Woolf Farming’s permanent crop manager, Kevin Visser, wanted to find a way to work closer with his agronomist and, at the same time, recognized that he needed a digital tool that could help him create better plans and reports than what he was used to.
Kevin’s agronomy provider, Soil Basics, introduced him to Agworld and showed him the opportunities and capabilities of the platform. Once Kevin realized how this system would benefit Woolf Farming on a daily basis, he decided to adopt Agworld as well.
By using Agworld as his platform for budgeting, planning and analyzing his operations, Woolf Farming has been able to simplify and streamline their day-to-day operational processes. They have also gained superior insights into their farming operation by being able to see exactly how much they have spent on each block at any time during the season.
A diversified operation
Woolf Farming has been part of the central California farming community since 1974. What started as a traditional farming operation, has slowly developed into a large and diversified organization with developments throughout California. Kevin Visser, the permanent crop manager of Woolf Farming’s home ranch in Huron, explains: “The company has changed over time from a traditional cropping pattern towards higher value crops. Our main crops are now almonds, pistachios, processing tomatoes, Pima cotton and wheat. Depending on the season and commodity prices, we sometimes also grow some garbanzos, garlic, kale, spinach and bell peppers – but only small quantities.”
Kevin has been with Woolf Farming for four years and in that time, he has already seen different parts of the operation. “I grew up on our family dairy farm and have always had a passion for agriculture and so, when I got the opportunity to join Woolf Farming, I took it with both hands. I started on one of the outside developments, a new almond orchard in the Tulare area. Last year I took on the role as the permanent crop manager for the main Huron Ranch where I’m responsible for the almonds and pistachios. It’s been really good being part of different teams within Woolf farming, it taught me a wide set of skills.”
One of Woolf Farming’s agronomy service providers, Soil Basics, use Agworld to help with planning for their clients and managing work orders and so, when Kevin started to work together with them, he got his first exposure to the Agworld platform. “My Soil Basics agronomist, Mark Tadlock, showed me Agworld’s capabilities back in 2016 and I was immediately impressed. Mark was able to create all these nice plans and reports, which made me realize that this is something that would add a lot of value to our own operation as well. So, after learning a bit more about the platform and what it could offer us, we bought our own subscription late 2016.”
“Once we started to use Agworld it was surprisingly easy, as our agronomist enters the majority of our data for us. All I have to do is convert plans or recommendations to work orders, which is quick and simple, without having to worry about a lot of data entry or other work that is error-prone. By having accurate work orders available, our operation is a lot more streamlined – take our material ordering process for example.”
“I now have full control of the ordering process. I don’t have to go to a purchasing agent, and I don’t have to go through my agronomist when we already have our fertility plans developed. Because I use the shopping lists for our fertility inputs created by Agworld, I know that they are accurate and complete and as soon as I order it, I get material the same day or the very next day. By using the Agworld process, we keep all of our fertility plans on schedule. The way I see it, this is critical for operations like ours.”
Within the Woolf Farming operation, Agworld doesn’t only get used for the in-season workflow capabilities, but also plays a big role in planning, budgeting and analysis. Kevin elaborates: “Agworld has been extremely useful for developing budgets and plans before the season starts. Having these plans sit there, gives me a really good guideline throughout the season.”
“During the season I often go into Agworld and look at the ‘insights’ on the maps page. This page allows me to see, per individual block, the amount that we’ve spent to date. To have this data available at all times, and not just to me but also to our accountants and other people within Woolf Farming, certainly makes my life a lot easier and saves me a lot of time working on spreadsheets!”
Kevin adds: “Woolf Farming has a very strong focus on the pre-season budgeting process, due to the size and complexity of our operation. For my fertility plans, for example, I am able to basically get my plan sorted in Agworld, print it off, and hand it to the accountant. This plan gives them all the information they need such as a material list, rates, quantities, prices, etc. They can then take it into their system and instantly have all the information available that they need.”
“All up, I’d say that is really what Agworld offers to Woolf Farming: visibility. By having plans and budgets available in Agworld, I know exactly where we stand at any point during the season. At the same time, it shows other stakeholders in the process such as agronomists and accountants, the same information so they don’t get left guessing. Nobody has to come to ask me for additional information and I don’t have to spend extra time replicating information in a spreadsheet or other program.”
“Because Woolf Farming utilizes Agworld, we have much better visibility into our operation at all times and our internal processes have been simplified. In my opinion, this is critical for all farming operations and I, therefore, recommend Agworld to anyone.”
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