ABOUT THE COMPANY
TurfCo is a leading turf producer at Jaspers Brush, near Berry, New South Wales. Founded by the Rogers family in 1987 on 13 acres of land, TurfCo has grown from strength to strength, and now boasts 200 acres across four turf farms managed by 15 staff.
TurfCo has provided premium quality fresh cut turf to the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, South Coast & Southern Highlands for over 30 years, supported by their 10-year turf product warranty, lawn installation, maintenance, and sports field construction services.
THE SCENARIO & CHALLENGES
We caught up with Marcus Rogers, TurfCo’s general manager, for an informal discussion about his challenges and how AgKonect is supporting his family business.
As with all farming operations, dealing with unexpected weather poses great challenges. After prolonged rainfall in the Sydney area and the wettest start to the year on record, 2022 brought yet more heavy rain and flooding episodes in NSW. These are business aspects that can’t be controlled, so the key is to keep up with production, processes and delivery targets, amongst the many days lost to wet weather.
In his words, Marcus is constantly “looking for different ways to create efficiencies, improving current processes without cutting corners”. In the last few years, TurfCo has been on a journey to go paperless, moving away from hand-written data that often gets lost and can’t provide a real-time picture.
One of the areas that TurfCo wasn’t yet managing digitally was documenting spraying operations to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
Before talking to AgKonect’s Dr Pete Whittle in July 2021, Marcus had not come across software built especially for turf farmers. He was using a hybrid system with an app built for broadacre farming, plus paper and spreadsheets. The system sufficed, but it took a lot of time and it was easy to make mistakes.
AgKonect Turf is built specifically for Australian turf farmers, providing an easy-to-use interface on mobile and desktop, meeting the needs of all users.
“I like the simplicity of AgKonect. It’s easy to enter and pull out details, in the office or out in the paddock. Our solutions mustn’t be complicated or our staff won’t use it. AgKonect brilliantly walks a fine line; it provides accurate data without being hard to use.”
ONBOARDING & USING AGKONECT
Given its simplicity, it only took two weeks to build and roll out TurfCo’s AgKonect system from scratch and get staff using it comfortably.
TurfCo uses AgKonect daily, with staff logging all spray and fertility applications in the field via AgKonect Mobile, averaging five to 10 inputs a day. Marcus also checks on the requirements daily to ensure all procedures are followed to the “T”.
Since starting with the spray diary, AgKonect has added tools for an inventory, calibrating a fertiliser spreader, measuring an area, and calculating a tank mix.
Real-time data generates efficiencies
Marcus and office staff access up-to-date, accurate data in real-time as it’s entered by field staff through their mobile phones. This creates great efficiencies for TurfCo as the staff no longer needs to shuffle through piles of paper to consolidate information and generate reports.
“Data is promptly available whenever and wherever we need it.”
User-friendly and reliable software creates trust
AgKonect has become an intrinsic part of TurfCo’s daily operations. It is consistent, reliable and always easy to use. It also allows Marcus and the office staff to extract data in the format they need.
Time savings allow staff to focus on the main work
Thanks to AgKonect, TurfCo’s team is saving around 10 hours per month (worth six times the AgKonect subscription), as they no longer need to create duplicate data records for applications to multiple paddocks. Compliance and accounting reports can now be created at the touch of a button.
“Now we spend time on growing, harvesting and selling grass, not being bogged down on paper and data.”
Go paperless and save some trees
With AgKonect, TurfCo eliminated piles of unnecessary paper and has all data accessible at their fingertips, literally. Marcus and his team are proud to contribute to the environment while improving their daily operations and optimising their costs.