dooley, A.E. (2012). Classification of Australasian Farm Management Tools used by Farmers and Rural Professionals. Client report prepared for DairyNZ. Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management, Massey University.

Hammond, H. (2012). Stocktake of Farm Management Apps used by Farmers and Rural Professionals. Client report prepared for DairyNZ. Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management, Massey University.