Digitising Information

Quenten Knight started his own agronomic consultancy business, now called Agronomy Focus, in 2004. Fast forward to 2021 and, together with Agronomist Nicky Tesoriero, Quenten provides agronomic consulting services to over 40 growers who grow a combined 200,000+ hectares of crops each year. Based in Esperance, WA, Agronomy Focus provides its services to growers in the Esperance, Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe shires. Cropping in this area predominantly revolves around cereals such as wheat and barley, oilseeds like canola, and pulses such as field peas, lentils faba beans and vetch, while some growers keep livestock as well.

Quenten, Agworld user ID ‘AU-10’, was the first agronomist to start using Agworld in 2010: “I started off by using the Agworld digital pen to create my recommendations, which was really revolutionary back then, but the big step for me was when iPads became commercially available and Agworld was released in the Appstore.” Says Quenten. “We chose Agworld to help us digitise information, and that’s been really helpful for getting information into the growers’ hands. Both during the planning process and during the season when I make recommendations and give them directions, Agworld is what helps us cross-load information as efficiently as possible.”

Field history at your fingertips

As Quenten has been using Agworld for over a decade, a large repository of historical information is available for those fields Agronomy Focus provides agronomic consultancy services for. Quenten: “The main reason why we use Agworld is of course to streamline the workflow of creating crop plans and turning them into recommendations throughout the season. However, because this workflow naturally creates a digital record of exactly what we did in a field - either in the form of a recommendation or an ‘actual’, if the grower uses Agworld too - Agworld offers us the ability to look at what we’ve done historically and use that in our decision making process moving forward.”

Quenten: “As we’ve got data going back to at least 2012 for most fields, we’ve got a really good, comprehensive dataset of records that I can look back on whenever I need to. And, it’s not just me who can look back at this information; other agronomists within my business like Nicky, and of course the grower who’s field it is, can see this exact same information as well and use it for what they need to do. Whether we’re looking at historic crop rotations, herbicide usage or anything else; it’s easy to find in Agworld and it all helps us make better decisions in future seasons.”

Quenten continues: “I often find that, when growers have historic field information available on-demand through Agworld, they have a better understanding of why we need to do things a certain way. Agworld provides everyone working in a farming operation access to the same source of data, which makes the planning process, and decision making surrounding it, so much easier by having everyone on the same page.”

Collaborating with growers

Of Agronomy Focus’ 40+ grower clients, over 50% use Agworld themselves in their farming operation as well. From receiving agronomist recommendations in-app (instead of via email) to sharing data, having visibility into historic data, compiling budgets and creating compliant spray records, growers tend to have a variety of different use cases for Agworld, according to Quenten. “One of the more simple, but very valuable uses I see with our growers is the ability to look up chemical labels and additional information through the Agworld library. Because Agworld recommendations also show the active ingredient of each recommended product, it’s easy to find a substitute when the local ag retailer does not stock a specific brand for example. This might seem very simple, but it definitely helps prevent errors that could prove to be very costly if the wrong chemical is applied to the wrong crop!”

Quenten continues: “I’d love to see all our growers actively use Agworld today, but the reality is that it’s a gradual adoption process and every year a few more of our grower clients tend to become Agworld users. The bigger farm businesses, with multiple layers of staff, were the first adopters as it is really a no-brainer for them. They use Agworld to communicate information within their organisation and I quite often see them achieving adoption at all levels very rapidly as it simplifies their internal processes so much. For most family farms, whether they decide to adopt Agworld depends on their affinity with digital technology, whether a new generation is joining the operation, or any other factor that can act as a catalyst for this adoption. The common denominator though is that, once they start using Agworld, it doesn’t take them very long to start seeing the benefits and persist in creating their records through Agworld.”

The collaborative aspect is very important within Agronomy Focus, says Quenten: “There is some crossover between the clients that I service and that Nicky services. I might look after a client most of the time, but occasionally Nicky will visit them too; with Agworld, she knows exactly what the history of each field is and what the current status is. Agworld gives us as a business the flexibility to get everyone up to speed quickly and accurately, which is a big help when we’re in the busiest parts of our season.”

Quenten concludes with: “Having accurate information at your fingertips is important in every business, and agriculture is definitely no exception. Agworld helps Agronomy Focus and our grower clients with collecting, storing and sharing all relevant field information, which improves the results for everyone involved. I have witnessed Agworld come a long way over the past 10 years and it’s exciting to see that it’s evolved into a critical business intelligence system for many businesses such as ours.”

Related Case StudiesView more