Tend’s Crop Plan Features gives you powerful tools for creating and executing your optimal production plan while streamlining your systems, so you save time and achieve your business goals season after season.
We understand that jumping to a new system may seem daunting after years of crop planning with spreadsheets. No one goes into farming because they’re passionate about data entry, but that’s why we made this mini-guide — to help you streamline your farm data transfer process, so you can get out of the office and start putting Tend’s tools to work in your fields as efficiently as possible. Let’s knock it out!
Step 1: Organize your spreadsheets by crop
In Tend, you create your Crop Plan by adding plantings (individual instances of a crop with specific variety information and sowing, planting, and harvest dates). Sorting your crop plan spreadsheets by crop organizes your data, so you can rapidly transfer your plantings into Tend.
Tend streamlines this process by enabling you to add multiple plantings of a crop at once. So if you grow your crops in even successions(say you start a new sowing of carrots every four weeks), you can add all your carrot successions to your Tend Crop Plan at once.
Tend Tip: Tend allows you to incorporate a deep level of detail for all of your plantings as you add them. When first transferring your Crop Plan into Tend, however, it’s often simplest to just add general crop successions in one fell swoop to get the ball rolling. You can use Tend’s Crop Plan editing tools to fill in details such as individual crop varieties and other production nuances later. Keep reading to learn more!
Step 2: Arrange spreadsheet columns to match Tend’s data fields
With your spreadsheets organized by crop, arrange (or create as needed) your data columns to match the layout of Tend’s data fields in the Add Plantings (aka. Planting Detail) Screen. The order goes like this:
- Planting amount (by bed ft., row ft., or by number of individual plants)
- In-row spacing or seeding rate
- Number of rows per bed
- Crop growing cycle (annual, biennial, or perennial)
- Planting method (greenhouse sow, direct sow, or transplant from purchased)
- Greenhouse start date
- Days in greenhouse (total days from GH sowing date to field transplant date)
- Days to potting up (total days from GH sowing date to potting up date)
- Potting up date
- Field planting date
- Days to maturity
- First harvest date
- Harvest window
- Last harvest date
A note about dates in Tend
Planting dates such as the greenhouse or field sowing dates, the field transplant date, and the first and final harvest dates are key elements of managing your season in Tend.
A planting's dates are linked based on its growing periods of: days in greenhouse, days to potting up, days to maturity, and harvest window. So if you update a planting’s greenhouse sowing date, then the planting’s potting up date, field transplant date, and first and final harvest dates will update automatically based on the planting’s growing periods.
This helps you keep your plan organized and on-track as you adjust your production schedule based on the realities of the season. As you add plantings to your Crop Plan, you can use planting growing period to quickly enter the number of days between planting dates rather than selecting each date individually from the calendar.
If you don’t have the key dates or the number of days for growing periods on hand, you can set up a simple formula in the spreadsheet to do the calculations for you. Then, once you start Crop Planning in Tend, we’ll take care of all the formulas and number crunching for you!
In the example below, the days in greenhouse for a basil planting is being calculated in the spreadsheet using the formula:
Days in GH (H12) = Transplant Date(J12) - Greenhouse Sowing Date(G12)
Tend Tip: If you create your Crop Plans by working backwards from target harvest dates for your crops, use these formulas in your spreadsheet to generate the correct key dates and growing periods to hit your target. Tend will then remember all the data you add for each planting, so you can instantly duplicate your Crop Plan in Tend season after season, confident that all the details you need to reach your goals are incorporated into your plan.
Now that your data is gathered and organized for rapid-fire transfer, you can pull up windows with your spreadsheet and Tend’s Crop Plan Feature side by side on your screen and work quickly down the line adding your planting data in one smooth process.
Step 3: Polish your plan with Tend’s Crop Plan Editing Tools
Once your Crop plantings are entered, you can go back and make adjustments to each succession as needed. Tend has Crop Plan updating tools to make this process quick and easy.
Use the Live Edit tool in the Crop Plan Feature’s All Plantings and Greenhouse Plantings Views to adjust plantings’ days to maturity and harvest windows or to update the sowing, transplanting, and harvest dates. Use the Bulk Edit tool to edit multiple plantings’ key dates, crop variety, or other planting details in one swoop.
Other production details you can capture with your Tend Crop Plan include: the flat and pot types you use to start your plantings, the number of seeds sown per cell, the estimated loss you incorporate into your plan as a buffer, harvest units, average yield rates, and average sales prices.
The more information you add, the more Tend will be able to offer you management tools and insights into your production plan, including a complete Seed List; yield and revenue projections; auto-generated, printable lists of your production Tasks for the season; detailed Records to support your analysis and organic certification; and Reports of how your production compared to your expectations.
Step 4: Go do something else — you’re done.
That’s it! Your Crop Plan is set up in Tend. To learn more about putting Tend to work on your farm, read our Getting Started Guide.
Thanks for letting us be a part of your season!