Brandon Batten is a great believer in working smarter not harder. And nowhere is that approach more important than record keeping on the farm.
Brandon farms 800 acres of tobacco, grain, soybeans, hay and cattle with his dad Doug Batten and his uncle Charlie “Steve” Batten near Four Oaks in Johnston County, N.C.
Since 2015, the family has used a cloud-based system to keep records. Brandon says it has improved their efficiency and made it easier to evaluate and manage all the data it takes to successfully run the farm.
“We used to keep notebooks. As we started getting bigger, all the paperwork fell to me. I like to work smarter, not harder. We started in 2015 with cell phone-based record keeping. We have changed programs since then and use Farm Logic because they are partnered with the GAP certification program which makes the audit process easier with our tobacco.”
Brandon, Doug, Steve and their one hired man, David Guin, who is also Steve’s brother in law, all have the Farm Logic app on their phones and it makes communication and coordination much easier than the old-fashioned system of notebooks.
Brandon runs the office for the farm, so it makes his job easier. “My uncle used to do the record keeping and he says we should have done this much earlier,” Brandon says of the cloud-based system.
On the farm, Steve manages the tobacco while Doug takes care of equipment maintenance and repair. The family shares planting, spraying and harvesting responsibilities so the cloud-based system helps them all work better together.
All team members on the farm can immediately input what they are doing on their phones, such as the amount and timing of fertilizer applications, so it better ensures accuracy. “I can access the system from the office, and they can see it on their phones. More importantly, I can see what they’re doing, so I don’t have to ask when did you plant that field or when did you fertilize that field? It’s a tremendous time saver and it also increases our accuracy,” he says.