A new software package aims to help farmers plan the path to greater profitability by assessing the sustainability of their farm business.
Called Sandy, the suite of software from Trinity AgTech is described as a simple-to-use digital assistant which provides robust proof of provenance for far produce and captures the full value of natural capital.
The software seeks to support farmers as they face major changes in farm support. This includes the phase-out of the basic payment scheme and the introduction of new schemes which will reward farmers for undertaking environmental work.
Sandy’s core tools include carbon footprint and biodiversity assessments. But it also covers livestock management, monitors crop performance, nutrient status and yield prediction – as well as analysing farm business performance.
Trinity AgTech managing director Richard Williamson, formerly farms director of Beeswax Farming, said: “Our industry is changing, and Sandy has come at a time when farmers are being forced to ask themselves how their business will evolve.
“Within this change, there are opportunities for farmers to capture different and diverse income streams. However, farmers need clear, independent and robust information to succeed in these.”
Mr Williamson said Sandy used the latest science and technology to help farmers achieve new heights in environmental progress and financial prosperity while adding greater credibility to their traced provenance.
He added: It’s the digital assistant I’ve been looking for in my farming career.”
Sandy was developed by a team of more than 30 scientists and engineers in consultation with farmers and industry leaders who sit on Trinity AgTech’s Advisory Council. Major retailers, banks and cooperatives also back the use of the software.
How it works
Integrating with other farm software, Sandy processes the array of data available to farmers through an easy-to-use range of tools. This puts hard numbers on the environmental benefits delivered by the farm – as well as its financial performance.
Sandy captures every aspect of a farm’s financial and environmental contribution, delivering precision and simplicity to all stakeholders, said Mr Williamson. It strips out friction, delay and cost from the system.
Jake Freestone, 2020 Soil Farmer of the Year and Farm Manager of Overbury Enterprises, is trialling Sandy. He said it had the ability for managing and monetising a path for farmers towards net zero and biodiversity targets.
Mr Freestone added: “With the quality of science underpinning it and the industry backing it’s achieved, Sandy looks set to deliver what we’re looking for. It can pull into one place and make sense of the many data sources we have.
“It looks to provide clarity and precision through a range of tools that are remarkably easy to use. I hope Sandy will help direct us on our path to building local markets for food with trusted provenance and opportunities to capitalise on emerging income streams.”
Based in Gloucestershire, Mr Freestone said Overbury Enterprises had worked hard to develop a rich and diverse farming system, improved soil health, provide habitats for wildlife and deliver a vibrant rural environment for the local community.
He added: “It’s how we grow our crops, look after our animals and care for our countryside, and we want to capture those values in the produce that leaves our farm and the services we provide.”
With the ability to integrate and work alongside most existing farm management and financial recording tools, Sandy is now available for farmers looking to make their wealth of data work for them.
Software demonstrations can be arranged with a Trinity AgTech engineer via www.trinityagtech.com.
Officially launched last month, Trinity AgTech has been developing its software for the past three years in collaboration with farmers, scientists and engineers.
Trinity AgTech’s scientific board includes a team of more than 30 scientists specially selected for their peer-reviewed work on sustainability – including carbon and biodiversity – agricultural productivity and mathematical optimisation.
Software design and integration has been developed by an in-house team of around 30 designers and engineers using best-of-breed agricultural technology and innovations from across the USA and Europe.
Sandy is believed to be the first package of its kind to measure the sustainability of a farm business – both from a financial and environmental perspective. Software subscriptions are expected to cost £1000-1500 annually.
Trinity AgTech’s advisory council includes members from across UK farming. They include John Allen (Kite Consulting), James Farrell (formerly Strutt & Parker), Will Gemmill (Ceres Rural) and Christine Tacon (Assured Food Standards).