Skip to main content

Netherlands leading in digitization

Chart of the month (July/2020)

Farm and herd management systems, data exchange platforms, cloud computing - when it comes to modern digital instruments, Dutch farmers are world leaders. The use figures in Germany and the USA are only higher when using field catalogues, which, however, usually also include simple and older systems like Excel sheets e.g.


Farmers in The Netherlands rely heavily on farm management systems (68% of mentions), platforms for data exchange (59%) and herd management software (59%). Various digital tools are also used regularly on farms in Germany. The main focus here is on electronic field catalogues (59% of the entries). The same applies to the USA, where the use of field catalogues has increased significantly from 43% in the previous year to 58% of the mentions in this year. Also in France the use of digital tools has increased significantly compared to the previous year. For example, nowadays 45% of farmers use herd management software on their farms. In Russia, the use of platforms for data exchange (52%) and farm management systems (49%) are the central digital tools used by farm managers. The focus of digitization tools in the UK is on management tools. For 41% of farm managers surveyed, farm management systems are an important tool in operational management of their business. On the other hand, the use of digital tools in Poland is rather reserved compared to the other countries surveyed. The most common instruments in use are electronic field catalogues (22%).

There are three main prerequisites for using digital tools:

  1. A powerful digital infrastructure is required that enables digital tools to be used in rural areas as well.
  2. The company and its work processes must be structured in a way that they can be depicted by digital tools and their usage and application makes economic sense.
  3. And last but not least, good expert advice and consulting is crucial for the use of software and IT systems.

The use of digital tools primarily serves to improve documentation. It optimizes operational processes and thus leads to a more efficient and sustainable management, and its output can be used as a reliable data basis for business decisions.

DLG-Agrifuture Insights – a comprehensive view on agricultural development

DLG-Agrifuture Insights, which was launched to replace and extend the scope of the DLG’s Trendmonitor Europe surveys late last year, has been introduced to supply insights into the developments taking place in the world’s most important agricultural regions at a time when the international agricultural sector is changing rapidly, and technologies, markets and market relations, structures and processes are all in a state of transition.

The focus of DLG-Agrifuture Insights is on animal husbandry and crop production, machinery and equipment, management, business climate and willingness to invest, identifying the top five investment areas and prevailing policies. It helps identify current trends and to assess business climate and expectations. This helps support agribusiness companies in developing strategies in international markets, and gives entrepreneurial farmers important stimuli for developing their businesses.

The DLG-Agrifuture Insights findings are reached by questioning a global panel made up of 2,000 future-oriented farmers in 13 countries – Brazil, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, USA and Zambia. Surveys are conducted every February/March in the southern hemisphere and every August/September in the northern hemisphere, with the findings supplemented by continuous background research and regular interviews with top decision-makers.