“I was already using the software when the electronic NLIS system was being introduced as well as all the new protocols for chemical accreditations and record keeping were thrust upon the grower. This was when the Practical Systems software really came into its own.
“Farmbook has been an amazing tool for allowing me to keep all the information required to comply with the chemical certification program, the EU accreditation, Cattlecare and other various schemes that producers and growers are encouraged to be part of.
“Farmbook is a simple program that allows me to record all events that are typically carried out on every paddock or crop in an easy-to-follow format. You do not have to be a computer whiz to be able to download the program and get started straight away.
One of the best tools that I use is the allocation of paddock treatments to the crop you are growing. If I spray our oat crop for broadleaf weeds, at the end of the job or end of the week, I simply click on the paddocks sprayed, add the date the amount of spray per hectare and in a few clicks of the mouse I have a complete set of records with up-to-date costings for both the crop and the paddock. The system also records all the batch numbers and storage details that are often required as well as keeping track of all the various withhold periods for treatments applied.
Over the years this has become a valuable tool. I can get reports that show a paddock’s complete history. I can also get reports with the click of a mouse that shows where and when I have used a certain chemical. Another click of the mouse and I have a detailed report of what chemicals I have on hand, where. This meant that come audit time, all the work was done for me.
“FarmMap has also been a great tool for planning and record keeping. For me, it runs away in the background keeping track of what crops are grown where and when. If I look up where I grew oats for the past few years I can see a map clearly laid out. It requires no additional work. I also use it to easily measure distances for planned fencing or water improvements as well as to measure areas of grazing country that I might be budgeting for fertilizer spreading.
“Stockbook, Farmbook and FarmMap have greatly improved my record keeping and reporting abilities. They are an integral part of our business and something that is growing in value the longer I use it. The more information that I have in the systems as the years go the more value I get from them.
“Practical Systems software is very different today from what I started with. It has adapted to the changing requirements and information that we as farmers have had to endure and are required to keep over the years. It is their ability to move with industry and still keep it farmer-friendly which means I have no problem recommending it to anyone.
“The support offered by Practical Systems is first rate. To be able to speak to a human is in itself a rare thing and the new remote support where an expert from Practical Systems can actually remotely operate and help and see what I am doing on my computer while I am in the office is amazing.
“As a long term user, I would have no problem recommending Stockbook, Farmbook or FarmMap to anyone considering this sort of system to help record all the day to day operations on farming and grazing business. It will help comply with all the protocols needed for all the government and department schemes while also providing more tools for better budgeting and planning.