CropFarmer named runner up in AgriTech innovation competition
27th January 2020,
27th January 2020,
We (Tom and Lisa) planned our presentation and went along to the Dragon's Den style pitch at agritech inncubation centre Farm 491, aware we were competing against satellites, robots and lots of "big science". But we told the Dragon's why we'd made CropFarmer and what we hoped it could achieve to help farmers all over the world - and they loved it!
There was only supposed to be a first place winner, and that prize went to the amazing Will and Nicolas at Phytoform Labs for their revolutionary new method of genome editing. But we were more than delighted to hear it had been such a close run battle, and the judges and competition runner AgriBriefing were so excited about what CropFarmer can do to help farmers, they created a 2nd place prize for us.
CropFarmer is a very simple budgetting tool for farms of any size, but particularly smaller farmers. Our farmer led online tool was born from one farmer - Tom's Dad to be precise - wanting an affordable way of keeping an eye on his budgets and forecasts, to help him make more informed decisions when deciding what to plant and how to look after it during the year. There are other, more feature packed pieces of software out there, but as a result they are quite expensive - or, rather, seem it to a farmer hoping to make a few pounds per acre. They can also be quite complicated for a farmer who barely needs to sit to a desk and only turns to their software a few times a year.
With our background (and families) in farming, and our over 30 years combined experience of designing and building very easy to use systems and interfaces, we produced CropFarmer to let farmers of all ages and computer literacy levels quickly and simply enter their crop details and their costs so that they can keep an eye on the bottom line. If their agronomist gives them a choice of sprays, or they're fighting an infestation and aren't sure how much more money they can throw at it to still make it worth while, CropFarmer's clear dashboard can help them see their facts and figures and sleep easy at night knowing they're more informed in their decision making. Plus when it comes to deciding what to grow next year, they can see which crops worked best for them on their land and returned the most profit.
For farmers it's often all about yield - but in reality, it's all about return on investment, as it is with any business. If you can produce a huge yield of crop A, that's great... but if crop B makes slightly less tonnes per acre yet you can sell it for more or it's loads cheaper to produce and overall your return on investment and end Net Profit is higher, then that's worth knowing about. And farmers often don't have the figures inputted in a way - or separated out by crop - to let them see this information. They also often don't value their time - with CropFarmer they can see what are effectively earning as a "salary" each year.
As a web development company with an great inhouse skillset, we can run a software as a service tool at a very low cost, meaning we can make the tool available quite cheaply for farmers all over the world. As I said in our Dragon's Den pitch, there are more than 570 million small farms in the world, 90% of which are run by a single owner occupier. Even in the UK there are over 100,00 farms of less than 50 hectares who could affordably use and benefit from CropFarmer. It can also be used for free by colleges and not-for-profit organisations.
If you're interested in taking a look, please do create an account and have a look around.
Want to share? Tweet it!
2020 has certainly been a very different sort of year. We've been thankful that for us - despite the team all working from home -… Read →
Over a decade ago we planted a small fruit orchard at Tom's parents house, planting a tree for every website we built in our first… Read →
We are very excited to be able to announce that 18a's CTO Tom Freeman has been shortlisted for the British Farming Awards' Agri-tech Innovator of… Read →