Using Beacons for Activity-Based Costing in Farm Management

The Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy has been looking into CANBUS-enabled activity-based costing for leveraging farm management. They have created a methodology that helps farmers to make operational decisions and create data that can be used for input into farm management information systems (FMIS).

As an example, a study showing a tractor active for 59% of the time was idling for 25% of the time. Fuel and labour costs represented from 63% to 71% of the total cost per hectare. The tractor was equipped with a CANBUS logger and Bluetooth beacons on several tractor implements to automatically recognise agricultural operations. The data was processed to classify jobs by position (field, farm, or road) and operating state (moving, fieldwork, or idling).

With such systems, farmers can determine the economic impact of farm activities and compare historical data with previous farm practices or competitors’ activities. This helps farmers make more intelligent decisions regarding crop, land and farm operations management.