Four months ago we announced a partnership with Federated Farmers. We want to see how the cloud can improve productivity in the rural sector and specifically deliver Faming in the Cloud – a version of Xero that allows farm accounts to be processed.
Our accounting partners, particularly in the regions, need Xero to be able to do farm accounting as the rural sector is an important part of their business.
Federated Farmers have taken a strong advocacy role for rural broadband. We applaud their initiative to reach out to application providers who need to be able to provide new service offerings via the pipes. It’s the applications that will drive productivity.
Over the past few months we’ve met with many people in the rural solutions industry. We found there are many silos of information and belived that if we could get the industry talking we’d find opportunities for collaboration and identify key areas where working together we could make the boat go faster.
So yesterday the Feds (I love calling them ‘The Feds’) and Xero put on an industry day where the various solution providers and industry players could do a show and tell and build relationships.
It was a fascinating day with some very exciting projects going on.From what we’ve seen to date, we believe there are two main data anchors that could provide a platform for data interchange.
- Geocode and boundary data provide a consistent way to identify paddocks, farms and farm groups. Events can be recorded that can be linked to that geocode. For example taking a grass measurement or applying fertilizer.
- Livestock. With a globally unique animal identifier events that happen to the animal, like birth, death, sale or a weight reading can be recorded against an industry wide register
We have a number of specific projects to continue with but I sense there is a real willingness for keep people in the industry to work out a series of standards that will allow the ability to share information and provide farmers and other rural participants to gain access to new types of tools that drive performance, productivity and profitability.
Thee companies presenting included: Xero, Landcorp, Livestock Improvement Corporation, Terralink, Gallaghers, AG-Hub, Rural Trader, Gen-I, Tru-Test, MAF, Farmside, CRS Software, Farmworks PFS, Onto-It, Readynet, Opto and iFarm.
The National Radio interview is available here (second half): Radio NZ
We have set up a LinkedIn group to keen the conversation going: Farming in the Cloud. Other vendors (including accounting software vendors) are more than welcome to join the conversation.
If anyone is interested in learning more about the activities please let us know.