Relying on modern technology to enable farmers businesses to become competitive and efficient is the name of the game for one of the UK’s most popular precision support systems, Farmplan, and its latest Gatekeeper cropping software.

Founded almost 50 years ago, Farmplan has supported generations of farmers with the most comprehensive and trusted farm management software solutions.

Offering complete farm management software for crops, cattle, business and accounts, the system also provides trusted farm software, IT solutions and support to help UK farms and rural businesses manage records, demonstrate compliance and improve performance.

"Big or small, our range of software is here to support any farm or agri-enterprise and is trusted by more than 8500 farms and their advisors, covering 40% of all UK arable crops and providing support to livestock farmers across the country," commented regional account manager, Scott Millar.

The system also offers farm management software to farm businesses covering crops, livestock and business and accounts, with packages tailored to individual farm businesses depending on the level of sophistication required.

The software’s leading app, Gatekeeper – launched almost 10 years ago – aims to provide farmers and agronomists with a user friendly way of having their field records to hand at all times. It also provides updates on the go while in the field, ultimately saving time and ensuring all records are up to date and meeting all compliance requirements.

“Gatekeeper and its Gatekeeper Web App is the name of the specialist crop management software and it’s the UK’s leading crop recording and field management software suitable for growers of all sizes, agronomists and consultants,” Scott added.

“The Gatekeeper web app saves farmers time and money and allows farmers to record jobs on the go, out in the field with no bits of paper to lose or take back to the office to update. It provides job planning and ensures quick and easy compliance data, making sure spray records are complete and assurance schemes complied with.”

The app is PC-based, with the Gatekeeper web app functioning on all hand held devices, allowing field records to be carried in your pocket, as well as also being an office tool based on a PC, with cost dependent upon the nature and complexity of the business.

“This app works in tandem with the office version and functions on all hand held devices and syncs with the software, allowing all records to be carried in your pocket, wherever you are,” he explained.

The cost of signing up to the web app is £128 per year for three access devices, for example, one for the farmer, one for the agronomist and one for the field operator.

“Gatekeeper can integrate the data from the majority of current precision farming tools and there is almost no limit to the size or complexity of business that can utilise Gatekeeper,” Scott said.

The package seems to be a hit with its customers. One farmer that has used the technology since its release is Robert Drysdale, Monymusk Land Co, in Aberdeenshire.

"We use the system in the office and rely on Gatekeeper totally for crop recording and compliance for the likes of Nitrogen Vulnerable Zones. It also comes in handy for recording stock levels, as well as the financial side of crop inputs – it really is a key part of our business operation," he explained.

“We also use it for spraying operations and I like the fact that chemicals are linked to the database, so it checks crop approvals and can adapt accordingly. I would definitely recommend the app to other farmers.”

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