Farm Management Software Review: FarmOS

Modern farms are complex places. Accurate records need to be kept for equipment maintenance, soil tests, plantings, harvests, livestock management and a range of other activities.

By logging all of this data in a web based farm management system, you can have complete and accurate information available at all times; on your computer, smart phone or tablet.

The farm management system we are reviewing here is called FarmOS, and is open source and freely available software that lets you manage your farm or estate’s agricultural activities, personnel, equipment and mapping requirements through an easy to use, website based system.

FarmOS is built on a customisable set of “Modules” that enable you to add or remove functionality from your system as required.

Primary modules include:
  • Assets. These are all the important things on your farm and can include plantings, animals, equipment, etc. Assets can be categorised as needed, and include information such as location, photos & descriptions. Assets can also be clustered, such as animals to form a herd (eg. 20 cows in a field can be viewed individually or as a single “herd” asset).
  • Mapping. FarmOS uses Google Maps to enable you to outline your farm and define areas & buildings. Area types include property, building, field & water. Areas can be colour coded as needed. To area locations you can add descriptions, photos, files and relationship to other areas – for example a store-room area might be inside a workshop area. If you already have a computerised map of your property in a GIS or other mapping software, these can be imported into FarmOS to say time.
  • Events. Record keeping is done through the events module where logs can entered and reported upon. Types of events include activities and delegation of tasks to personnel, observations (such as germination dates, climatic events, etc), inputs such as fertiliser or feed, and finally, harvests
  • Movements and location. The location of assets are determined by “movement” fields on log entries. Through the reporting module, it is possible to view the history of the movements of any asset at any given time.
  • Roles FarmOS comes preconfigured with the most common roles of farm personnel; Farm Manager (who have access to everything in FarmOS) , Farm Worker (who can view and update most information, but not change configurations) & Farm Viewer (such as a certification agent who needs to access farm records)
Summary

FarmOS has a wide range of features, comparable with many commercial (and much more expensive) farm management software packages. It has the added benefits of being web-based and open source – Why open source is good for business, guaranteeing that your farm will have safe and reliable record keeping for many years to come.

For more information on FarmOS, visit www.farmos.org or to find out about our FarmOS services, send us an email on info@treetrays.co.za
Below are some demos of FarmOS in action!

Soil Test Records



Equipment Management



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