The agricultural field notebook is nowadays a key document to control the management of an agricultural holding, and it serves both for the legal authorities and for our own interest, where we will be able to know important data such as expenditure, foliar and phytosanitary treatments, the production, sale and a long etcetera.
This document is mandatory for all those farmers who want to enjoy the marketing and subsidies of the European Union . In addition, it is very easy to administer and fill, and no special requirements or any training is required for it.
In this article we teach you how to maintain and manage an agricultural field notebook , as well as the applications that allow its controlled management online, something more comfortable for those who prefer to go hand in hand with technology.
BASES OF THE FIELD NOTEBOOK
The field notebook , also known as a field book, farm book or phytosanitary notebook , is an easy-to-fill document that provides essential data for the maintenance of the farm.
At the same time, it also acts as a management notebook, where we record the purchase of agricultural inputs, personnel management, production data, sales, invoices and all the phytosanitary treatments carried out.
At the end of the day, it is a management guide , and it is important to have it on hand to consult safety deadlines, results of applications and a long etcetera where to improve and optimize management processes, in order to increase our economic capital guaranteeing safety for consumers .
This notebook or template can be downloaded from countless official sites, such as the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Agriculture of each Autonomous Community. In general, all of them keep the same documentation and have European validity, since they all comply with Royal Decree 1311/2012, Law on the Sustainable Use of Phytosanitary Products.
- Exploitation Notebook Model – Junta de Andalucía
- Field Notebook Model – Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment
ITS USE IS MANDATORY
Human food requires a sufficiently strict control body to allow the health of all consumers. For this reason, the field notebook is conceived as an instrument of control and management of all the tasks of a farm.
Its use and compliance is mandatory since 2013 for all those who carry out the commercialization of any type of fruit, vegetable or food product of plant origin, in accordance with Royal Decree 1311/2012, Law of Sustainable Use of Phytosanitary Products. To facilitate the task, it can be completed in a computerized way, with any text editing program, in written format (previously printed) or through an online field notebook management application .
In addition, it is mandatory to keep all the files managed for a minimum period of 3 years, and this must be met in any European country, with the conditions of each of the member states.
The lack of information in the field book or the improper manipulation of the documentation, with falsified data, carries serious penalties and the cancellation of any type of help related to the CAP, so it is a serious issue.
GUIDE TO MANAGE THE AGRICULTURAL FIELD NOTEBOOK
The field notebook model, manageable in any text application such as Word, and easily printable and refillable by hand, consists of the following points:
1.General data on the farm
2. Identification of the farm plots
3. Information on phytosanitary treatments
4. Record of analysis of phytosanitary products, if it has been carried out
5. Record of commercialized harvest
6. Fertilization record
7. Agri-environmental commitments and local development lines
All these points are mandatory and fill-in. However, there is no reason to worry, nor is it difficult to understand and formalize information. We want to guide you step by step with each point and the information that you must add.
HOW TO FILL IN THE FIELD NOTEBOOK
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
- 1.1 General information
- 1.2 People involved in the application of phytosanitary products
- 1.3 Equipment for the application of phytosanitary products
- 1.4 Advisor or advisory entity
The basic information about the farm data, company name, representatives and the registration number in the farm register. In sections 1.2 and 1.3, the people who carry out the phytosanitary applications are registered, who must have a phytosanitary applicator card, as well as the machinery used, in relation to the turbines, application guns and atomizers usually used.
Finally, point 1.4 should only be filled in when we have a field advisor, agronomist or agricultural technical engineer who makes recommendations on applications.
2. IDENTIFICATION OF THE FARM PLOTS
In this table the data referring to the situation and location of the parcel (s) belonging to the agricultural holding are added, regardless of whether they are being cultivated or not at the time the documentation is completed.
In addition, we need to know the data of coordinates, parcels and polygon, whose information is easily obtainable from the cadastral data or the Sigpac Viewer .
3. INFORMATION ON PHYTOSANITARY TREATMENTS
This part is very important and we must fill it in with precision, since it is the one that is most inspected and controlled, as it is the most sensitive in terms of food safety. It contains the phytosanitary treatments carried out, as well as important data on dose, justification, registration, etc.
In this section, only products classified as phytosanitary should be added, with their registration number. The following data is provided in the table:
- Type of pest : insect, fungus or bacteria that you want to reduce the population or control.
- Treated area: plot where the treatment is to be carried out.
- Dose: quantity of phytosanitary product used
- Justification of the treatment: why to carry out the treatment, either due to exceeding the threshold, damage to the crop, damage, etc.
- Trade name of the product
- Registry number
- Treatment efficacy: treatment results, counting and evaluation of the results.
4. REGISTRY OF ANALYSIS OF PHYTOSANITARY PRODUCTS
This part is optional and must be completed only if the plant protection product has been analyzed. Either to corroborate its concentration, the absence of unauthorized substances or any other doubt that may be had, it is filled in with the results of the certified laboratory. This part is not usually as usual to fill in since most phytosanitary products have external control bodies.
5. RECORD OF COMMERCIALIZED HARVEST
It is important to have a place to record the results of the commercialized harvest, in view of possible audits and requests from the administration. In this part it is implemented with data from sales invoices, indicating the following aspects:
- Plots where the products have been harvested.
- The harvested product (carrot, potato, peach, etc.)
- The data of the company / client to whom the sale has been made.
- Volume of harvest sold
6. FERTILIZATION RECORD
This point is optional filling for non-vulnerable areas , although with the deterioration of the quality of soils and aquifers, more and more information is requested regarding the fertilization plan .
MANDATORY CONSERVATION FIELD BOOK DOCUMENTATION
As we have commented at the beginning of the article, the field notebook must be kept for a minimum period of 3 years . However, since it hardly takes up volume as a digital file or space as a printed one, it is recommended to keep it every year, whenever possible.
Along with the official download documents , you must also keep additional documentation that justifies the purchase of materials, invoices, delivery notes and others.
- Invoices or other documents that justify the purchase of the phytosanitary products used.
- Contracts with the companies or individuals that have carried out the phytosanitary treatments.
- Inspection certificates for plant protection product application equipment.
- Proof of delivery of the empty containers of phytosanitary products at the corresponding collection point.
- Waste analysis bulletins of phytosanitary products carried out on their crops and productions, and where appropriate, irrigation water
- Documentation related to the advice received.
- Harvest delivery notes or sales invoices.
FIELD NOTEBOOK APPLICATIONS
Compared to the traditional format, there are several logbook applications to manage all this data online . They have advantages such as that they do not take up space and are stored safely for many years. The incorporation of coordinate data and parcels is automatic since they are implemented with the Sigpac Viewer.
On the other hand, many invoices are currently obtained in print, so it is necessary to photograph or scan them to attach them to the file, something not very complicated to do but which can be a handicap for many, depending on their age and their computer skills.
The most famous online field notebooks are the following:
- Agroptima : the basic plan is free for 15 days, ideal to try and see if it suits our needs.
- Agricolum : free for the basic version (up to 2 farms) and € 14 / month up to 9 farms
- Cropti : the basic subscription costs € 99 / year, with more features (professional mode) starting at € 250 / year.