This guide describes how farm information is created, managed and shared. It should be read before using OverseerFM for the first time.
We have designed OverseerFM to encourage greater farmer engagement, so have placed the farm account at the centre of the system. It should represent a ‘single source of truth’ that can be shared between those users who have permission to access it.
Farm accounts in OverseerFM require a single annual subscription fee, which allows all users who have access to that account to run analyses.
A single farm account at the centre of OverseerFM
OverseerFM enables one account to be set up per farm or farm system. Multiple parties may gain access to the farm account via permissions controlled by the farm account owner (ideally the farmer or farm manager) or by the farm account administrator/s (often the organisation that set up the account).
This allows farmers and farm managers visibility and control over what happens to their farm information and aims to reduce the duplication of effort and cost within the industry when many professionals model the same farm for different purposes.
Within each farm account there is the ability to create Year-end analyses (a model of the current farm system operating) and Predictive or Scenario analyses (where you model a potential future state).
Users can view results from all previous Year-end analyses and so track trends over time.
Year-end analyses are saved according to a year reference and are viewable by all users with access to that farm account. Predictive and Scenario analyses are private to the organization who has created them until they are shared with other users that have access to the farm.
A farm account represents a single notional farming operation to be modelled. This might be a single farm business, or it might be one operation within a corporate or cooperative farm business.
Access to the farm account is through permissions that are assigned to organisations. Organisations may have one or more users and so the permissions held by the organisation are granted to all users within that organisation.
When a farm account is created, the farm owner must be identified. If the owner is not the person setting up the account an email is sent to the nominated person to accept ownership. Accepting ownership means that person (and all users of their organisation) is accepting the role of managing access to their farm account.
The following is a list of permissions that can be granted within a farm account:
- Owner represents the farm, e.g. farmer, farm manager or administrator. The owner can grant and revoke permission to access the farm account to other owners, organisations or consultancies that they work with.
- Administrators who can grant and remove permissions and add other administrators. The person who sets up the farm account is automatically an administrator unless the farm account owner chooses to remove that administration access. Farm account administrators cannot remove access from farm account owners or invite other owners if there is already an owner of the farm account
- Write access provides the organisation with access to all year end analyses and any other analyses that have been shared at the ‘farm access’ level.
- Publication access is when an analysis has been published to an organisation. This allows that organisation access to their publications only. They can create their own working copies of that publication to do their own analysis.
- Guest access allows any organisation to create their own analyses within a farm. These analyses are private to the organisation only and they do not have access to any other analyses within a farm. A request is made to obtain write access to the farm owner before an organisation can get guest access. If they are subsequently granted write access their analyses become available to the farm.
A note: we encourage farmer engagement in their OverseerFM analyses. The more farmers are engaged with the information, the greater value it can have as an input into their farm business decisions. However, if the farmer does not wish to accept farm account ownership, the administrator is able to manage account permissions on their behalf.
How it works:
- A consultant is hired by a farmer to provide some advice that requires Overseer analyses. The farmer does not have an account in OverseerFM. The consultant registers with OverseerFM and creates a farm account (by clicking on create new farm in the dashboard).
- When setting up the farm account the consultant identifies the farmer as the farm account owner, and the farmer is emailed and invited to accept this role. Once confirmed, the farm account owner has full control over the farm account. They can add or remove permission for users and administrators, and they will be responsible for accepting or declining email requests from other users wishing to access their farm account.
- The consultant who set up the farm account will have administration access to the account. Administrators can add users, including new administrators, or remove permissions that they have added.
- The consultant publishes an analysis to the council, which makes a read only copy of the analysis available to the council.
- The farmer’s dairy company wants to create an analysis for the farm for reporting. It requests access to the farm, which provides them with guest access so they can create the analysis and do their reporting. The farm owner receives the request and can accept the request which will give them access to the analysis or decline the request which will leave them with guest access.
Farm account ownership
To enable sharing of farm data and access, someone needs to take control of the farm account and manage who can access the information. This is the farm account owner and should be the farmer or a representative from the farm. Farms that take up this opportunity can get greater visibility of their information and the work that is done on their behalf. It provides a way to better understand what OverseerFM is reporting and engage with advisors on how to make any changes or improvements to their farming operation.
Finding and setting up farm accounts
When you log in, you will see your dashboard, which contains a list of ‘My Farms’. You can add and remove farm accounts from this list as you work on them, effectively creating a list of “favourites” for easy management.
The first time you log in, your dashboard will be empty and so the first step should be to search for a farm to see if it exists. If it does exist and you have access, then add the farm to “My farms”. If you do not have access, then request access. You will be granted guest access until you are accepted by the owner. If you are sure it does not exist, then create a new farm account.
Searching for a farm
Select search from the main menu at the top of the screen. This will show the following screen.
The following options are available in the drop-down list (next to “Search By”):
- My organisation: search for farms that your organisation has access to.
- My farms: search within your list of my farms.
- All farms: search across all farms in OverseerFM
- Publications: search for a publication that was published to your organisation. Note that this searches for the publication and not the farm.
Simply start typing the farm you are searching for and once there are more then 3 characters (excluding spaces) entered the matching farms will appear: You can search for farms using:
- Part of their address
- Part of their farm name
- Any farm identifiers. You must enter the exact identifier for it to match.
When searching for publications you can search using:
- Publisher’s email or name. You must enter the complete name or email.
- Part of the farm name at time of publication
- Part of farm address at time of publication
- Part of farm identifier entered on the publication
- Part of reference entered on publication
- Date of publication (returns all publications since the date entered). Format of the date entered should be “dd-mm-yyyy".
- Part of consent applicant’s name as entered on publication
Farms that match the search are returned in a list. If you have access to the farm you can add it to “My Farms” and it will then appear on your dashboard.
If you do not have access to the farm it will have an option of requesting access. You can request ‘write’, ‘admin’ or ‘owner’ access. This will email the owner of the farm and they will either accept or reject the request.
If you are sure that the farm you are looking for is in OverseerFM and cannot find it then contact the support desk for help.
If the farm you are looking for does not exist, then you can create a new farm account.
Creating a new farm account
You can create a new farm account from the search screen or from the dashboard (top right).
Once selected the following screen will be displayed.
Enter the name and address for the farm. The system searches for a matching address as you type. Select the nearest town and whether you are the owner or not. If you are not the owner, then enter the owner’s email address.
You can add any identifiers for the farm, these can be used by people to search for the farm. The system will use this information to search for and display a list of matching farms. Please check this list before proceeding to avoid duplication of farm accounts in the system.
Managing farm account access
Farm account owners and administrators control the organisations that have access to the farm account. Access is granted at the organisation level, which means that once a user is granted access, all users within that person’s organisation will have access to the farm account too.
Account owners and administrators can manage access to the farm by selecting “Manage farm access” from the farm home screen (top right). This will show a list of users who have permission to access the farm account.
The farm account owner can revoke any access to the farm account, while administrators can only revoke access to organisations that they granted it to.
Farm account subscriptions
Farm accounts must have paid an annual subscription for the model to run and return analysis results. Farm Account can be created, and analyses added without a subscription, but no results will be shown.
While every effort is made to keep this fee as low as possible, the money is needed to continue supporting and developing the software and the online service.
The price is the same for all farm accounts, regardless of who makes the payment and we will publish that price on our website. Payment can be made by credit card or POLI online from within the software by selecting one of the $ Make Payment buttons.
Once an account subscription has been paid, all users with access to that farm account will be able to run analyses at no extra cost.
We want farms to only pay once for the use of OverseerFM, even if it is used multiple times to support their farm business. We hope this will encourage increased use of Overseer in farm planning and monitoring to achieve greater value from better understanding of nutrient movements on farm.
Sharing farm accounts
OverseerFM creates a shared workspace where every user with permissions to access the farm account can copy and change Year-end analyses. This enables information about how the farm is set up and run to be shared between those users who are undertaking analysis for the farmer or farm manager.
The benefit of this is that it avoids duplication of effort and enables greater consistency in how the farm is analysed over time. Farm account owners can see who has access and what activity is being undertaken on their behalf.
Farmers should only need to pay once for farm analysis and make use of each analysis for multiple purposes such as compliance, industry reporting, planning and decision support.
Please take care when working on analyses and be considerate of the impact it may have on others. All changes that impact analysis results are written to an audit log with some information about what changed. A “Comment” section is also provided for each analysis. This should be used to record any information about the analysis which you think might be useful for other users who have access to the farm account to have access to, for example – if you implemented a set of mitigations on a farm block between Year End Analyses:
When initially created predictive and scenario analyses are only visible to other users within your organisation. Users can choose to share them with the farm account owners only or make them available to anyone that has farm access.