May 2017

Welcome especially to all our new clients who have joined us in 2017!

Thanks for choosing Fairport. We'll do our best to help you with your business management.

What's in this newsletter?

    • ROGER'S RAMBLINGS
    • ABOUT THE NEW "MINDMYASSETS"
    • WHAT'S NEW IN PAM IN 2017

 

ROGER'S RAMBLINGS

 

 

While a lot of our clients are burning diesel sowing their winter crops, we have a chance to catch up on some jobs that have been put to one side during the busy first quarter of the year. The year to date has been as busy as ever here and sales have been better this year than the last few. I put that down to the fact that last year was a particularly good season for a lot of Australia.

 

Unfortunately, people in Queensland and Northern Territory are still in the grips of drought. Our best wishes go out to you if you're caught up in that. It's been a tough ride for you folks for a long time.

 

The most significant change for us has been the release of MindMyAssets on April 6th. This is a cloud and mobile application set that is designed to replace MAX. We will migrate MAX data to MindMyAssets for anyone who would like to move their historical records to the new platform. While some of us have been busy with MindMyAssets, the work never stops on PAM. Read more about that later in the newsletter.

 

Overseas interest in PAM & PocketPAM continues. Enquiries come in constantly from countries where we have active distributors and elsewhere. Late last year I traveled to Azerbaijan where our man in the Caucasus region, Simon Appleby, is always busy on one scheme or another to get our products into that region. Jim Geltch, International CEO of Nuffield, recently appointed Simon as the Nuffield Scholarship representative in the Caucasus. We wish him well with that endeavour. We are still working with Saudi Arabia's biggest mixed cropping company, hoping to get some traction with that deal in the next few months.

 

If any clients are in need of some training to fill some knowledge gaps we have over 80 "Getting Started" videos on our website. To find them, click on the "Support" link on the main menu. If you would like even more help than those videos provide, call us and we can arrange one-on-one training with your data, on your computer, over the internet using Team Viewer.

 

Let's hope the rest of 2017 works out well for everyone.

 

 

MIND MY ASSETS 

Helping you get organised!

Keeping track of your machinery, vehicles, stationary motors, boats, motorbikes, windmills, pumps, whatever-you-have ... maintenance schedules, parts lists, serial & vehicle numbers, suppliers, alternate part numbers, running costs... overheads. That's what MindMyAssets is all about.  It is all about helping you get organised and helping you to keep on top of the important business of keeping your valuable assets maintained.

Keeping track of your machinery, vehicles, stationary motors, boats, motorbikes, windmills, pumps, whatever-you-have ... maintenance schedules, parts lists, serial & vehicle numbers, suppliers, alternate part numbers, running costs... overheads. That's what MindMyAssets is all about.  It is all about helping you get organised and helping you to keep on top of the important business of keeping your valuable assets maintained.

 

WHAT'S NEW IN PAM IN 2017

The evolution of PAM started in 1988 ... and it never stops!

    • Food Crop QA Report - Batch Numbers have been added.  This form has been updated so it can be emailed directly from PAM or saved as a PDF for emailing, rather than having to print it to complete and then scan or fax it.  Contract, Seed Supplier and Prepared by are pre-filled in the selection screen and included in the report. 
    • Farm Filter is now active in Budget reports - The Farm Filter now works in the budget section of PAM so you can now do budget reports for one or more farms in the budget. This was requested by clients that were share farming so they could report the cropping detail and consumable requirements for the farm owner. 
    • Quality Assurance Reports - Chemical Application Record Sheet – This report was sped up so now it appears in seconds rather than minutes. 
    • Inventory SOH by Chemical Type Report – This has been added to group chemicals by type (Herbicide, Insecticide, etc.), You can also select which groups you want to include in the report. 
    • Inventory Reconciliation Report – This report has been added to allow clients to produce a reconciliation report with Opening SOH & Value, quantities in and out, and Closing SOH & Value. 
    • Budget Summary report has Growth stages added – This report was added to allow users to produce a working sheet for operators with all operations on a paddock for the season. The report requires the Hide Financials to be ticked in order to show the growth stages. The idea is to have growth stages set up for Pre-Planting, Planting, Post Planting and so on. 
    • IAR Trait Browser – This has been enhanced to allow lifetime traits to be used in calculated fields, i.e. Introduction Date, Birth Weight when calculating a value for a report. 
    • Feedlot - Gross Margin Report for IAR Module – This has been created to allow a Gross Margin to be calculated on each animal in a feedlot from the introduction date until it is sold. It can also be run while the animal is still in the feedlot so you can get a break even cost. 
    • Browse View – Staff & Contractor Work records (All Cropping Tasks) – This was done up to include the cost per unit and number of Items, so in addition to Hours & $ the users can see how many units were in the Labour Record, e.g. number of Bins picked. This will be very useful for vineyards and horticulture. 
    • Cropping Reports – A Farm Filter has been added to these selection screens. This is the same as the main Farm Filter.  It was added to these reports so users can run a report based on crop types and varieties across selected farms without having to exit the report selection screen, changing the Farm Filter and loading the report again. 
    • Livestock Mating Report – added Due Date to the report. 
    • Crop Monitoring – Added the ability to be able to Multi Select crops when doing Crop Monitoring or Pest & Disease or Weed Monitoring. 
    • Soil Test Importing - Includes a Depth field to enable the user to include it when doing a CSV import of soil test results. Also enabled the incoming depth names to be added if they are not in PAM already. Details available here:  http://www.fairport.com.au/en/laboratory-tests-importing-csv-files

    OTHER STUFF

    MindMyAssets replaces MAX! Many MAX users have contacted us over the past few years asking when or if we would be enhancing it. MAX started out in 1991 and has found a place in many workshops around Australia .. from farmers to tour coach operators to small truck fleet operators to crane hire operators to municipal councils. We're very pleased to be able to keep the concept "alive" with Mind My Assets.

    • UNTIL NEXT NEWSLETTER - Best Wishes from the Fairport Team

     


     

    SEASON'S GREETINGS!

    December 21st 2016


    As we wind up for 2016 we would like to thank all our valued clients, agents, distributors and technology partners here in Australia and in many countries around the world for all the support and assistance you have given us during the year.

    We sincerely welcome all of you who have become new clients this year and to the many of you who have re-joined us.

    At this time of festivities we hope you can all find time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.

    We hope you have had a good year this year. Most of the broad-acre cropping clients are very happy with the 2016 season; we hope that our livestock, vegetable, grape, fruit and tree clients have had a good year too.

    There have been many small improvements in PAM over the last 12 months; many of them have been behind the scenes speeding up the software. PAM is now 28.5 years old and thanks to the help of all your feedback over all those years is packed full of features, so ‘ground breaking’ enhancements are rare. PocketPAM2 was released in April this year & was extremely well received. The feedback on the “user experience” improvements and the new features compared to the first generation of the app was very encouraging.

    We are looking forward to 2017 as we have several large installations to do overseas as well as in Australia. PAM development is ongoing and we are going to be moving onto designing the next generation of the software.

     


    From Roger, Colin and all of the Fairport Team, have a safe and happy Christmas  and a wonderful New Year.

    We look forward to working with you all again next year.

     

     

     


     

    HAPPY NEW FINANCIAL YEAR

    June 30th 2016


    As we wind up for end of the 2015/16 financial year we would like to thank all our valued clients, agents, distributors and technology partners here in Australia and around the world for all the support and assistance you have given us during the year.

    We sincerely welcome all of you who have become new clients this year and to the many of you who have re-joined us. 


    ROGER'S RAMBLINGS

    The main focus here at Fairport HQ over the past 6 months has been finally getting PocketPAM2.2 released. In all this upgrade took around 6 man years of effort! We have been told by many that it is a big improvement over the PocketPAM2 version. Thanks for feedback!

    Here in Western Australia the season so far has been very kind. Some have even said it is the best they can remember. It is good to see that the drought affected areas in Queensland have had some good rains recently. Good luck to all for great finish to the season.

    In the past 2 months I have been away from the office a couple of times. I was in the US on business for a week and also in Queensland for a few days in May. I was in Ayr doing a day's training with the Sugar Research Australia farm managers and then two days in the Bundaberg area at Hinkler Park's macadamia operation and at Austchilli's chilli and avocado operation. It was great to get out to see PAM in action on these very busy operations.

    Colin arrived back from a 5 week trip to the US in early June. He and a group of his mates and their partners toured the south east area of the country on motorbikes covering almost 6000 miles.


    PAM NEWS

    PAM enhancement and maintenance never stops... Apart from adding the features being requested on an ongoing basis, there is ongoing work to speed up the adding and reviewing of data in all areas in PAM.

    Enhancements this year have included:

    • A "Diary" view in the Budget system. This enables you to view all your budgeted events bulked together and ordered by date - as per the Paddock Activities Diary.
    • Latitude & Longitude columns were included in the Browse View of Crop Monitoring data. This enables you to upload the coordinates to a GPS unit .. and also to enable you to create heat maps (images) of pest or disease or weed infestations in the PDP module.
    • A new "Planting Name" concept added mainly for market garden type operations where many more than one crop of a given type is planted in the one block per year. There is also an option under "Customise Your PAM.." to make Planting Names mandatory at data entry time.
    • Speeding up the display of records in the Paddock Activities Diary screen.
    • Speeding up the deleting of job records in the Paddock Activities Diary screen.

     


    POCKETPAM NEWS

    The extra features now available in PocketPAM are well documented in the PocketPAM manual and also on the PocketPAM web page. However, there has been ongoing work and we are about to release a new version with the following enhancements:

    • Job Photos: Currenty photos associated with a job are not sent to PAM. This is about to change. We have developed around 90% of the end to end functionality to get this working and expect to be able to release it within a week. A new PAM version will be needed as well as the PocketPAM upgrade that you will receive via the app stores. PocketPAM users will receive an email when that happens with full instructions.
    • Precision Crop Technology Imagery: Growers using PCT services will be able to view their yield, EM, Slope .. etc. images overlaying their paddocks in the PocketPAM Mapping Module.

     

     


     

    SEASON'S GREETINGS!


    As we wind up for 2015 we would like to thank all our valued clients, agents, distributors and technology partners here in Australia and in many countries around the world for all the support and assistance you have given us during the year.

    We sincerely welcome all of you who have become new clients this year and to the many of you who have re-joined us. 

    At this time of festivities we hope you can all find time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. 

    We are well aware that it's not all beer & skittles 'out there' for everyone. Our thoughts go out to those of you who have been hit by tragedy and hard times. The seemingly endless drought in Queensland and the recent fires in South Australia and Esperance, Western Australia have made life very tough for a lot of people.  We join everyone in wishing for a smooth and fast recovery to all who are suffering.

     


    From Roger, Colin and all of the Fairport Team, have a safe and happy Christmas  and a wonderful New Year.

    We look forward to working with you all again next year.

     


    July 7th 2015

    Welcome to the mid-2015 newsletter.

    Roger's Ramblings

    Another year half gone!  We have had a very busy start to the year and are wondering where all the new Australian clients are coming from! Thanks to all the new clients who have joined us this past six months. We look forward to helping you run your farming operations better.

    In September we will kicking off a project in Saudi Arabia... it's been a long time in the brewing, but we finally got the contract sorted out and look forward to some action soon.

    We have recently signed up a new distributor in Russia. Welcome to Andrey Fedotov and his team in Moscow and in the regions. We look forward to great things. 

    It is very sad to hear Queensland is STILL having one of the worst dry spells in memory.  Here in WA we had what appeared to be a great start, but that was followed by a long dry spell... Now things appear to be back on track again with good rains in the past few weeks.

    Colin has made several training and presentation trips to the Eastern states in the past six months and recently exhibited at a technology update day in the south of WA, catching up with clients and getting plenty of interest from prospective clients.

     

    Staff Matters 

    In January we welcomed Suzanne to the role of office administrator and front line support person. Many of you will have already spoken with her as she has been very busy making contact with as many clients as possible, as time permits. Suzanne lives in the vicinity of the office and has two teenage daughters and has been running offices for many years. 

    Emily, who had been with us for 3 years left to start a new business in women’s fashion and swimwear. We wish Emily great luck and success in her ventures. 

     

    Software Developments 

    Over the past months the development team has been working on several fronts. Some special customization of PAM has been under way for several of our PAM Enterprise clients, but amongst that we have added some nice features for all users: 

    New PAM Features

        • Google Maps as a background image in PAM Mapping: A few people have asked why we don’t use Google Maps as our background image, as opposed to needing to import an aerial photo. Well, we heard you! As of the next release of PAM, this will be possible. You will notice a button at the far left of the toolbar in mapping. That button will toggle google maps on and off. No longer will you need to acquire aerial photography for PAM Mapping! Of course, you will need to be connected to the Internet to make use of this feature and we’re not throwing out the option to use imported aerial photography if you still want to use that option.   To switch on the Google Maps background image, click on the special new toolbar button at the far left end of the toolbar (See below)
          Google Maps in PAM

        • Livestock Valuation: A comprehensive system that enables you to set values per month for all stock classes. Those values will be used to value all animals in mobs. There are two places where those values are displayed. The first being the Stock Return. PAM displays a column of values per head and total value for each stock return livestock class. The values are also displayed on a spreadsheet or “browse view” for easy export to Excel. We will make a video on how all this works in due course. Meanwhile there is a support help PDF file on how to configure your PAM to take advantage of this feature.  You can find that PDF help file on our web site under Support /Support & Help Notes / Help Files & Instructions / Livestock / Livestock Valuation... or click here

        • Livestock carrying capacity vs. rainfall graph:  We have added a chart which plots livestock unit-grazing days divided by cumulative rainfall for one of our PAM Enterprise clients and figured it would be of interest to all graziers out there. You will find it on the Livestock Reports / Graphs listing. 

        • IAR – “Simplified Mode”: Choosing a new option in the configuration of PAM enables you to run the Individual Animal Records (IAR) module as if it were a standalone program. The IAR module will no longer expect or allow the animals to be attached to mobs. Some people have been successfully running the IAR module in that way for years by bypassing the association of animals to mobs concepts, so we decided to make it a PAM configuration option. 

        • Nutrient Audit Reporting:  There are two ways of getting nutrient audit reports from PAM: Map Reports (where you choose a nutrient and a time span and you see your paddocks coloured by the balance of  units of nutrients applied and removed) and also a standard tabular report with the same information. Both of those reports have had a complete overhaul recently to make sure the information is as accurate a possible. 

    PocketPAM Features 

        • PocketPAM2: Recently we added a feature to enable you to email reports, plans & recommendations directly from the app. Other than that, only a few bug fixes have been done to this App this year. All the effort is going into the next generation of Apps. (See below)


    Progress on New Programs

        • PDP Lite: We released PDP Lite earlier this year, but probably a little late to take advantage of the main period of the year when people would use it. PDP Lite is used to create variable rate maps from an imported SHP (shape) file. Those who have used it said it worked well for them. 

        • gpMapper.Net: A total replacement for our existing gpMapper program has been under development for the year to date. Currently development is on hold while other priorities have ‘jumped the queue’.  The development has reached the final stages, but we are not promising a release date yet! 

        • PocketPAM2.2: We have mentioned this development project a few times before. It has been under way since July 2013. There is now very little more to do except a bit of ‘tying up loose ends’ and final testing. As with gpMapper.Net, we are not promising a final release date, but we are very keen to get this project finished as soon as possible. 

    Until next time we make contact, we wish you good health & a good season.

     

     


     

    Thursday, December 18th 2014

    In this issue

        • Roger's Ramblings
        • Running PAM on a Mac
        • PAM SaaS
        • What's New

     


    thongs

    Season Greetings from the Fairport Team!

    Roger's Ramblings

    The Fairport team and I extend our thanks to all our clients for your ongoing support. We also extend a warm welcome to all new clients joining us in 2014.

    Another year comes to an end. I hope you are all able to take some well earned rest over the festive season and enjoy the company of your family and friends. 

    We will be closing down the office from Midday on December 24th and returning on Monday the 5th of January 2015. 

    The Fairport team has been very busy as usual this year. Three months ago we welcomed our newest member of staff, Jacob, who has fitted in nicely. 

    Travel-wise it has been quieter than usual since the mid-year newsletter. Colin has made several trips to Eastern Australia on presentations and training missions. The second half of the year became quite active for new PAM Enterprise clients. Many companies that had been showing interest in it for several years made the decision to jump onboard. 

    My two trips to Saudi Arabia in April and June are bearing fruit. Early in 2015 a delegation from Saudi Arabia will be traveling to Australia to visit some of our clients who are running PAM Enterprise and PocketPAM systems. We also have plenty of action happening in Ukraine, despite the war, as our man in Kiev, "Bo", continues to make great progress with the larger grain growers in that region. In fact, this week he has been in Stavropol, Russia, training PAM clients.

    Earlier we announced that by the end of this year we will have delivered the following: 

    PDP Lite

          • – designed mainly for consultants to create VRT projects for clients. This is downloadable from the main "PDP" page of the web site. PDP Lite provides an importer for the common SHP file type and then a comprehensive variable rate application recipe map builder. The resulting recipe map can be exported to a number of different variable rate controller types. 

    PAM's New Zealand Sustainable Wine Growers data exporter.

          • A team here worked on this project for several months. It is now built into the PAM viticulture software and becomes enabled when you choose "New Zealand" as your country. 

     

    Running PAM on Mac

    We receive many calls these days from people asking if PAM will run on a "Mac" ... The answer is Yes. In fact I run a Macbook Pro and so does Colin. in my case I run software called "Parallels" which enables me to run both Windows software and Mac software side by side. In Colin's case, he runs permanently in Windows on his Mac. That is, he doesn't run any Apple software, boots up in Windows and stays in Windows. To do that, he uses software called "Bootcamp". 

    PAM SaaS - Convenience !

    PAM SaaS,  our "hosted" PAM system that was launched in 2003 (yes 11 years ago), continues to attract more and more clients for its convenience. Earlier this year, the growing number of client databases forced us to move the PAM SaaS system from our premises to a data centre located near the Perth CBD. If you are running a Mac computer then this is another way to run PAM. PAM SaaS will run in a Mac without the need for either "Parallels" or "Bootcamp".  

    If you have an internet connection, you can run PAM SaaS on any PC or Mac or iPad.... 

        • Software upgrades
        • Fairport takes care of all software upgrades on PAM SaaS. Meaning - No more do you need to download & install PAM software !

        • Data Backups 
          • All data is backed up nightly

        • Does PocketPAM2 work with PAM SaaS?
          • It sure does. There is a special "PAM SaaS" option in PocketPAM2 for exchanging data with PAM SaaS

     

     

    What's New

    PocketPAM2.2


    We have a team here and offshore working on a complete rebuild of the PocketPAM2 App from the floor up to catch up with the changes in technologies since we released PocketPAM2 around 2 years ago. We expect to finished the development work on this early next year and then proceed to final testing. There are a lot of very nice new features coming in this upgrade. Stay tuned. 

     

    gpMapper.Net 

    Our new man, Jacob has been building a new version of gpMapper from the ground up. This is a complete rebuild. The program looks (and feels) completely different to the old gpMapper and is based on the very latest technology. We are very excited about this new product. We think our current gpMapper clients will love it.

     

    The rest of the team is working on some major new projects that we hope to bring online during 2015. It's too early to announce these yet, but you can rest assured that we will be letting you know as soon as we're getting close to making them available.

     

    In Closing 

    The Fairport Team wishes all our valued clients the very best for the festive season and for 2015. May the new year bring great luck and prosperity to you all. 

     

     

     

     

     


    Tuesday, September 2nd 2014

    PocketPAM2 had a write up  in the 25 Aug, 2014 CSBP online newsletter 

    Check it out here: "Powerful tools for managing farm data" by David Matthews

     


     

    Tuesday, July 15th 2014

     

    Welcome to the mid-year newsletter. We especially welcome all our new clients and thank all of you for the ongoing support. 

    So, another year half gone! 

    While here in WA we seem to be having yet another wet year, it is very sad to hear Queensland is having one of the worst dry spells in memory. 

    We decided to pack as much into the first 6 months of this year as possible.  The March newsletter tells the story pretty well. 

    As a reminder, here’s what we put “out there” in the first quarter:

        • PAMShare – your PAM reports online, so you can share your PAM data with consultants etc. 
        • PAM Getting Started & Help Videos – 84 new videos to help you run PAM better
        • InfoPest – a facility that enables you to import the chemical database of all registered chemicals in Australia – straight into your PAM software (Please Note: There’s a Video that shows you how to do that as well!)

     

    Seems the momentum has not stopped since. 

    We recently 

        • Released a new weather station data importer in PAM… look out for it under the Utilities menu.
        • Added an option for PAM UltraCrop & PAM UltraVit users to create “Multiple Variety” perennial crop layouts.  This is typically useful for certain crops where many different varieties are planted in the same block.
        • Released 2 new reports in the PAM Budgeting section – where Incomes & Expenses per month per crop can be seen.
        • Released PocketPAM2 with screen labels in Arabic. 
        • Totally overhauled the “TimeKeeper” module in PocketPAM2.

    In the second half of the year we expect and hope to be releasing 

        • PDP Lite – designed mainly for consultants to create VRT projects for clients. 
        • PocketPAM 2.2 – a complete rebuild from the floor up to catch up with the changes in technologies since we released PocketPAM2 around 2 years ago
        • New Zealand Sustainable Wine Growers data exporter
        • New Zealand Kiwi Fruit data exporter

     

    Colin has been getting about lately. In early June he was in Sudan getting the team at DAL Holdings organized and trained on PAM Enterprise. He then spent two weeks in New Zealand attending the Mystery Creek Field Days followed up with training and presentations at various places in the North Island. 

    Currently Colin is spending a week in Victoria with some of our new PAM Enterprise clients and also dropping in on some existing PAM clients as well. 

    I made a quick trip to Saudi Arabia in April to meet up with or new technology partners from Cairo at a large farming and horticulture operation near Tabuk. I had just short of 2 weeks back in the office before my wife and I took a 5 week trip overseas. We spent most of our time in different parts of Russia and included a PAM presentation to a large dairy farming operation with its head quarters in St. Petersburg. I had to “duck off” to Saudi Arabia from St. Petersburg for 5 days to do a PAM Enterprise presentation (back in Tabuk).  

     

     

    Until next time we make contact, we wish you good health & a good season.

     


     

    Monday March 31st  2014

    In this issue

    Roger's Ramblings

    What's New

    • PAMShare 
    • Videos.. Lots of Videos 
    • FieldRex
    • PocketPAM2
    • PAM - InfoPest Importer

     

    Roger's Ramblings 

    I hope the season is treating you well. Welcome to all our new clients.

    Here at Fairport HQ, we have had one of the most productive first quarters to a year for a long time. For many years we have been wanting to create help videos to help our PAM and Mapping clients with getting to know the software and its many features.  Finally we have made a start on this process and the number of videos  on our web site support pages is approaching 100. 

    PAMShare - See below. Is this the "Perfect World?" ... producers can record all the daily events in PocketPAM2 as they go about their daily business. Consultants can record recommendations and crop monitoring recrords in FieldRex ... and to tie it all together PAM generates reports and "posts" them up to the PAMShare web site for everyone to keep track of all cropping and livestock activities. 

    New dealers: We welcomed new dealerships to our world this quarter: In China, Ukraine & Georgia. Welcome & thank you for coming on board, Yolanda, Bachana & Simon. Currrently Simon is having PocketPAM2 re-transalted into Georgian and Yolanda has completed the transaltion of PAM into Chinese. She completed the Chinese translation of PocketPAM2 earlier in the year. 

    InfoPest - With InfoPest (the chemical database of all registered chemicals in Australia) changing hands from the Queensland Government to Growcom a year or two ago, we lost the ability to  import the data from their DVDs into PAM. Growcom made a decision to end the DVD subscription business model and move to a free on-line subscription model. Well ... the good news is we've developed a new importer for InfoPest data than can accessed freely from the web site ... See below.

    PDP Lite - This will be a light weight program used to create Variable Rate projects for a multitude of different controllers. Mikhail, now based back in Russia, has been working on this project for the past three months and it is very close to being released. Aimed primarily at consultants wanting to produe variable rate maps for clients, but it will be suitable for all of you wanting to do Variable Rate application work.

    Colin recently returned from a week in the "East" where he spent time with Paul Drendel, our man in Victoria, presenting a training and 'catchup' seminar to many clients. He also did some presentations to prospevtive clients.

     

    What’s New? 

    PAMShare

    homescreen

     

     

    The Fairport Data Exchange has been given a new role  ... it can now upload special PAM reports to the new PAMShare website: www.pamshare.com ... Rather than describe how this works and what its for, please visit www.pamshare.com.au and read all about it there. A few clients have already started using it and are finding it to be a great concept. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Videos

    videosOver the past three months we have created lots of PAM and Mapping help videos. This number will grow over time. The plan is to cover all areas of the software and fully replace the manuals and contextual help. So ... if you are just starting out with PAM or Mapping or have a need for some in-depth in-house training on any area, please check out the list of videos on this page

    The section of PAM covered so far are:

      • Customise your PAM (9 videos)
      • Configuration of PAM (19 videos)
      • Entering Data Overview (5 videos)
      • Entering Data - Paddocks & Crops (13 videos)
      • Entering Data - Livestock (15 videos)
      • Mapping (12 videos)

     

     

     

     

    FieldRex

    PAM-FieldRex

     

     

    FieldRex has had  a major update. Agronomists and in fact anyone running PocketPAM or FieldRex can now record Crop Monitoring records across multiple cropped areas. A special request from our friends growing Kiwifruit, in New Zealand. 

    This will enable you to record something like : A nutrient deficiency across all Wheat crops in one pass. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PocketPAM2

    PocketPAM 200x

    Since the beginning of 2013, there have been a total of 42 enhancements made in PocketPAM2. They include a number of useful reports that PAM transfers to the device. With the exception of a few of them, they have all been at the request of the users. Thanks for the feedback.

    In recent weeks we have fully revamped the Time Keeper module. This module is designed for producers running teams of workers performing manual tasks. Typically in horticulture.

    A full rewrite of the program is underway to move it into the latest version of the development tools. These tools have come a long way in a short time, so we are hoping for some major performance improvements when we finally release the rewritten version.

     

     

     

     

    PAM

    PAM development never stops. Probably our biggest enhancement so far is the new InfoPest data importer. 

    InfoPest is an extremely comprehensive chemical database of all registered chemicals in Australia. The database was originally maintained by the Queensland Department of Agriculture (DEEDI). Unfortunately, they had funding reductions and had to abandon the service. Many years ago we built a data importer for InfoPest data in PAM. The data was copied from the DVD or CD that subscribers would receive quarterly.

    But now, the good news is that Growcom (www.growcom.com.au), an industry funded body based in Queensland, have taken over the job of keeping the database updated. It is now all located at www.infopest.com.au 

    infopest

    The even better news for growers is that there is absolutely no charge for subscribing to the web site. Once on the web site you can search for any chemical, view all the data relating to that chemical and also download the data.

    Now, even better news still for PAM users... we have built an importer into PAM8 (version 8.5.4 and later) that will import the data that you download from the InfoPest site. This data imports into the PAM Chemical database just as before. Once there, you are able to use that list as your master list when you want to add new chemicals to your PAM chemical list. 

    We also import all the active ingredients and much of the other relevant data. We also provide a convenient link to the InfoPest & AVMPA websites, directly from PAM. 

    We will publish a video on how this works very soon. PAM users will be notified. 

    chemdb

     

    Assigning the events and their costs to a crop.

    As you will know, when recording a planting events (or seeding event) in PAM, PAM will ask you if you want to allocate any jobs that you recorded earlier, to the crop.

    In addition there was an option from the Tools menu in the Paddock - Season view that enabled you to perform that allocation task as an afterthought. We removed the option as it was causing some undesired effects under some circumstances. Well, the good new is, in the past few months, we have introduced a new way to quickly assign all those jobs to a cropped area.  

    Look for the option on the "Tools" menu in the Paddock-Season View: "Assign Paddock or Un-Cropped jobs to a Cropped Area" ... this option enables you to assign all paddock events to a crop. 

     

    In Closing


     

    Tuesday December 16th 2013

    In this issue

    • Roger's Ramblings
    • What's New?
      • Fairport Data Exchange
      • FieldRex
      • PocketPAM2
      • PAM
      • PDP - Precision Data Processor
    • What's Coming?
      • PAM Share - share your PAM data online
      • PAM & PocketPAM2 Translations
      • PDP Lite - by popular demand

     

    thongs

    Season Greetings from the Fairport Team!

     

    Roger's Ramblings

    Year number 25 for Fairport has come to an end.

    Thanks to all our clients, new and old for making it a great success.

    From where we sit we hear about the fortunes and disasters of farming. While parts of the Australia have just experienced possibly the best year in memory, others are suffering drought and possibly the lowest rainfall ever recorded for a year. That's farming I guess.

    Staff Matters

    At the end of this year we bid farewell to Mikhail Beloshapkin who is returning to Russia to live after six and a half years with us here in Western Australia. Mikhail has been responsible for all the development work in the PDP (Precision Data Processor) software and the development of the data transfer technologies behind the PocketPAM2 system. We expect that Mikhail will continue working with us in some capacity when he gets back to Novosibirsk.

    A few weeks ago Saeid Pahlevan joined our development team. Saeid is Iranian by birth but has been in Australia for nine years. He has degrees in Mathematics and GIS Photogrammetry and Surveying. His past experiences include 11 years developing specialised mapping systems for the Iranian government, several years working as a developer behind the scenes of the internet service provider Westnet here in Perth, some time with NGIS, a Perth based GIS software developer, several years with the WA Department of Environment, again developing mapping software (web-based) before a 2 year stint with Micromine, a developer of 3D software systems for the mining industry. Saeid has been thrown in at the 'deep end' here with (initially) taking over development of the PocketPAM2 and FDE data transfer technologies from Mikhail.

    Colin Booth enjoyed a 6 week break in the US during August-September. He and his wife traversed 7 US states on a Harley Davidson covering 7,000 mile in total. He said it was a great experience and is looking forward to doing it again (covering different states) in 2015.

    Manuel Silva Castillo took a few weeks off to fly back to visit his parents and friends in Columbia during the past few months.

    My Travels

    To Queensland ...

    We were invited to send someone to Ayr in Far North Queensland during October to run a 2 day training event for members of the Sugar Research Australia team in the Burdekin area. I went for the trip and enjoyed meeting some of our clients from that area and a room full of extension officers from various research and advisory organizations. The trip was well worth the time and we look forward to seeing some renewed enthusiasm from the people in that part of the world in 2014.

    To Russia ...

    In early November, I flew to Russia for a week. On the Monday I was in Moscow to meet with Tony Stamford (our man in Moscow) to check on his 'irons in the fire' in that part of the world. It is quite amazing what is happening in the former Soviet Union.

    That night I traveled to Bryansk (SW of Moscow, 6 hours by train) to visit a team of people who operate a formidable farming operation in that area for the Tuesday and Wednesday. In the past 2 years they've developed 33 cattle farms, all with state-of-the-art cattle handling systems, which will, when in full swing, be running around 4000 Angus breeders each. They have kicked it off by importing 20,000 heifers from Australia and 80,000 from the US. They are also in the process of setting up a chicken meat business (a series of chicken sheds, from breeders to growers) that will be producing 100,000 tonnes of chicken meat per year and a 45,000 head cattle feedlot. All quite amazing. They are also building their own slaughter houses for both the chicken and beef operations: the beef slaughter house to cater for 450,000 head/year, chicken: the 100,000 tonnes. They also have their own feed mill (to produce 300,000 T/year ... to feed the chickens) and are well advanced with building their own (4 story) offices near the slaughter houses. When in full swing they expect to be employing 19,000 people across their whole business! And ... in case that isn't enough, they already have Russia's largest pig operation which is located in another part of the country.

    Then back to Moscow and then to Stavropol for Thursday and Friday morning (2 hours flight south of Moscow) to visit our clients (Irrico) who have been very busy acquiring as much excellent cropping land in that area as fast as the system allows. It seems "red tape" gets in the way of rapid progress. They are aiming for a total operation of around 50,000 Ha. of which 40,000 Ha will be irrigated by centre pivots. I understand their first harvest (just completed during their last summer) was from around 20,000 Ha, of which 15,000 Ha was irrigated. I didn't get to the farm unfortunately, it is located an hour or two from the city, but spent time in their head office and had a chance to meet the senior farming and accounting staff, face to face.

    After another day of meetings in Moscow (with the Vice President of our newly appointed Ukraine agents, based in Kiev) it was time to head back home.

    To China ...

    In late November I flew to China to run a 2 day training session for a client who happens to operate China's largest wine grape vineyard operation. This company is an offshoot of the company that manufactures HTC mobile phones and ViaTech computer motherboards and chips. The CEO of the wine business also sits on the board of HTC. He got excited about PocketPAM2 when I showed him. I guess with HTC operating on an Android operating system... he could see HTC sales in it! The wine/vineyard business occupies a floor of the ViaTech building which is on the outskirts of Beijing in a technology park (right next door to Google's main China office).

    They already have 2 wineries and are in the process of building up the area under vines to 1000 Ha. They also operate an extensive vine nursery operation.

    I was very impressed at how well the vineyard team had been running PAM over the past year and their depth of knowledge. It was obvious that all the trainees had dedicated a lot of time in studying the workings of PAM. As a result the training they needed was at an advanced level. The trip was well worth the effort. I learnt a lot about the subtleties of growing grapes in China and they were very appreciative of the the advanced training.

     

     

    To Malaysia ...

    In early December I attended a conference on Plantation Management in Kuala Lumpur at which we were a sponsor. The purpose was to learn more about best management practices in the plantation sector and to meet with some of the major players in that market. It was good to meet with some of our existing clients from Laos and to talk with the leaders in the field of guiding plantation owners in best management practice and sustainability. This market sector (particularly the Oil Palm sector) is booming but has considerable challenges in dealing with criticism from environmentalists and other lobby groups.

    Having done all of those trips in quite a short time, it is good to be back in the office and back to normal living again.

    What's New?

    FDE - The Fairport Data Exchange

    We mentioned the development of the "FDE" in the last newsletter. Shortly after that we went live with this technology. People are now using the FDE to transfer their PocketPAM2 and PAM-FieldRex data to and from their PAM software.

    FieldRex - Free for your consultant - to send you his recommendations

    FieldRex was released and went "live" at the same time as the FDE. To get a good understanding of how FieldRex works and how your consultants can seamlessly transfer recommendations to your PAM (and PocketPAM2), please visit the dedicated web page.

    See also the story below regarding our new PAM Share web site which will enable to you to share your PAM records on line, with whoever you like

    PocketPAM2

    Since the beginning of 2013, there have been a total of 30 enhancements made in PocketPAM2. They include a number of useful reports that PAM transfers to the device. With the exception of a few of them, they have all been at the request of the users. Thanks for the feedback.

    During October we added a new module: the Inventory of Harvested Produce. This new module operates in the same way as the same module in PAM and includes support for the new PAM, Grain Contracts system as well.

    We are very encouraged by the number of clients who have taken up PocketPAM2. Thank You! The number of licenses "out there" has gone well past 500 and on the way to 1000. Obvioulsy it's helping our PAM clients in their efforts to capture more and more data in the field. The more and better the data, the better PAM will work for you.

    One of our long-standing clients made a point the other day that thanks to PocketPAM2, he is "finally getting all the benefits from PAM that I always wanted ... and I'm hardly ever sitting at the computer!"

    PAM

    PAM development never stops.

    During the past months the following has been added or overhauled:

    Harvested Produce Contracts: During October we added a new module in PAM that enables you to add grain contracts and record deliveries that fill those contracts. To get a full understanding of how this works, a help file can be downloaded from our web site. Fairport Club members: Look for it under the "Data Entry" section of the Support Files web page .

    Cultivar Mixes: This new feature is specially designed for those of you who plant seed mixes of pasture seeds. It enables you to give the mix a name and to define the mix in terms of a set of cultivars. The option can be switched on via the "Cropping" tab under "Customise your PAM program..."

    Livestock Activities Diary: this screen has had a 'behind-the-scenes' overhaul to improve its speed of display.

    Individual Animal Records: Export to XML File - this feature was added with exporting to Sheep Genetics in mind. The export file created by PAM will be compatible with their requirements.

    Food Crop QA Report: This report has had a layout overhaul. You can get at this report via the QA Reports menu in PAM.  Search for Planned Jobs - If you check the options on the Tools menu in the Paddock Activities Dairy, there is new option that will switch on the Plan number search feature. This will enable you to rapidly locate a job by it's Plan Number in the Paddock Diary.

    PDP - Precision Data Processor Recent work done on the PD software included a revamp and some fixing of some of the variable rate outputs.

     

    What's Coming?

     

    PAM Share - Share your PAM data online

    We are currently working on a web site for the exclusive use of Fairport Club members (who have subsribed to use the FDE) that will enable them to share their data online with whoever they like. Right now there is an example of this site up & running: http://pamshare.com.au

    The PAM Share web site will work on any sized screen - iPhone, Android, iPad etc.

    How will it work?

    • Firstly, from within PAM, you nominate that you want to use PAM Share.
    • You choose how often you want to refresh the data on PAM Share
    • PAM then prepares certain reports and uploads them to your dedicated area on the PAM Share web site at the time intervals you nominate.
    • You nominate who are you are prepared to allow to visit your dedicated area on the PAM Share web site - and also if the guests are entitles to view your financial reports.

    What will it show?

    • Your farm map - which can be used to choose the paddocks for the paddock-wise reports
    • Your Year-to-date Annual Paddock Summary report for each paddock (also past years, if you like)
    • Any Paddock Recommendations that your agronomists may have recorded for you and if they were applied or not
    • A Year-to-date financial summary and pie chart for each paddock (only viewable by the guests of your choice)
    • Paddock Crop Rotations
    • Various livestock reports including: Stocked Paddocks, Category-Mob numbers, Empty Paddocks.

    ... and we expect as time goes by, you will be asking for more features .. and we'll be happy to hear from you.

    PocketPAM2 soon to be in 6 languages

    Our Chinese clients in Beijing were very excited about using PocketPAM2 ... and in the past week a member of their staff has translated PocketPAM2 into Chinese!

    We'll be releasing this version soon. Meanwhile translation into Chinese of the PAM program is also going ahead as this newsletter goes to air.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PDP Lite By popular demand! ...

    We have been told by many that the VRT (Variable Rate Technology) recipe builder in PDP is the best out there. We have also been told there is a need for a light weight application that can take files from other software that are ready for converting into variable rate recipe files for (potentially) a number of different controllers. The end result of this will mean that the one recipe file can be sent to different controller types. This will be especially useful when you change to a new brand of controller and want to use your old recipe maps.

    Work on this application is under way and we hope to release it within the first quarter of 2014.


     

     

    Thursday June 27th 2013

    In this issue

     

    • Fairport turns 25
    • Winetech 2013 - We'll be there
    • Challenges of finite resources
    • What's New?
      • Fairport Data Exchange
      • FieldRex
      • PocketPAM2
      • PAM
      • PDP - Precision Data Processor
    • A day in the life of a modern farmer - PocketPAM2 at work in May 2013

     

    Fairport Turns 25

    PAM version 1.0 was actually released in August 1989, however the first strike of the keyboard in the development of PAM was in June 1988. 

    So much has happened in those 25 years. Apart from all of us getting 25 years older, the growth in technology on farm has been amazing. The power of computers, the birth of the internet and email, precision farming technologies, thanks to the amazing GPS technologies ... handheld devices (Palm to PocketPC to Smartphones)  ... Fairport has been there for the whole journey.  Many of you have been there for the entire trip. We thank you for the loyalty.  

     

    Winetech 2013 – We’ll be there!

     

    If you’re coming to the Winetech 2013 Expo in Sydney  (Darling Harbour) – July 15 -17 – please drop in and visit us on stand 4820. Check out PocketPAM2, GrapeForecaster  & PAM AusVit. 

     

    Challenge of finite resources 

     

      • By 2050 the world population will require 100% more food than we produce today
      • But there’s only 12% more arable land available globally !
      • Analysts project only 5% more land will be cultivated by 2050 
      • Water demand is projected to outstrip water supply by 40% in 2030 
      • Farmers will need to increase food production dramatically … and with less fresh water. 

    SOURCES: OECD-FAO, global water supply/demand model; agricultural production based on IFPRI computed general equilibrium model base case; A Daunting Task, Prof. Robert Thompson (2010)

     

    So… 70% of the increase in food supply must come from efficiency improving technology. We had better get busy!

     

    What’s New? 

     

    FDE - The Fairport Data Exchange
    The Fairport Data Exchange has been under development for over 6 months and is soon to go ‘live’. We have been testing it in-house for the past month and making more improvements. For more information, please visit the PocketPAM2 web page. 

     

    FieldRex

    FieldRex was released about a week ago and when the FDE is fully ‘live’ all systems will be ‘go’ – your consulting agronomists will have free use of FieldRex to do your crop scouting and recommendations. More inforamtion can be found on the FieldRex web page 

     

    PocketPAM2

    Since the beginning of 2013, there have been a total of 30 enhancements made in PocketPAM2. They include a number of useful reports that PAM transfers to the device. With the exception of a few of them, they have all been at the request of the users. Thanks for the feedback.

    Almost every week, PocketPAM2 users receive a special PocketPAM2 Newsletter with news of new features. 

    Yesterday we commenced a full rewrite of the program. Actually it’s not quite as serious as that. It is really a conversion. As we were releasing PocketPAM2 last year, the development tools we used were undergoing a full revamp to make applications faster and more user-friendly, especially for Android devices. We thought our timing was unfortunate. 

    However, with 18 months of history now behind them, the developers of those tools now have made several enhancements and fixed a number of issues. We figure the timing is now perfect for us to make the conversion. The process is not huge. We hope no more than 2 months work. 

     

    PAM

     

    PAM development never stops. During the past months the following has been added or overhauled:

    • •Backup and Restore – now there are 2 complete backup & restore systems in PAM8. One to use to get PAM 7 data to PAM 8 and the new system which is much faster, for use once PAM 8 is fully set up and you have the PAM 7 data restored.
    • •PAM AusVit – A new phenology stages recording system has been added
    • •PAM – Budgets (and for PAM Enterprise users – Scenarios) – have had a total overhaul this year
    • •PAM – Individual Animal Records – many small enhancements added.
    • •Plans to ‘Actuals’– currently only one actual record can be associated with a planned event. This will soon change so that many actual records can be associated back to a single plan. Many reports will be enhanced as well… to display the plan number. 

     

    Colin and Roger flew to Sydney for a day f discussions with one of our larger corporate PAM Enterprise clients in early June.  The result of that day will be a number of really good enhancements to the Livestock Section of PAM. Development of those should get under way very soon and we will make an announcement when it’s all done.

     

    PDP - Precision Data Processor

    John Deere recently updated their systems that they provide to us for our john Deere interfaces. Those are in the process of being included and will be ready for release soon.

    The PAM - Precision Link interface is also under development and will be ready soon. 

     

    A day in the life of a Modern Farmer 

    PocketPAM2 at work – Early May 2013

    “Our mixed farming enterprise is comprised of 6 farms run by a staff of 6. We run 11,000 sheep and  crop 4,000 Ha. Right now we are in the middle of seeding. We have 1 air-seeder (working 24 hours a day), 2 spray rigs and 1 supply truck. 

    We operate 7 infield devices running PocketPAM2  (PP2) – 1 Windows tablet, 3 Apple devices and 3 Androids.

    My day started 4.50 am this morning filling spray rig 1 from a plan created on PP2 on my Android device yesterday. This plan was built up using a chemical tank mix created some days earlier on my phone. I use a special paddock which we call the “QA Paddock” to create plans. These plans are then sent to the PAM computer (via 3G) for system wide use (that is, to be picked up by all other staff on their devices). 

    Just prior to starting the job in the paddock I converted plan to an actual (The plan has remained exactly as it was for future use) and in the process, entered start time and weather conditions (obtained by accessing our DAFWA on farm weather station which is updating a web site every minute, accessed as a short cut next to my Pocket Pam icon on phones home page.) 

    During the job I leave PP2 in “Actuals” edit mode on the paddock area selection, and edit worked areas for each paddocks as each one is completed.  At the end of job I reaffirm the chemical batch numbers that have come through from the original plan and let inventory recalculate chemical use from areas covered. Finally I enter in job finish time.

    My next job is to journey into town to pick up more chemical as we are awaiting new stock for both spray rigs. I add the new chemicals to inventory complete with batch numbers and other information. I then send the inventory data “To Pam” as it will be required by the spray rig 2 operator. This leaves the spray plans and data on my phone for further editing . 

    When the spray rig 2 operator comes in to the chemical shed, he sends his data to PAM via 3g and then retrieves PAM data inventory data (that I sent in earlier).

    Meanwhile the shift is changing on the seeder and paddock seeding plans which have been sent from PAM  are being converted and edited to actual seeding operation and areas updated in PP2. One paddock has a new seeding operation added to it as the planned variety has run out part way through. The second section of the paddock with the different variety is directly recorded as an “Actual” along with its own group of consumables and costings automatically generated for this area. This recording is done on a tractor mounted iPad which is used to also run software that monitor air-seeder blockages. The PP2 data is sent back to the office by the seeding manager after he has a quick review of the night shift entries. The iPad sync’s to PAM back in the office via 3g by the operator using his iPhone as a wireless “Hot Spot”.

    I returned to my spray rig and as I had some new chemical I open the same plan in PP2 as before to change the batch number assigned in the plan the new batch number for the new chemical saved the updated plan now for future use. I now reopen the adjusted plan and change paddock and consumable’s detail etc.  Convert the plan to an actual and repeat those same steps as I used for the first tank... 

    While spraying, the supply truck operator has rung in checking on which variety to load and I look through my inventory on PP2 to find the location and batch number of the seed ready for the seeder.  I pass this information on.

    Meanwhile, the stockman has moved some sheep out of the paddock that I am about to spray. He recorded the mob move on PP2 on his phone and sent in immediately to PAM in the office so others have the access to the latest locations of the sheep. He stops me up to ask which silo to move the hydraulic auger into as he has just emptied out a silo on another farm and needs to know the location of the next feed for the livestock.  The information is passed on from the PP2 inventory.

    I do a stock take in PP2 to write off the batch numbers for the chemical batch I’d finished earlier and the feed silo finished by my stockman.  I notice that the supply truck driver has also done a stock take to remove the batch numbers from the crop seed system’s pick list. I also noticed that he entered a manual task in PP2 to record that he had cleaned out the truck, auger and silo 

    I continue spraying and add in a new weather record against the job as the wind direction has change direction. As the day progresses along I field a call (one of 40 to 50 for the day on my Bluetooth earpiece) from a livestock agent wondering whether the sheep we’d offered for sale were ready . I check my Livestock report in PP2 on my phone and find they still have a few days left of their ESI withholding period from a treatment done some  months ago and determine they need to wait until the next week.

    I pull up alongside a fence and check on the pasture and create a recommendation in the FieldRex module in PP2 for the spray rig no 2 to complete tomorrow. The list of paddocks and consumables plus rates are sent by SMS and email as a notification to the staff. They will receive this job prefilled on their smart phones when they sync from Pam to their PP2 devices .

    9:40 pm and the Spray rig pulls in the yard. While it’s fuelling I complete last paddocks areas and finish time records. Then sync all PP2 modules into the PAM office computer and do a “fromPam” afterwards to receive data from all other devices synced in during the day. 

    Time for bed knowing the office is right up to date and seeder is still out there creating more records.

    In Dads day he started with a team of horses, a lantern at night and bags of seed manually lifted. His generation has morphed into this world via open cab tractors and no hydraulics, right up to auto steer tractors and remote in field offices. He just asks –What’s the next few years going to bring. “

     

     

     

     


     

    Friday December 21st 2012

    Roger's Ramblings

    Seasons greeting to you and your families from me, the Fairport team and our families.

    We'd like to thank all our valued clients for the continued support throughout the year and we would like to thanks all of those who have joined the Fairport client list in the past 3 months. 
    Yes, another year gone! Fairport's 23rd since releasing PAM 1.0 back in 1989 and never a dull moment for all those years. 2012 may have even been the busiest.

    After announcing the release of PocketPAM2 in our last newsletter things went crazy here.

    THANKS
    ...to all of you enthusiastic clients who came on board with PocketPAM2.

    SPECIAL THANKS
    Thanks especially to Murray Hall, Brookton, W.A. for the weeks and weeks and weeks of in-office then in-field testing that he put in .... Murray and I worked from early morning until the late hours of almost every day, 7 days a week for 5-6 weeks (or was it more ... memory fails me).

    Murray's efforts were invaluable in getting the software to the point where we could release it. He now has 3 Android devices, 1 iPhone and a Panasonic Toughbook running the software and tells me he typically gets 2 PAM diary screen fulls of data being added every day! Murray runs a pretty big show and has mentioned that PocketPAM2 will be worth 10's of thousands of dollars to their operation, by freeing up hours and hours of office time.

    GOOD NEWS
    The number of you who have call up and ordered additional licenses after a week or 2 is a further indication to us that it's working well. Some people have had a few teething problems and we have been on the case, adding features and making improvements to the "user experience" as fast as we can. As those of you with Androids know, we have had a few goes at improving the Android Back Button functionality. One client has just told me today that he believes PocketPAM2 handling of the Android back button is now the best of any App he has used. It's nice to get feedback like that !

    I mentioned in the last newsletter that we had secured a new client in China - a 2500 acre vineyard operation not far from Beijing. We have enjoyed getting them up and running with PAM UltraVit. We were able to manage all the installation and training over the Internet.

    While on the subject of new frontiers, since the last newsletter we have a new PAM Enterprise client in Ethiopia and yet another PAM client in Sudan. We are also looking forward to several new PAM Enterprise clients in Europe coming onboard early in the new year. The hard work of our overseas agents is paying off.

    As you will see in the newsletter below, we have a few things in the pipeline. In the past couple of years we have been right at the cutting edge of new technologies on a few of our projects. It comes with its frustrations and steep learning curves but it is also a nice feeling to know that you can't be more 'up to date'. More below.

    Colin's Column

    Over the last few months I have been to Queensland twice and South Australia. I was in Queensland, Emerald (Goonoo Station) training up the Farm Managers (Will, Chris, Sian & Jodie) for AACo on the use of PAM for their cotton operations and Toowoomba training up Matthew from Mort & Co. I also had a meeting with Prime Ag about the ongoing use of PAM in their operations. In South Australia I was talking to one of our PAM clients that wants to move up to the next level to help manage their ever growing Potato & Olive operations.

    Apart from that I have been very busy with presentations of PAM Enterprise to various large Agricultural operations across Australia, Europe, USA and South America. It is amazing to see how things have picked up worldwide in the last 6 months now everyone is over (or had enough of) the GFC. There are huge investments being made into Agriculture worldwide and in many cases the investors are foreign to the country they are investing in. The flow on effect is also beneficial to the “normal” farmer because the R & D investment by these operations enable companies like us to develop & improve our products that in turn become available to everyone.

    Having done so many presentations I will be doing a trip to Europe early next year to start rolling out some of these sites which will be using some of the new PAM Applications that are mentioned in this Newsletter, so it will be very exciting.
    Looking forward to reporting on the rollout next Newsletter.

    All the best to you and your farming operations for 2013.

     

    Staff Matters

    Many of you will have already 'met' our new IT Support man, Manuel Louis Silva Castilla. Manuel has been in Australia for a few years after immigrating from Columbia with a Bachelor's degree in IT. He topped that up with a Master's Degree at Curtin University here in Perth. Not only has he taken the strain of technical support from the other team members, he is also writing small applications and last but by no means least, he is communicating with our South American clients, prospects and agents. 

    Max Bank, a graduate of computer science from Germany who has joined us, just this week. Max is on a working holiday in Australia and tells us he's a bit "over" picking fruit. He is fitting in well and enjoying working in his chosen field for the first time since graduating. We have thrown Max in 'at the deep end' after he demonstrated some talent with web based application programming! 

    Mikhail Beloshapkin, our mapping (and lots of other things) developer, has once again returned home to Russia for his annual leave. In the past few weeks the temperature has plunged to as low as (minus) 47 degrees Celsius in Novosibirsk where Mik is from! The weather has been unusually cold this year for this side of February. One of Mik's favourite winter pastimes in Russia is ice fishing. That is, cutting a hole in the ice cap that forms over the river Ob and throwing a line in. There should be no shortage of ice. 

    In the September newsletter we announced the arrival of Kaye, our new accounts lady. Unfortunately Kaye felt she was unable to cope with the job and left after only 4 weeks. Emily is now managing the job as well as attending university. 

    PAM-PrecisionLink - for data entry and data transfer from your tractor cab

    PAM-PrecisionLink is a data entry application designed to be embedded on your tractor's field computer (console). Based on the PocketPAM2 Crop Diary and Inventory modules but including some additional features.

    At user definable intervals (for example, each minute, every five minutes) PAM-PrecisionLink will send back messages via 3G to your PAM computer or server. The messages will include the location of the tractor and what it has been applying since the last message (i.e. how many hectares covered, how much seed and fertilizer applied).

    If you aren't set up with 3G or WiFi from your tractor, there will be an option to move the data back to your PAM computer with a USB drive.

    And ... You will be able to watch on your office computer screen as the tractor(s) move around the paddocks. We have already set up a collaborative arrangement with one on-board-device supplier to embed PAM-PrecisionLink on their on board devices for a large farming and irrigation project overseas in the first quarter of 2013. 
    Stay tuned, we'll be making more announcements on this in early 2013.

    Please Note: This is a replacement for "DES" which we developed in 2002 for entering PAM records while running on KEE and Farmscan consoles. DES is no longer being released or supported.

    PAM-FieldRex - Free App for paddock recommendations

    Also in 2013 we will be releasing the PAM-FieldRex application. PAM-FieldRex will be the FieldRex module from PocketPAM2 plus the gpsScout module.


    For clients with one or more PocketPAM2 licenses, this new "App" will be available free ($0.00) and is designed for your agronomists to use for paddock recommendations when on your farm.

    PAM FieldRex has the same functionality as the FieldRex module in PocketPAM2 and the Paddock Recommendations section of PAM itself.

    Your consultants can send their recommendations back to PAM when they have completed a scouting mission. Then they can simply tap on the "toPAM" button and send those recommendations back to PAM.

    What then?

    The recommendation can be seen in PAM, can be sent to a PocketPAM2 or PAM PrecisionLink operator in the field. And then ... you can convert the recommendation into an actual event or into a planned event. As you do that process you can edit it if something needs changing. Seamless integration between PAM, PocketPAM2, PAM FieldRex and PAM PrecisionLink.

    PAM FieldRex can also prepare a concise version of a recommendation which can be emailed or SMS'd directly from the smartphone - Either iPhone or Android.

    PAM - Help & Tips

    Since our last newsletter we have added some nice features to PAM.

    • New layout for the Planned Event Worksheet in the Paddock Activities Diary. The new layout is shared across all event types and includes facilities for better tracking of machinery hours. Thanks to our clients (Macquarie) in Brazil for this enhancement! 

    • Budgets Versus Actuals reports - another enhancement request from Brazil - The new reports can be found within the Budget screen in PAM .. Look under Cropped Areas Budget Reports / Budget versus Actual Reports - There are 2 choices. Cropped Areas Financials (Budget vs Actual) and Cropped Areas Consumables (Budget vs Actual)

    • Un-Applied Recommendations - this report shows all recommendations that have been entered or transmitted into PAM via PocketPAM2 or via the Import Recommendations option under the PAM menu option: Utilities / Backup, Restore & Transfer Data / Import Recommendations... (thanks to Poole Ag Consulting for this enhancement)


    • Coming soon
      • Planned versus Actuals Machinery Hours & Areas reports
      • Individual Animals Main Screen - editing of animal traits embedded into the spreadsheet cells

         

      “Set Cropped Areas Status”
      Summer Crops in PAM 8
       - after a winter crop in the same paddock

      In PAM 8 we have changed the way the paddock & cropped area pick lists work. When you plant a crop in a paddock, if you plant the entire arable area, the uncropped areas list will no longer list that paddock. If you plant less than the entire arable area the un-cropped areas list will list the paddock, but only the uncropped portion is available for recording jobs against.

      So, when you have completed the harvesting of the winter crop in these paddocks and if you then want to plant a summer crop in one or more the same paddocks, you need to tell PAM that the winter crop is finished.

      Here's how...
      On the Add Wizard in the PAM Paddock Activities Diary or Paddock Season Screen, click on the “Cropped Areas” tab and you will find a new button “Set Cropped Areas Status” ... click on this button to show a special form where you can make each of the cropped areas non-current. There are instructions on the top of the screen explaining how it works.

     


     

    Monday September 10th 2012

     

    PocketPAM2 is Here !

     

    The long awaited release of PocketPAM2 occurred in July. Many clients have already discovered the apps on the app stores and we have had plenty of good feedback ... Here's what people are saying...

     

    "It's working really well.."
    "I've been waiting for this for years"
    "Very Clever". 
    "This new App will save me and my employees a huge amount of time each month... Thanks Fairport"

     

    The App is now available from the iTines App Store, Google Play, and for Windows Tablets, from the Fairport Web Site.

     

    Please read all about PocketPAM2, how to get it, how to install it, how to get it talking to PAM and all things related to PocketPAM2, please visit our web site. Look out for the "Getting Started" page... look for "the 6 easy steps".

     

    Roger's Ramblings

     

    A long time has passed since our last newsletter, apologies for that.

     

    We'd like to thank all our valued clients who continue to keep us busy with requests for new and better software and we would like to thanks all of those who have joined the Fairport client list this year.

     

    The past 9 months has had us extremely busy as we prepared for the roll out of PockPAM2 and PAM8. Also in this period we have moved office. After 15 years based in South Perth we decided to move away from the city centre into the outer Perth suburbs to make commuting easier. As the companies affiliated with the mining industry compete for office space nearer the city, rents were climbing at a crazy rate. Now we're located in a quiet, almost rural area in the suburb of Spearwood. We completed our move here in mid March and are well settled in now.

     

    Fairport continues to support Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars. We were very happy to have helped in the sponsorship of David Gooden from Lockhart NSW to attend the 61st Worshipful Company of Farmers Agricultural Business Management Course in Cirencester, UK in February this year. David wrote to us on his return to elaborate on the benefits of the course. We wish David every success for the future. 
    I had a good catch-up with a number of old Nuffield Scholars here in Perth recently.

     

    Earlier this year Colin married his partner, Allison and they took a trip through South America for their honeymoon. Colin took the opportunity to visit some of our clients in Argentina. He also caught up with our representative in Argentina while in Mendoza. See more below.

     

    Interest in our PAM Enterprise version has been on the increase in recent months from local agri-businesses as well as plenty of interest from overseas. We are talking with large operations as far afield as Russia, the United Arab Emirates and China. Read about our move into China below.

     

    Now that we have PocketPAM2 released, we will be moving more and more software to mobile devices over the coming months. Stay tuned.

     

    Staff Matters

     

    Our office administrator, Emily started studying at university at the beginning of the second semester this year. We have now appointed Kaye Anderson to fill that role. Kaye will be your first point of contact when you call Fairport. Kaye was originally from Victoria where she and her husband ran a painting and decorating business. Kaye has had her fair share of farming experience having worked on fruit farms in Victoria and Queensland.

     

    Emily has moved to a part time role here in supporting Colin and Roger with technical and marketing roles.

     

    We have been filling our ad hoc programming needs by outsourcing via the internet. We have a great team of people we now call on as and when needed.

     

    South America: Colin's Travels

     

    Colin was in South America during April on holidays and spent time in Chile and Argentina. While there he visited one of our Clients, Trapiche in Mendoza who have about 3000 hectares of vineyard spread across several areas of Argentina.  Colin had a training session on Grape Forecaster and PAM UltraVit with members of the Viticultural Team (luckily most of them spoke very good English!!). Marcelo (vit manager) said that Grape forecaster was a very important tool for their operation as they buy grapes on the open market as well as growing their own so the winery has a very good indication as to what tonnages need to be purchased well before harvest.
    Colin said it was really good to meet the people he had only been corresponding through email for so many years.

     

     

    Colin, Claudio Sixto, Marcelo Belmonte, Javier Perez,Guillerma Yaoufano, Mapolalina Roge

     


    Colin also met with Pablo Minatelli from Bodega Norton one of the original vineyards in the Mendoza region and also in the top 5 exporters of wine from Argentina. Colin showed Pablo through the PAM UltraVit Software and Precision Data Processor. Norton has committed to do a 12 month trial using PAM UltraVit (in Spanish) they have been looking for software like PAM for some time, to centralise all their data that is collected on the vineyard.

     

    China: The new frontier

     

    After a few months of discussion, Vincent and our new friends at ZT Vineyards in China have come aboard as our first clients in China. ZT Vineyards is a 2500 acre viticultural operation located near Beijing comprising 5 separate vineyard management offices and several wineries. 
    We look forward to getting to know the workings of the operation better over the coming years.

     

     

Coogee Commercial Centre
3/83 Mell Road, (PO Box 7041)
Spearwood, Western Australia, 6163

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