Saturday, 30 June 2018 09:55

Like using eftpos to treat nutrients

Written by  Kenneth Irons, chief executive of Precision Farming Ltd

Nutrient management platform MyBallance brings the same benefits to nutrient management that EFTPOS brought to money management.

Years ago, no one thought anything of paying for purchases by cheque or cash, waiting weeks for a bank statement to come in the mail, trying to reconcile your bank account and realising that try as you may, with such a manual, slow, time consuming process, you never really knew exactly what was in your bank account.  It was just the way things had always been.

Then came eftpos and online banking.  So easy, so quick and so accurate, we’ve taken to it like a duck to water. 

Eftpos is connected – when you swipe your card and choose your account, the eftpos terminal is connected to your bank.  The money comes out of your correct account without you having to match up the transaction with paperwork later.

Eftpos is automatic, immediate, hands free and is what you did rather than what you planned .

Now Ballance and Precision Farming bring the same benefits to nutrient management that EFTPOS has brought to money management.

Launched earlier this year, and rolled out widely at National Fieldays, the MyBallance nutrient management platform in partnership with Precision Farming, has had over 3,000 Ballance shareholder siging up to the new platform.

This brings together the substantial resources of Ballance and Precision Farming to “close the loop” on nutrient management. MyBallance + Precision is connected – being an online electronic platform, the MyBallance + Precision system means that all five major resources that come together to deliver complete nutrient management to farmers, their advisors and their contractors are now within the one context. That makes soil science, ordering, delivery, application and reporting connected end to end.

MyBallance + Precision is automatic – When you select paddocks or blocks to which fertiliser is to be applied, whether from your annual fertiliser and application plan online or as a special order, your requirements are linked directly to your chosen account or merchant for payment, to your chosen customer service centre or consignment store for delivery (even including your order going directly to front end loader driver’s iPad in his cab), to your Precision Tracking or TracMap equipped contractor.

MyBallance + Precision is immediate – complete your requirements online and hit send, and everyone has your instructions immediately.  

MyBallance + Precision is hands free – Once you have completed your order on the day, everything from there on is hands-free.  No more paper maps showing spreading lines stapled to your contractor’s invoice that you then have to sit down and sort out into your Overseer report or dairy company return.  Go online any time after your application is completed and see GPS tracks, applied rate and full calculation of your NPK results, reported by paddock, by block, by date range, by product type.  All without having to sort through a ring binder of pages adding up on paper or spreadsheet what went into which paddocks.

MyBallance + Precision is as applied, not as intended – If you write down what you ask your contractor to apply at the time you are requesting the spreading, you are recording an intention – something you plan to have happen in the next few days.  

Not everyone embraces change for change sake.  Sometimes its appears easier on the surface to keep doing things the way you’ve always done them.  Some of us may even have resisted using an eftpos card and preferred to keep writing cheques for day to day purposes.  Not any more. Who would go back to an unconnected, manual, slow, labour-intensive, inaccurate form of money management when we are now all used to the many advantages of online banking.

So too with nutrient management.  The MyBallance + Precision system offers so many advantages, with many more to come as further functions and features are added, that it is understandable why thousands of farmers have already started taking advantage of this new resource.

• Kenneth Irons is chief executive of Precision Farming Ltd

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