Bushel Farm, a farm management software acquired by Bushel in 2021, has worked for more than 10 years building software tools to help farmers become more profitable. Their powerful platform gives farmers key operational information at their fingertips so they can make better business decisions. With Bushel Farm, farmers can automatically calculate their cost of production, track their marketing position, and use clear, accessible data to grow their business. Dane Braun, Bushel’s VP of Product, explained, “We help growers take field operational data and turn it into financial insights for their business, building up a Profit & Loss, making it really easy for farmers to understand the unit economics of their farm.”
Since its start, Bushel Farm has understood farmers’ key pain points: Farm management software was difficult to use and time-consuming to learn. They didn’t want to be just another example of technology that made life more tedious or complicated for farmers. So, they focused on creating a simple, hassle-free user experience.
“Even though farmers were making an effort to use software to help them make smarter decisions in their business, it was a frustrating experience. We set out to change that with Bushel Farm software.”
- Brad Koch, Bushel Farm Co-Founder
Excellent UX Requires Integrations
In the past, farmers spent extra hours behind a desk, manually entering data, like how many units of seeds they planted in a particular field, or how much those units cost. They would use spreadsheets or even pencil numbers into notebooks. There was no easy, automated way to calculate their ROI without creating a formula-filled spreadsheet or pulling out a calculator.
Bushel Farm knew, in order to provide an excellent user experience, they needed to build the right data integrations that seamlessly combined agronomic, operational, financial, and grain marketing activity down to the field level. When that data is automatically entered, and easily accessible—instead of spread across multiple spreadsheets and software—farmers can actually use it. With 360-degree data on every aspect of their farm, they could make better decisions about where to spend money, where to cut expenses, or what to grow next season.
Better yet? Time previously spent crunching numbers, reviewing long spreadsheets, or learning complicated software could go back into what farmers actually want to do: run their farm.
Koch shared, “Since day one of Bushel Farm, farmers have appreciated ways we make data entry easier, getting rid of manual data entry altogether. It’s the farmer's dream to just be able to get the information at their fingertips, while making decisions and working with partners. Having the essential data readily accessible and available is what they really want.”
However, Bushel Farm understood that in order to create this type of outstanding user experience, they would need to spend a massive amount of time on the backend infrastructure to power it. The integrations were especially daunting since they would require thousands of developer hours - and they wanted to spend those developer hours innovating their product and building value for their customers, rather than learning the nuances of each data type and individual integration. So, they decided to partner with Leaf and rely on Leaf’s existing infrastructure so they could focus on their customers.
Focus on the Customer
To help farmers make better, profit-oriented decisions, Bushel Farm wanted to connect a few critical data types - the cost of production, what went into producing the crop, and how much the crop sold for. That’s when they reached out to Leaf.
“We really like the promise of Leaf and the direction Leaf is headed. It is obvious they are really listening to the customers and are going to dig in and figure out what developers like us need to be able to make our lives easier and focus on the areas where we actually create value for our customers.”
- Dane Braun, Bushel’s VP of Product
One Connection > Multiple Leaf Integrations
Starting with Imagery >
Bushel Farm started their partnership with Leaf in 2020 when they switched to Leaf’s satellite imagery service. Bushel Farm had an aggressive implementation deadline, and Kellie Livernois, a legacy Bushel Farm employee who is now Director of Farm Success for Bushel, was pleased with how smooth the transition was for Bushel Farm’ customers: “We rapidly migrated over and wired up Leaf’s imagery API, making sure our customers didn't lose access to imagery data,” she said.
Adding on Machine Data File Translation >
The success of this first integration led Bushel Farm to trust Leaf’s products and decide to migrate their machine data file conversion processing to Leaf’s machine data API. Bushel Farm already offered a way for their customers to take files off their tractors and upload them into Bushel Farm. But they weren’t satisfied with their current process and saw the power of using Leaf’s connected farm data tools to manage multiple types of data together. It was time to upgrade, and Leaf offered just that, a way to connect machine data directly into Bushel Farm.
Moving from Uploaded Files to API Connections >
As Bushel Farm worked with Leaf, they saw a need for a Field Operations API. For things to be as simple as possible for the end user, farmers needed to be able to calculate their actual cost per acre/per unit using data pulled from a full operation, not just individual files.
So, Bushel Farm asked Leaf to consider building a Field Operations service to solve this for them. Leaf built the Field Operations endpoint and worked with Bushel Farm to understand the use case and how to meet the expectations of their farmer customers. The end result was a new Field Operations service that automatically matches field operations files with field boundaries, so Bushel Farm customers could calculate what they actually needed to know: cost per unit of production. This all happens seamlessly in the background: no more sitting at that desk, entering data manually.
Braun shared, “Because of Leaf, Bushel Farm users can connect to their machine data platform and have all of their field operation data show up in their account automatically.”
Leaf Support at Every Step
Leaf has worked closely with Bushel Farm to ensure smooth operations, as the partnership has grown from one to multiple API integrations. Data can be messy, and there’s a lot of real-world use that has to happen to understand what challenges there are with an API integration. But according to Braun, “Leaf has been very accommodating, knowing it takes a lot of time for us to refine all of this data.”
Personalized Support via Slack
What started out as email chains quickly moved to Slack, allowing for more instantaneous conversation and speedy problem-solving. As Braun shared, “We put Leaf right into our development channels where we could go back and forth in real time and just crush problems. We’re grateful for Bailey’s personal support in the beginning and the growth of the support team over time.”
Aggressively Listening and Closing Gaps
Now, with Leaf’s support, Bushel Farm doesn’t have to think about the integration nuances of each platform. Instead, they can focus on what they do best, leaving the rest to a knowledgeable partner willing to move quickly to solve issues. Braun stressed, “Leaf actually cares about the customer. They’re willing to listen and move aggressively on closing gaps and fixing issues.”
Focus on Building, not Maintenance
With Leaf focused on API maintenance, Bushel Farm can now focus on what’s most important: their customers. “It’s worth it to us to invest in the relationship,” Braun said. “We’re able to rely on Leaf to maintain the service and continue to improve it while we focus on the problems unique to Bushel Farm and Bushel.”
As the Bushel Farm, Bushel, and Leaf partnership continues to grow, Braun expects future integrations to be seamless. And as the Agtech ecosystem further connects, Leaf will take care of the back-end infrastructure needs, while companies like Bushel Farm can focus on innovating faster and creating real value for their customers.
"I’m sure others are having the same connectivity problem Bushel Farm does, but are solving different problems for the end user and they could benefit from using Leaf,” Braun said. “I would recommend it.”