Introduction to Tend’s Crop Plan Feature
Now that your farm Locations are set up with the growing space defined, you’re ready to move into the Crop Plan. This is where your goals for the season become a detailed production plan that you can refine and improve year after year.
Tend’s Crop Plan Feature is accessible in both the Web and Mobile Apps. These two work spaces provide you with distinct tools designed for the different ways you’ll be working with your Crop Plan over the season.
In the Web App, the Crop Plan Feature is your mission control center for comprehensive season planning. Here you can visualize how each stage of your production will unfold over the season in the All Plantings, Greenhouse Plantings, and Plantings by Location Views.
The Web App Crop Plan Feature provides the powerful management tools you will use for the bulk of your planning activities such as adding planting, assigning plantings to locations, and updating your Crop Plan.
Getting Started with Your Crop Plan
Creating your first Crop Plan in Tend may take some time. We suggest starting with just a couple of crops to get the hang of it. Your data entry process will speed up as you become more familiar with Tend and how its tools work together to save you time and energy each season.
Tend Tip: If you are transferring your Crop Plan to Tend from spreadsheets, there are workflows and tools in Tend that you can use to streamline the process. Read this article to learn more.
The first step of Crop Planning in Tend is to add your plantings. A planting is an individual instance of a crop with specific variety information and sowing, planting, and harvest dates.
You can add one or multiple plantings to your Crop Plan at a time, and in the process you will capture valuable production data that will flow across the Tasks, Seed List, and Harvest Features to drive and streamline your management in Tend.
Watch this video for the nuts and bolts of adding plantings to kick-start your Crop Plan in Tend:
|Note: This video doesn't reflect our recently added My Crops feature|
Dig in: You can incorporate powerful data and nuance into your Crop Plan when you add your plantings. Read these articles for more about this process and specific topics such as bed feet vs. row feet, key dates in Tend, adding microgreen and plant sale plantings, and how crop data is managed in Tend.
Putting Your Crop Plan To Work
Dial-in production with customizable growing data.
Tend has a pre-populated crop database that puts growing information at your fingertips.
As you add your plantings, Tend offers data such as DTM, average yields, and suggested spacing for thousands of crop varieties, so you can spend more time planning and less time digging through seed catalogs.
To fine-tune your plan to your specific conditions, update Tend’s general information with data from your farm. Tend will remember your entries, so you only have to input the data once to create Crop Plans completely customized to your systems year after year.
Customizing crop data makes it easy to integrate field observations into your Crop Plan. If you’re experimenting with a new variety, you can start with Tend’s pre-populated growing data and update it as you gain experience and refine your systems.
Tend Tip: Tend organizes your data for crops based on how you grow them to help you efficiently incorporate production nuances into your Crop Plan. For example, if you grow a variety of kale for both cutting greens and mature leaves for bunching, Tend saves the specifications for those two different harvest stages separately. Read more here.
Streamline season preparation with automatic seed and transplant lists.
Tend offers seed information from its database to help you get started adding plantings, but for the most long-term value using Tend, update seed specifications based on your practices and the seed stock weights listed by your favorite seed companies.
Tend also calculates the number of transplants and greenhouse flats you need for the season to help you prepare for upcoming greenhouse Tasks. We’ll discuss this and other greenhouse management topics further in the Crop Plan Views section of this chapter.
Achieve your goals with estimated revenues and yields.
If you aren’t sure what your average yield rate is, just make your best guess to start. Once you begin recording harvest data in Tend, you can review your Planned vs. Actual Yields Report to hone in on your average yields and dial in your estimates.
Tend Tip: Remember that you only have to customize crop information such as average yield rates and sales prices once. Tend remembers your specifications and automatically applies them to future plantings. Read more about specifying yield and revenue data in Tend here. Learn how yields and revenues are calculated in Tend here.
Tend uses your average yield data to project yields for individual plantings based on the planting amount, in-row spacing, and number of rows per bed. Tend then turns this projected yield into an estimated revenue value based on your local sales prices.
A planting’s projected yields and revenues are displayed in the planting details screen as you add the planting, so you can optimize production by planning for just the right amount to meet your goals. As you harvest from your plantings over the season, you can record and view your yields to track your progress in real time.
Estimated revenue for the entire season is displayed on the header of each Crop Plan View. Applying filters in the Crop Plan enables you to see the estimated revenue for different crops, crop categories, and locations, so you can evaluate their performance.
For a bird-eye-view of your estimated revenue over the season, toggle on the revenue graph in the All Plantings and Plantings by Location Views of the Crop Plan. This is your window into your business’s projected harvests, sales, and cash flow week by week.
As you record harvests and yields in Tend, your data will generate Reports comparing your estimated and actual yields for each planting over the season, so you’ll have the information you need to continually fine-tune your plan to hit your targets. We’ll discuss how harvests and yields work in Tend in the Harvest and Yields chapter of the Guide.
Combine Crop Planning and Task management to streamline the season.
Tend integrates Crop Planning with Task management to create a roadmap for achieving your goals.
This process begins when you add a planting and specify the planting details. Tend turns the details of your plantings’ sowing, potting up, and transplanting needs into Planting Tasks organized into Lists in your Task Calendar, so your production plan is created instantly alongside your Crop Plan.
Planting Tasks are linked to a planting’s key dates, so if you edit the sowing date for a planting, then the planting’s potting up and transplant dates will automatically update accordingly. This helps you stay organized and on schedule, even when plans change suddenly.
You can further integrate your management priorities into your production plan by linking other Tasks and Task Templates to your plantings as you add them. For example, if you have a goal to streamline organic certification record keeping, applying a Task Template of activities related to your certification to the relevant plantings will add those Tasks to your Task Calendar. Tend creates detailed Records of these Tasks as you complete them, so you’ll have all the information for your inspection on hand when you need it.
Tend Tip: To apply Task Templates to previously added plantings in your Crop Plan, use the Bulk Edit Tool. We’ll discuss working with Tasks and Task Templates and managing Records in more detail in upcoming chapters of the Guide.
Efficiently plan for diverse production methods.
Tend provides powerful planning tools for a wide range of growing systems, so you can capture all your production nuances for streamlined management. For example —you can specify that particular plantings are part of your microgreens or plant sale production, and Tend will provide planting details specifically tailored to managing those harvest methods.
Save time season after season.
Once you’ve created your first Crop Plan in Tend, you’ll have access to tools that save you time season after season. Duplicating plantings enables you to add large quantities of data in one fell swoop, and you can shave serious hours off your winter planning by duplicating your entire Crop Plan from one season to the next.
Crop Plan Views
Your Crop Plan is the roadmap for both big-picture and daily management decisions on the farm. Tend offers viewing options for all the ways you’ll be putting your Crop Plan to work over the season. In the Web App, you can view your Crop Plan as a planting plan, as a greenhouse plan, and as a field plan to stay organized in each stage of production.
Navigate to the Crop Plan View you want using the icons in the Crop Plan header.
Empower planning in the All Plantings View.
The All Plantings View stores and organizes all of your planting details for you to reference, edit, and update as you develop and execute your plan.
In this view, your Crop Plan is displayed by individual plantings that you can sort by crop name, plant family, or by key planting dates to view individual crop production plans or to see what you will be sowing, transplanting, and harvesting at different points in the season.
Watch this video to learn more about viewing options and tools in the All Plantings View:
Organize production workflows in the Greenhouse Plantings View.
The Greenhouse Plantings View displays all the details of your greenhouse activities for the season. Applying filters in this view enables you to view complete schedules for all your seeding and potting up Tasks or to zero in on specific operations such as your plant sale and microgreens production.
Watch this video for more about viewing options and tools in the Greenhouse Plantings View:
Optimize field planning in the Plantings by Location View.
The visual layout in the Plantings by Location View pairs with crop color coding to help you efficiently view which plantings are in which fields and beds over time, so you can identify empty beds and optimize the placement and timing of each planting in your Crop Plan.
Once a planting is assigned to a bed, you can continue refining production and piecing together your ideal plan by updating the planting’s key dates, editing the planting amount, or unassigning the planting from its location in the Planting Details Panel.
Tend Tip: Use the year selector in the Plantings by Location View to review field plans from previous seasons to inform your crop rotations.
Display Options in the Crop Plan Views
Dig into details with Crop Lists.
In the All Plantings and Greenhouse Plantings Views, open the Crop List to zero in on a particular crop and its plantings over the years.
In the Crop List, you can manage current crop plantings by recording yields and adding Tasks, or you can review historical crop information to guide future planning. View crop yields to track progress and inform production planning, dig into Tasks associated with past plantings for management insights, and view past planting locations to steer crop rotation decisions.
Gain a bird-eye-perspective with the Timegraph Tool.
In the All Plantings and Greenhouse Plantings Views, toggle on the Timegraph Tool for a bird-eye-view of your plan over time that helps you visually digest what’s coming up in the season, so you can get organized and ready to put the next phase of your plan into action.
Tend Tip: The Timegraph is also a great way to visualize the life cycle of plantings to quickly spot production gaps, so you never miss an opportunity to put more revenue in the ground.
Keep your eye on your goals with the Revenue and Space Graphs.
The Revenue Graph gives you a visual representation of your estimated revenues over the season, so you can monitor your projected cash flow for each week and create a plan targeted to your sales goals.
Tend Tip: Estimated revenues are based on planting amounts and the average yield and price data associated with your plantings. Customizing your crop data to reflect yields on your farm and your local market prices will result in more accurate forecasts to better inform your planning.
The Space Graph shows you what percentage of your production space is occupied over the season, so you can see if you are over or under planning your production.
Streamline greenhouse systems with the Total Flats Graph.
In the Greenhouse Plantings View, the Total Flats Graph provides a visual representation of which flat or pot types are in the greenhouse over the season, so you can anticipate your greenhouse workflow and prepare accordingly.
Customize your display and curate data.
As you work in the Crop Plan Feature, you can select which information is displayed by applying filters, selecting and deselecting data columns, and collapsing and expanding listed plantings. By giving you the flexibility to view only the data you need when you need it, Tend helps you zoom in on the information and insights most relevant to your management.
Assigning Plantings to Locations
Assigning plantings to Locations in Tend puts your plan into the field, so you can visually interact with your fields, beds, and plantings from a bird-eye view; organize Tasks by Location; and keep detailed field Records for your organic certification and crop rotation planning.
If you already know exactly where you want a planting to go, then you can assign it to a Location right away when you add the planting to your Crop Plan.
Tend Tip: When you add multiple plantings at once, you cannot assign them to Locations during the add planting process. You can assign them later in the Plantings by Location View or by using one of the other options below.
If you aren’t sure where a planting fits into the field plan, you can assign it to a bed later in the Crop Plan Feature’s Plantings by Location View. In this view all your unassigned plantings appear in the All Unassigned Panel next to a bird-eye-view of your fields and beds, so you can quickly select a planting and assign it to the optimal spot as you build your ideal field plan.
Of course, ideal plans change all the time on the farm, so Tend makes it easy to update your field plan by creating and editing planting assignments as you work in Tend’s different Features.
Clicking on a planting anywhere in Tend will open the Planting Details Screen, where you can assign the planting to a Location using the Select Location option.
If you need to assign a planting to a Location from the All Plantings or Greenhouse Plantings Views of the Crop Plan Feature, click on the planting’s ‘Beds’ data column to open the Bed Selection Screen and make your assignment.
In the Locations Feature, clicking on the field you’d like to assign a planting to will open the Field Details Screen, where you can select the Assign Planting option to choose a planting and assign it to a bed in the field.
Dig In: Tend can accommodate diverse growing systems with multiple plantings per bed. Learn more about managing double cropped beds in Tend here. Find information about using Tend for crop rotation and intercropping here.
Tend Tip: Assigning and editing planting locations in the field helps you record updates as changes are made, so your Crop Plan stays current with your production realities.
Keeping Your Crop Plan Up to Date
We know that things don’t always go as expected, so we designed tools for efficiently updating your plan throughout the season to help you stay organized and focused, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
Updating your Crop Plan to reflect realities in the field keeps the Planting Tasks and production Tasks linked with your plantings on schedule, so you can execute your plan as you originally envisioned it. Maintaining an updated Crop Plan is also key to ensuring that you’ll have accurate Records and Reports to review at the end of each season to help you improve your production.
Tends streamlines the updating process, so you can easily fold it into your routine. In the All Plantings and Greenhouse Plantings Views, use the Live Edit Tool to capture production schedule changes by moving plantings forward and backward in the Timegraph.
You can also use the Bulk Edit Tool, to apply changes to many plantings at once. This enables you to rapidly adjust planting details while Crop Planning or make mid-season updates as you respond to new information or observations.
To update the Location of a planting, navigate to the Plantings by Location View and select the planting you want to edit. You can then click on the Locations icon in the Planting Details Panel to update the planting’s assigned bed to reflect reality in the field. Or you can "Unassign a Planting" to assign it again from the "All Unassigned" panel on the right side of the screen.
Managing Your Crop Plan in the Mobile App
The Crop Plan Feature in Tend’s Mobile App gives you the power to efficiently update your plan and make informed decisions on the go.
With your Mobile Crop Plan in your pocket, you can reference current and historical Crop Plans and planting details to guide your management. Modify your plan as you work by editing planting details, adjusting bed assignments, and adding new plantings, so important updates never fall through the cracks.
Taking Notes in the Mobile App helps you integrate field observations into your planning and management processes. Learn more about using Notes to inform future planning in the Records chapter of the Guide.
Printing Your Crop Plan
Your Tend Crop Plan is formatted for easy printing from the All Plantings and Greenhouse Plantings Views, so whether there’s no phone service in the field to support the Mobile App or you just prefer working off of a paper copy, you can take your Crop Plan with you wherever you go.
Dig In : Learn more about what can be printed from Tend, here.
Up next in the Guide: How Harvest and Yields Work in Tend