Granular Brings Best of Silicon Valley to Farmland

06:00PM Jun 04, 2015
( Chris Bennett )

As the need for greater farm management efficiency builds, many companies are rushing to produce high tech solutions that help growers. Granular, a software and analytics company that provides a farm management platform for farmers, is one company leading the charge to offer new software tools to producers. Their latest release involves the analysis of as-applied files and field-level profitability.

As growers work in the field, data is continuously logged. The data is valuable, but it can be difficult to deal with, since it is often wrapped in proprietary formats. Granular’s release enables growers to pull the data from the cab, either manually onto a jump drive or via a wireless connection. “We’re now able to figure out how much product and how much equipment time is going into each operation,” says Sid Gorham, the CEO of the San Francisco-based Granular. “If I plant a field, Granular will note that I used 15 bags of seed, burned x amount of diesel, and used a certain amount of engine hours.”

Processing and analyzing as-applied files off of farm equipment (beginning with John Deere and Precision Planting equipment) enables Granular to create an electronic production record on separate fields with full detail on inputs, labor and machinery costs. The analysis also allows for sub-field level variation in costs, yields and efficiencies. Keeping track of direct costs at the field level is now much simpler. Growers always know how profitable a farm is as a whole, but may struggle to gauge a particular field’s profitability. “We’re taking business analysis down to the field-specific level,” Gorham explains.

The vast majority of companies put crosshairs on the science problem of yield: how to get higher crop yields from each acre. Granular instead focuses on the dollar yield of a farm and is super-focused on the overall business of farming. Currently, farm businesses are primarily run in Microsoft Excel. To get farmers out of Excel and enable them to build an adjustable plan, budget and schedule, Granular’s application can be used by growers over the Web from any browser or smartphone, giving them greater insight into their farms to make changes to their operations on the fly.

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