In the digital age, most industries have embraced an electronic and technological aspect. There is a Michigan-based company that hopes to make sure agriculture follows suit.
FarmLogs is farm management software that stresses the importance of providing software assistance to farmers, which in turn, serves the entire agriculture industry that we all rely on. Software features include tracking farming activity and expenses, forecasting and measuring profits, studying field performance, risk measurement, operation scheduling, management of sales and inventory, monitoring weather, watching the market trends and prices, mobile apps, and (coming soon) visualizing effects of rainfall.
I recently spoke with Co-Founder and CEO, Jesse Vollmar, who explains the software itself and how FarmLogs changes the face of agriculture management as we know it.
Kristin Coppens: Explain the idea behind FarmLogs (how did it come to fruition and why).
Jesse Vollmar: We were inspired to build FarmLogs when we discovered some of the challenges that farmers in our community, and my own family, were facing because they didn’t have good software to work with. Record keeping without FarmLogs is a painful process, but having data to help support each decision can leader to greater profitability. We want to help farmers become more profitable and efficient without difficult work. Good software can do just that.
KC: How does it work?
JV: Farmers can use the web or the mobile app to forecast profits, track fieldwork, manage inventory and sales, and log maintenance records all in one place.
KC: In your opinion, what benefits does this software bring to the farmers? To the community?
JV: FarmLogs simplifies farm recordkeeping. It enables collaboration on the farm so that everyone is on the same page at all times. Most importantly, with FarmLogs, farmers can more easily use data to help inform their critical decision-making. It helps take the guesswork out of management decisions.
For the community, I think that helping the farmers become more efficient will lead to lower costs for consumers. It will also allow us to keep up with the increasing demand as the population continues to grow. Another, fairly obvious, benefit are the jobs we’re creating.
KC: Why did you choose to keep FarmLogs in Michigan, and why, specifically, is Michigan’s market suitable?
JV: Moving to Michigan was a tough decision. Silicon Valley is probably the best place in the world for building a technology startup. That being said, we wanted better access to our customers. The majority of our customers are row-crop farms located in the Midwest. For us, Ann Arbor was the best of both worlds. We have that access to a startup community and technical talent, as well as the ability to be just about anywhere in the Midwest within a day’s drive.
KC: How does FarmLogs change the future of farming?
JV: The average farm has vast amounts of underutilized data because they don’t have the software tools to help them analyze it. We provide incredibly intuitive ways for farmers to get all their data in one place and further extract meaning from it. In the process of doing so, we can deliver innovative new approaches to boosting productivity on the farm, while gathering mass amounts of statistics on the agricultural market.
KC: Why is this important (i.e. what are we missing without it)?
JV: Without FarmLogs, it is very challenging for farmers to use data to inform their decisions.
What would the utilization of FarmLogs mean in your community?
Photo credit: FarmLogs