September 18, 2011
When I was growing up, my family owned and operated a thriving small farm. From this experience, I know that complex work structures lie behind the seemingly peaceful and simple fields of crops and animals. I also know how much farmers like to talk to each other, sharing tips and comparing crop performances season after season.
A lot has changed in the farming business since then. What if we’d had an app to help us manage it all?
I can’t really see my dad, uncle, or any of the guys where I’m from sitting on a tractor in the middle of a field, gingerly tapping their iPhones to find an app to help them with their farming work. If you wanted to communicate and collaborate with others, you cupped your hands and yelled. Those within earshot of your voice were considered to be “in your network.” That’s how we did things down on the farm.
All joking aside, anyone who has been around farming knows that agriculture is big business, logistically complex and employs many business concepts like just-in-time production strategies and Six Sigma quality assurance assessments.
Today’s farmers have Farmeron, a new app that helps them manage their businesses. Croatian-based Farmeron manages farm data, analyzes farm performance, lowers costs, and allows farmers to collaborate with each other.
Specifically, farmers can use the app for animal and grain farming data management, farm performance analysis, Ag production planning, and sharing and competing to see how your farm stands up to your neighbors’ farms, both near and far.
I asked CEO Matija Kopic what inspired him to create Farmeron.
I started Farmeron to help my father and my farming friends to focus on their work, not on boring and time-consuming data management and form filling.
Kopic’s father owns a large farm, so he’s been hearing about data management and analytics problems in agriculture since he was a little boy. As a student, Kopic thought about how there was never enough time to do proper data management and production calculations after a hard day’s work, and he began thinking about how to combine farming and IT. He developed software modules and before long, Kopic had secured his first large contract to build a data management and analytics solution for a large, Croatian dairy farming company. Farmeron was incorporated in late 2010, and Kopic has been hard at work developing a web solution since then.
Farmeron currently has a desktop app, which the team has used to test and refine its product. Its customers are some of the largest Croatian Ag companies. They’ve also built a web app, with plans to go global; they have 1000+ users on the waiting list for beta.
For the Farmeron team, the time for disrupting the agriculture industry is now. Farmers are one of the fastest growing Internet adopters on Earth. SME farmers make up to 74% of the world’s agriculture, yet 90% of them don’t use any kind of farming software. And there is no targeted online marketplace for Ag & Food ads. Competitors like FarmERP, LandMagic and AG-HUG tailor their services to large Ag corporations. Farmeron is about core farming production and focuses on SME farmers.
Farmeron is currently in private beta, and Kopic hopes the product will become a worldwide standard for online farm management.
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