Question about the tools used by Farming Co-operatives

I’ve been looking at the range of tools being used by Farming Co-operatives to run their farms effectively.

While my focus is hardware, i’ve been coming across the software that they use.

Most of the software being used is currently proprietary software, in terms of the databases, and, tracking spreadsheets, for maintaining their crops.

Creating and maintaining an Open-Source version of this software may be a market-niche/product-niche that would suit a software-development SME.

Since the software is being used by farming co-op’s, it only makes sense for a software co-op to maintain the tools they need. :smiley:

Would anyone in the CoTech network, know of any Farming Co-op’s that would be interested in working on these tools? :smiley:

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Hey Billy, Preston’s food co-op uses Open Food Network - https://about.openfoodnetwork.org.uk/

See Cllr Matthew Brown talking about it at 5.:30 OPEN 2018 - Applying “the Preston Model” to the cooperative economy - YouTube

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Hi Billy, I think it’s a really good idea, but I’m not in a position to contribute directly. It would seem to me to be a good idea to have someone in the farming community who is able to represent the farming mindset, so you know better how to interest them. It would be great to develop this kind of thing, so all strength to you.

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I’d guess OrganicLea might be up for exploring tools/ sharing the tools they currently use.

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Hi Billy,

https://tyddynteg.com/ Is now a worker coop. Theyre interested in innovation.
We’ve just made a documentary about them. I’ll link the trailer as soon as it’s uploaded.

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Here’s the trailer. https://youtu.be/gk4ySBQOQVo
The film itself is not release yet.

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FarmOS is worth a look for on-site management: https://farmier.com/

Then Openfood network is interesting on the sales side. https://openfoodnetwork.org.uk/

Getting them integrated would be interesting work

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Nice! Seems like it’ll bring together 3 of my favourite things (open/ co-op/ eco). I look forward to seeing the full film once it’s released! Please do share here when it goes live. Thanks!

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farmos.org also led me to OpenTEAM (Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management) and GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition) which look very interesting too (see also their web documentary series Video and Documentary | GODAN ).

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And when I posted farmOS to the Cloudron App Wishlist someone reminded me of Grownetics too:

https://homelabos.com/docs/software/grownetics/

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@astraliam

Congratulations, Liam. :smiley:

Great to hear about the farm. :smiley:

@Sam_UK

I hadn’t come across FarmOS. TY. :slight_smile:

@jdaviescoates

TY for the other links.

More work to do :smiley:

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The https://solidbase.info/project made some interesting software to provide budget visualisation for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. (Extra interesting as it uses solid and valueflows)

They also did a survey of software that Food Co-ops and CSAs are using and have a page giving recommendations.

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We’re release the film initially through this crowdfunder.

contributions greatly appreciated.

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Slightly unrelated but not, (I’ve mentioned this a few times but hey, why not again :)) we use https://foodcoops.net to wire up ourselves directly with farms who can sell to us over at Biobulkbende. This is a food co-op and not a farm co-op specifically but pretty related in terms of getting more end-to-end cooperation with people who buy things that farms produce.

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Nice! Not sure I’ve seen that before!

I organise a small food co-op that does monthly-ish orders from Suma, I wonder if this would help me to do that too (don’t really need any help right now, but as more members join it is getting a little more cumbersome e.g. with some people turning up to collect their orders for our house at inconvenient times…)

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Worth a look, I guess! A lot of issues with organising a food co-op sit outside of the software but we’re like 70 members or so and the admin is only made possible with this software. Each member spends ~2 hours a month or every two months when we’re lucky working on the co-op so it is pretty chill.

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I met folks from FarmOS (and briefly someone from GODAN) at the OpenTEAM kick-off meeting (attended in a past life as a sustainable agriculture software developer).

OpenTEAM has a very strong focus on the USA, and specifically on soil health. (Most of their funding comes from a US Department of Agriculture grant to look into that area). I’ll be very interested to see what comes out of it; it may be some time before the outputs are useful – or even available – to people in other areas, or integrated into tools.

The FarmOS folks are lovely, and they have a strong commitment to open source. I will declare a bit of suspicion about the Drupal-based architecture, and it seems like they’re at a very early stage in terms of how many farms are using it, but definitely one to watch.

The GODAN standards seem great; I think also relatively early days for them – things may have changed a lot in the last 18 months, but at that time I don’t think any of the other OpenTEAM members were following them or had specific plans to.

@jdaviescoates I hadn’t encountered Grownetics before and will be checking it out with interest :slight_smile:

I guess similar to most industries, most farmers I’ve spoken to or heard from (including several coöps) are using corporate-made tools – e.g. Muddy Boots and CropTrak were two general-purpose farm management platforms I heard about a lot. Many farmers are in a particularly tricky situation where the farm management tools they use are required by their customers as part of their contracts, so any open source tools those folks use would necessarily be in addition to the ones they’re mandated to – which might be a bit of an uphill struggle given how busy they are!

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