Keeping Your Farm Data Safe

Keeping Your Farm Data Safe
Play Video about Organic Farmer Scott Myers utilizes Traction Ag for farm management.

Organic farmer Scott Myers stresses the importance of having organized and accurate records.

Data is a powerful tool for farmers. When using accounting data like income statements or equipment costs, as well as field data like operation activities (i.e., seeding and spraying), farmers have a plethora of data to track, manage and analyze. For Ohio organic farmer Scott Myers, maintaining accurate records is paramount.

 

“We have to track everything,” Myers says. “From when we purchase an input to where it goes on the field to when the crop is sold, we have to be able to trace back everything. That is very important when you’re certified organic because we get inspected every year.”

 

In his opinion, the financial records are most important, but to maintain their farm’s organic certification and qualify for organic premiums, having solid crop records is also critical.

Lessons Learned

Myers farms with his dad and they have used various farm accounting software programs over the years, including Horizon Accounting, Farm Works and most recently, Traction. Even before transitioning to all organic acres, Myers says keeping records was always a priority for their operation.

 

In the early days, Myers recalls their accountant visiting every month with his computer to enter the farm’s accounting data. “It took so much time and the disks had to be organized in the correct order. It was a fairly cumbersome process,” he says.

 

Eventually, they transitioned to Farm Works and Myers could enter data at his convenience on his own computer. “When we moved to Farm Works, I backed stuff up, but I didn’t realize how important it was until I went through a situation where I lost about three months’ worth of data and had to re-enter everything,” he explains.

Organic farmer Scott Myers checks his field profitability on his iPad.

Leveraging cloud-based solutions like Traction eliminates any possibility of losing farm data due to computer or USB issues.

After that experience, Myers started creating data backups each day, saving it to a USB thumb drive and eventually uploading it to a cloud-based storage service. The entire process took time and you needed to make sure you had the most recent backup in all places.

Team Collaboration

Scott Myers can take his iPad anywhere to see the information entered by his employees.

In addition to farming with his dad, Myers has four employees who play an integral role in data entry. Having multiple users on a desktop system wasn’t working. Myers needed a solution that would allow them to collaborate so they switched to Traction.

 

“With Traction, we can overlap and work together,” Myers says. “I might be the one using the financial side of things like transaction entries or printing checks, and one of my employees might enter different things he’s doing in a field.” The peace of mind Myers has knowing his data is safe with Traction’s cloud-based software is priceless.

 

“At the end of the day, I just click out of my browser, and I know it’s saved in the cloud and it’s taken care of,” he says. “Ten years ago, you always had to try to remember which USB drive you had and which computer your backup was saved on. Now I can go to any computer for any of these things.”

 

Myers grew up with floppy drives, so he understands the transition from USB drive backups to a cloud-based system can take some getting used to.

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