Keeping accurate records is a key ingredient in running a successful business. Collecting, storing and analysing data makes good business sense and will improve productivity and profitability.
There are many ways growers can keep records. For example, a simple diary with notes about the timing and location of fertiliser and pesticide applications is a good place to start.
Alternatively, receipts, test results and supplier recommendations can be stapled to the pages to keep all the information together. An even better option is the record keeping app called BetterBunch, developed by the ABGC specifically for banana growers to use on their smart devices.
While in the paddock, it can record many things including:
- the application and calibration schedules of fertilisers and chemicals;
- weather conditions at time of chemical application; and
- irrigation scheduling, planting records and harvest details.
The app doesn’t need internet connection when data is entered as it will download the information when you next sync it to the computer. Soil and
leaf results for each paddock can be recorded using BetterBunch and it is easy to retrieve records for audits such as Freshcare and HACCP making preparation for these audits so much easier.
Reflecting on previous year’s expenses or test results can help growers improve performance and set future goals. Good record keeping will also help growers to comply with the new environmental regulations that started on 1 December, 2019.
The general records requirements in the regulations include details about the property, ownership and a farm map as well as all agricultural chemicals applied to the land or crops, fertiliser and mill mud/mill ash applied. Growers must keep records about the method of application (fertigation/ broadcast/ banded) and the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus applied on a kg/ha/year basis.
If growers are keeping chemical and fertiliser records for Freshcare or HACCP it’s possible that the requirements of the regulations are being satisfied.
Information is available on the Queensland Government website here