New app to automate farm admin

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Yokit is a new app developed by farming cousins James and John Fairlie to streamline administrative tasks on the farm. James runs Fairlie Farming Co, a ware potato and cereals business together with a commercial scale biogas plant, while John runs Balmirmer Farms’ ware potato, cereals, and beef cattle enterprises and has previous experience as a chartered accountant.

John said: “The agricultural industry overwhelmingly uses verbal and manual methods to record and communicate key operational data.

“This often results in delayed and incomplete records that use a wide range of terms for similar tasks. This creates a huge margin for error as well as significant extra time spent by management decoding and interpreting data.”

Yokit is a smartphone app for on-the-go recording of information, including hours worked, yields and diesel used. James explained that the pair wanted to make daily admin tasks easier for everyone in farming, and so the system was designed to be simple.

“The straightforward interface also gives farmers game-changing visibility on operations, with real-time access to information that can be easily analysed to drive enhanced decision-making.

“Running a busy farm day-to-day, while also having a detailed understanding of where immediate improvements can be extremely challenging, especially when essential information can only be collated from various sources, often well behind the point it could be impactful.”

Development has been underway for two years, prompted by a mountain of post-harvest paperwork. Driving the technology side of the business is Yokit technology lead Kyle Kennedy, a Computer Science Master’s graduate, who previously worked on high-profile projects, including protecting London from airborne attacks during the Olympics.

He said: “Our vision is to create a digital enterprise platform that has the potential to revolutionise the industry for both farmers and the rural supply chain. Farming is a traditional industry that is ready for digital transformation.

“UK Agriculture is facing a number of existential challenges including a severe lack of skilled machine operators and massive cost price inflation. The supply chain would also benefit from closer partnerships, driving productivity.

“Yokit’s worklog function coupled with automated invoice generation, payroll reports, holiday request and tracking functions means the platform can be relied upon to effectively compile critical data that will drive the revenue, profitability, and ultimately the sustainability of farming businesses.”

The app is available on both Android and Apple devices, with costs starting from £10 per month, per team member, or £99 per year, per team member.

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