A complete picture of your operation is essential. We've not only built a powerful farm management software system in partnership with farmers, we've also worked to integrate our system with the tools farms are already using, so you can bring all your information together. One of our most important integrations is with systems that gather field data, like Climate FieldView™.
The technology that shows what's happening and what happened in your fields is important, but what's maybe more important is the ability to use that data to inform your decisions moving forward. “It's actually kind of amazing to me how these systems are starting to talk to each other,” said Pat Christie, a founder of Conservis. “Having been at this long enough, I know how hard it was not that long ago, to get really good, usable machine information. One thing was to get it, another thing was to actually be able to do something with it. It’s really cool."
It's not what we say that matters though—it's what you say. There's nothing more valuable than real farmers finding our technology useful. We talked with two growers who use Conservis and Climate FieldView™ together about how they're merging the agronomics with the economics. Listen in below.
Kyle Musselman, Macy, IN
"It's been kind of eye-opening how simple it can be to analyze everything."
Kyle's operation, Musselman Brothers, Inc., has been using Climate FieldView™ for over five years. They adopted Conservis at the beginning of 2018 out of a desire to save time, keeping data accurate and having all their information in one place.
Kyle’s farm has always been big on data collection: they began to collect yield data on the combines in the late 90s. But prior to joining Conservis, they were collecting quite a bit of data in different forms. "I've always had a fair amount of data to look at and analyze. The problem was trying to find the right platform to view it," he said.
This was an ongoing frustration. "In the beginning we were all John Deere at the time, so we used John Deere's program. Then we slowly started getting equipment that wasn't John Deere. Then we started having problems. The struggle was real of figuring out how to import data from all these different company platforms," Kyle said. "It was a lot of frustration. We had the beginning information, and we were trying our best but we just never could get to our destination. It seemed like no matter how much time we put into the program we were using, we just never ended up with the end result."
The integration of FieldView™ and Conservis has proven itself to Kyle.
"We collect the data out in the field, with a variety of different equipment and platforms and then we're able to put in all in one platform and look at it, no matter what color of equipment it is. Conservis does a great job of analyzing that data from the machines and bringing it together."
"Another nice part about FieldView™ and Conservis is when you're using multiple platforms on the farm, you don't want two that have the same strengths or two that have the same weaknesses. What's great about FieldView™ and Conservis is the strengths and weaknesses are almost complete opposites," he said.
"With FieldView™, I can pull up information right now of how many acres I planted, how many acres I harvested, what hybrid grows the best, what soil type is best. I can pull that up right now on my phone out in the field. But I can’t see the dollars and cents. Then, I get back in the office to make sense of all the stuff that's on my phone," Kyle said.
“FieldView™ is great at mapping. Conservis is great at analyzing. It's really almost a perfect pairing with those two together.”
Harold Grall, Dumas, TX
"Now we can put a value on what we're doing."
Meticulous recordkeeping isn't something new for Harold Grall, who operates Hasta Farms in Texas. Under the guidance of his mentors, a couple he worked for when he first began farming, he has developed a strong skillset around keeping good records. "Right now we're in the process of all this data that I've collected into Conservis so this next generation can use it more quickly, efficiently, and effectively," he said.
They’ve been using Climate for over a decade and have been with Conservis for a few years. As a forward-thinking farmer, Harold has been on the farm digitization journey for a while. “Technology has always been very important to me,” he said. “You're either moving forward or you're moving backwards. So we were always looking for new things we could get involved with.”
Farming can be a challenging business, Harold said, recalling very challenging times for their operation throughout the 80s and 90s. “And so we're always looking for ways to maximize profit,” he said.
Harold had experimented with variable rate planting and fertilizer applications throughout the years, but he couldn’t see a clear payoff. “I mean, it was great that we could do it, but when we compared it to some of the stuff where we weren’t using these technologies, it just seemed like it wasn’t doing anything to the bottom line that we could identify," he said.
Several years later, a company approached them and took their technology to the next level. “They came out and we mapped fields. We compared those maps with yield data that we had collected over the years. We created zones. They wrote prescriptions and we followed all of their recommendations,” he said. Yet he still wasn't sure about the payoff. "Again, we didn't see a lot of added benefits to the bottom line. So what we realized is we needed to be a little bit more involved."
Harold had been using Conservis primarily for grain inventory, but he decided to upgrade his subscription when he saw how Conservis would be able to help him more clearly see the financial payoff of his agronomic decisions. "After working with [Conservis] for several years, they introduced Zone Economics and partnered with Climate. When [Climate and Conservis] got together, we thought, okay this is something we could probably do ourselves," he said. "Now we could put a value on what we're doing."
"When Conservis started offering the zone capabilities, [it] was kind of the missing component for us. Now we're able to marry our input costs and our yields and determine a true ROI per zone in the field."
Improving profit field by field
Conservis Zone Economics
With your Climate FieldView™ data integrated, you have access to Zone Economics, a tool that provides powerful financial analysis of your fields. Measuring a crop’s success by the yield doesn’t necessarily make the most sense. How much money did you put in to get the yield you did—that’s what Zone Economics can help you understand.
Kyle's operation is just digging into the capabilities of Zone Economics, but he's already seen a clear benefit. "We’re still learning the power of what all we can do [with Zone Economics] and making some changes along the way. One way it's been great for us is that a very quick way to figure out how new products impacted your bottom line," he said. "As soon as you pull up the map, within 15 seconds you can pick out, man that area is all red. Over here, there's these green streaks everywhere. Then I'll dive into what is causing the green streaks, because that's where you're making more money."
Kyle spoke to the big picture of yield and profit. "As technology with farm equipment and data processing advances, one of our goals is to try and reduce the amount of inputs we use to grow a bushel of corn or soybeans. We want to try to minimize the amount of inputs we're having to buy, while maybe still maintaining the same yield. In some cases you could have a little bit less yield, but actually make more profit," he said. "So that's one area we're working on, trying to see how far we can reduce inputs without depleting the soil of nutrients, but at the same time trying to be as efficient as we can."
Having upgraded their Conservis subscription when he saw the capabilities of Zone Economics, Harold shares Kyle's thoughts. "Our goal is to be able to produce optimally for each zone that we've established in our fields," said Harold. "You're trying to identify the full yield capability or net profit capability for every zone, because that's why we're doing this. If I have a particular part in my field that produces 300 bushel corn, I want to do it, and what kind of inputs do we need to take to be able to do that?"
"That's what we're trying to achieve. We're trying to identify full capabilities of each zone out there, and just swinging for the fence until it's no longer profitable. It's all about that law of diminishing returns per zone, and trying to figure what that is," he said.
Harold realizes that technology for technology's sake isn't worth it. "Again, and I can't emphasize this enough, it's great that we have these capabilities to be able to use things like [variable rate technology]. But if they're not making money, all they are is just good entertainment," he said. "We have to make sure that it's working for us, that it's adding something to the bottom line."
"Each year we do a new trial or two and test company products out in the field. With FieldView™ mapping and everything coming into Conservis, along with Zone Economics, it makes it very simple to figure out the results of what we're trying, the effect it has on the bottom line."
Thinking about Conservis?
Harold gave some advice to growers considering a farm management software system. "Do your due diligence and ask people, talk to people who are using other services and compare them," he said.
He appreciates our belief that technology is only as good as the people standing behind it. "One of the major things we like about Conservis is the service. For someone like me who’s a little bit challenged technology-wise, I need lots of help. I have some young people who are giving me lots of help, but that’s so important," he said. "Not everyone has the impeccable service you guys have."
Finally, he mentioned our consistent growth and the way we value the input of farmers. "And also, not everyone is adapting and changing. Not change just for the sake of changing, but listening to producers and what they need, and being very proactive in the needs of what we're doing," he said.
It’s simple to connect FieldView™ data to Conservis. You log into Climate through our system, see your fields and activities show up, and link them into the Conservis database. It’s a one-time connection: from then, the data will move automatically into Conservis and present itself seamlessly.
We're committed to helping you find opportunity and value in your data. "We're listening to our farmers. We learned early that with the pile of promises that’s been made to the farm, you really have to be there to get through," said Pat. "At Climate and Conservis, we're both committed to you getting the most of every piece of technology we bring together. And we're trying to solve problems you care about, not sell you things you don't need."
Conservis is the leading independent farm management software system. Interested in what we could do for your operation?