Growers are always searching for the silver bullet to increasing efficiency, profitability, and yields in their farm operation. The reality is farming is complex and there isn’t one factor that will deliver results. In reality, what drives improvements is a holistic approach to breaking through efficiency and profitability barriers. Here are 3 actions you can implement today that will drive greater efficiency and profitability in 2016 and beyond.

Hire Experts

Farming is a complex business operation with many moving parts. As a farm owner/operator, you feel obligated to be an expert in all areas from accounting to agronomy to mechanics and right through to human resource management. The truth is no one can be an expert in all things, especially where specialization and in-depth knowledge requires too much of your time to gain sufficient proficiency. It’s time to infuse your operation with expertise!

Start by identifying the areas where you’re missing the mark and then define an expert role that fulfills the gap. The gap many not just be in agronomy or marketing, but can include human resource management if you’re concerned with retaining staff or need help filling open positions necessary to grow your operation. Reach out to your go-to service providers for advice for resourcing roles. If you’re operation is small, assign roles to an existing member of your operation and create development plans for mentoring and training that member to gain expertise. Developing the right areas of expertise frees you focus on the day to day management of your operation.

Utilize Data Management Platforms

Front and center in 2016 is the discussion on how to manage big data on the quantified farm. The most successful growers will leverage their farm data in their day to day operations. And the data is already there. The latest farm stats reveal that 91% of farming operations are already collecting big data. The question is how do you turn that data into valuable and usable insights?

Comprehensive data management platforms like My Farm Manager allow growers to tap into their big data and distill the valuable insights. This could be tracking detailed results between crop years, allowing continual improvements over time. You could also leverage your farm’s data through My Farm Manager’s suite of crop marketing tools – which is available to both small and larger operations – to be more proactive in the market while protecting margins.

Invest in Precision Agriculture

The technology for precision agriculture has evolved over the past three decades. Today, the technology available to farmers is better than ever before, and this technology is driving improvements in farm efficiency, profitability and sustainability. Precision ag allows farms to utilize variable rate technology to strategically place fertilizer and seed reducing input posts and optimizing production.

The key to moving ahead with precision ag is to do your research by talking to other growers who have already taken the leap into the world of precision ag and can share their insights and experiences. It’s recommended that you choose a service provider with a proven track record implementing variable rate technology solutions. Decisive Farming’s Optimize RX variable rate services have a 96% retention rate of whole-farm customers, and is backed by a dedicated support staff, and over 9 years of in-field research and trials.

In summary, there’s no silver bullet to improving performance of any farming operation. However, by focusing on these 3 actions you can start on a path that takes your operation to the next level!