Cannabis plants.

Industrial hemp regulations published: Here’s what you need to know

By | Agriculture, ERP, Hemp | No Comments

Cannabis plants.Though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp, stakeholders have been operating under some degree of uncertainty due to a lack of USDA regulations. However, on October 29, 2019, the USDA released its interim final rule for domestic hemp production regulations, clarifying certain aspects of hemp production. Production of hemp is legal in 46 states, with Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Dakota being the exceptions.

Farmers who grow hemp must be licensed under state or tribal hemp growing programs, or by the USDA. There can be significant differences among states concerning how hemp is grown and sold. States and tribes can have primary regulatory authority over hemp production, with USDA approval.

Granting of licenses for production of hemp will begin November 30, and growers will be required to report their hemp acreage to the Farm Services Agency, so the agency can learn how much hemp is grown, and in what parts of the country.

Testing and proof of acceptable THC levels

The new USDA interim rule clarifies some questions about THC limits (which must remain under 0.3%) and testing of crops. Testing of hemp flower material must be done within 15 days of anticipated crop harvest, though there is still some uncertainty about how testing labs will deal with backlogs. Also uncertain is how the USDA will handle potential increases in THC levels after testing is completed, but before crops are harvested.

DEA-registered labs must be used for crop testing. The USDA’s sampling and testing procedure guidelines were issued in separate documents from the interim rule so that any necessary changes to those specific guidelines can be made more quickly.

Requirements for “hot crops” and criminal background checks

Noncompliant plants or “hot crops” (those with THC levels above 0.3%) must still be disposed of under procedures of the Controlled Substances Act, so hemp farmers will not be able to use them for composting under the interim rule.

As for farmworkers, farmers will be required to complete criminal history reports for “key participants” who have direct financial interest in the business, such as owners and partners. Shift managers, field workers, and the like will not have to submit criminal history reports, and this should ease the problem of hiring farm laborers in a tight labor market.

Interstate shipment of hemp plants

The 2018 farm bill and subsequent USDA memos affirmed states’ and tribes’ rights to regulate the production of hemp within their borders, but states and tribes may not restrict the transportation of hemp within their borders. This is good news for hemp farmers because it grants them easier access to nationwide markets without having to worry about transporting crops through states that still prohibit hemp production.

Comment period ends December 30

The 60-day public comment period for this interim USDA rule ends on December 30, 2019. Members of the public who want to comment on the rule can do so through the portal at regulations.gov. Comments can also be sent by mail or fax to the address and fax number indicated on the Federal Register page for the interim rule.

In October 2021, the interim rule will expire and will be replaced by a final rule. This two-year period will allow enough time for the 2020 growing season to take place so that farmers and public officials can gauge which parts of the rule work well, and which parts may need adjustment.

Agriculture ERP can streamline compliance for hemp production

Agriculture is heavily regulated, and hemp producers will have to follow additional regulations. An outstanding ERP foundation like Sage X3, with added features for agriculture built by NexTec, will be essential for hemp producers to manage their crops and demonstrate traceability. Additionally, NexTec and Sage Business Cloud enable farmers to create flexible quality control programs that incorporate crop testing and workflows.

NexTec and Sage X3 make ideal partners for hemp production. NexTec’s extensive experience in both consulting and the industry, combined with the most experienced Sage X3 team in the industry ensure that customers get the best possible results from their technology investment. Find out how to build your ERP project team.

Man standing outside looking at his phone with farm icons displaying.

The right ERP addresses these 5 agriculture industry challenges

By | Agriculture, ERP | No Comments
Person outside looking at their phone with farm icons.

Agribusinesses need to address complex operational challenges to remain competitive.

Agriculture businesses are facing increased pressures to keep prices down, combat ongoing geopolitical tariff battles, satisfy evolving customer demands and stay in compliance with increasing regulatory mandates.

To handle these complex challenges, agribusinesses need the right business software solutions. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that are designed for the agriculture industry can solve many of these challenges. The right ERP addresses these 5 agriculture industry challenges.

1. Managing production efficiently

Coordinating the supply chain, seasons and scheduling of employees and equipment is essential for agricultural efficiency, especially if multiple farms are in play.

The right ERP system gives you functional efficiency at each phase of planning and production, and visibility to:

  • Crops planted
  • Cost capture information
  • Business partners
  • Planting and sowing data
  • Production forecasts and actuals
  • Tasks and employee data

When production needs to be scheduled, NexTec’s Sage X3 agriculture solution provides you with scheduling tools that let you organize resources — machines and people, quantities and segments.

2. Addressing pricing pressures

Commodity prices have been a challenge for many agribusinesses in the past 12 months. Changing trade policies, tariffs and geopolitical gamesmanship have dealt a blow to agricultural business, creating extraordinary uncertain conditions. That’s why businesses are turning to new technologies such as the Internet of Things, automation and blockchain to collect and use more data. Data can be an invaluable asset, not only in improving operations and improving price margins, but also as a commodity that can be leveraged to create new revenue opportunities. With specific functionality for agriculture built on the trusted Sage X3 platform, NexTec gives your business the right tools to collect and use data to relieve pricing pressure.

3. Meeting regulatory demands

With more regulations in play at the federal, state and local levels, it’s more important than ever that agricultural companies have ERP solutions that can track data and keep records for quality and safety. Regulations require companies to have highly detailed systems to track data, trace products and ingredients and provide documentation on demand. With NexTec as your agriculture ERP partner, you have the tools available to manage quality and compliance.

Person holding freshly picked cucumbers.

The right agriculture ERP can fuel efficiency and transparency.

4. Managing supply procurement

Resource management is an important topic. Input prices on water, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides are increasing and resources, such as water and land are becoming scarcer. Managing resources – from supply chain management to planning to analysis – requires an ERP that can provide the necessary tools.

5. Increasing legalization of hemp

As cannabis products, including hemp, become legal in more and more states, agribusinesses have to assess the viability of entering the business. The demand for cannabis and hemp continues to skyrocket, but is rife with various regulatory and crop-specific needs. Your ERP needs to be able to track the components, yields and regulatory requirements inherent to the cannabis and hemp industry.

NexTec’s agricultural ERP centralizes data and processes in one platform, giving your teams the transparency and versatility that make decision-making better. Manage all aspects of your growing operations, track inventory and equipment, forecast future yields and scale quickly with Sage X3 and NexTec.

NexTec helps companies select, implement and optimize top business software solutions like Sage X3. To learn more, give NexTec and Sage X3 a try.

Sage Platinum Reseller

Farmer sitting in a green house typing on a laptop.

Enterprise resource planning and sustainability in agriculture

By | Agriculture, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Farmer in a large greenhouse typing on a laptop computer.

Agricultural businesses need the right ERP to fully commit to sustainability efforts.

While sustainability is an important issue in many industries, it’s critically important in agriculture. Technology, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, can play an important role in sustainability for agribusinesses.

When it comes to enterprise resource planning and sustainability in agriculture, Sage X3 has the functionality and industry-specific features that help companies thrive.

Defining sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is a focus on practices that provide for society’s current food needs without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to meet their needs. Sustainability in agribusiness means maintaining a healthy environment while continuing to be profitable.

The challenge is that for many big agribusinesses, sustainability has not always been a top priority. A recent Medium article notes that at big farms “ideas around environmental sustainability are not only a low priority, they’re simply not discussed.” At smaller farms, while there is more discussion of sustainability, it’s sometimes just used for marketing purposes.

“Many of the farmers who care the most about sustainability can’t afford to put it into practice,” the article notes. “Raising plants and animals in a way that benefits (or at least doesn’t harm) the earth, the farmworkers, the animals, and the consumers is incredibly expensive. And Americans don’t like to pay a lot for food.”

Two farmers walking in their field.

Retailers and consumers alike are demanding more commitment to sustainability.

Why technology will make a difference

The reality is that the importance of sustainability is growing, driven by both corporations and customers.

On the corporate side, retailers are looking to their suppliers to demonstrate a commitment to and actions that drive sustainability across the board. Walmart, for example, has implemented a Sustainability Index program. The index collects and analyzes data on each product’s lifecycle, working with suppliers to improve sustainability efforts. Walmart provides suppliers with their scores, how they rank in comparison with other suppliers in the same field, and insights on how to improve sustainability.

At a more granular level, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil requires companies to comply with environmental and social criteria to be certified as a sustainable product.

Consumers are driving some of the corporate work, while the use of social media allows for consumer voices to be amplified and connected on sustainability issues.

For agribusinesses, having an ERP that tracks and demonstrates sustainability is critical. In many cases, these issues relate to inefficiencies in supply chain management. Here are some of the ways the right ERP solution can help:

  • Resource Efficiency. Supply chain optimization can reduce transportation mileage at each stage, reducing emissions and environmental impact.
  • Shipment Management. When suppliers and partners are not communicating well or have inadequate, incorrect or different information, shipments, ingredients, and products suffer.
  • Inventory Management. Agile supply chain management means a responsive, flexible and quick approach to day-to-day operations. This approach may have the greatest impact on inventory management, with real-time data on existing stock and expiration dates to ensure that the right ingredients and products are used in the right order.
  • Wastage Management. When you have better systems for predicting usage and tracking your supply chain, you can reduce the amount of waste, a powerful measure that can be used internally and externally.

Sage X3 provides agribusinesses with integrated functions designed to serve the industry. NexTec provides guidance on the selection, implementation, and optimization of agriculture ERP solutions.

Learn more about how Sage and NexTec can help your agribusiness improve its commitment to sustainability. Take a free tour of Sage X3 to learn more.

 

Thank you! – Yakima Chief Hops Case Study

By | Agriculture, Case Studies, Manufacturing | No Comments

Thanks for getting in touch

Here’s your copy of the Yakima Chief Hops case study.

Download now
Yakima Chief Hops

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Sage Authorized Partner
Farmer holding fresh tomatoes.

How Sage X3 benefits agricultural produce growers

By | Agriculture, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Farmer holding fresh tomatoes in his hands.

Agribusinesses need effective business management software to deliver real-time insights.

Produce growers have complex challenges to ensure that products are fresh, safe to consume and flavorful. But with increasing operational costs and lower prices, agricultural producers need to do more to reduce waste and improve profitability.

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution like Sage X3 gives your agricultural business the ability to automate, trace and report on production at every stage. Here’s a look at how Sage X3 benefits agricultural produce growers.

Challenges for agribusiness

Fresh produce companies are facing complicated times, with price constraints, increasing costs, more legislative control, political uncertainty with international markets and scarce resources. Here are some of the major issues facing agribusiness:

  • Compliance. New regulations, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, have placed additional regulatory burdens on manufacturers and producers. New obligations require more tracking of pesticides and fertilizers used, storage processes, security and customers. A quality control program integrated into your work processes is critical.
  • Cost Pressure. Agribusinesses today face narrow margins that can be thrown haywire with the slightest disruption. The right ERP can give you real-time insights to make smarter, more profitable decisions.
  • Political Uncertainty. Ongoing trade disputes with key global customers have meant agribusinesses are often stuck in the middle.
  • Customer Expectations. Customers expect products today that are local, organic and grown using sustainable practices. They increasingly want flavors and products from around the globe.

The complexities and challenge make it clear that the right ERP can make a major difference.

Farmer using a tablet in a field.

Your business deserves an ERP solution that automates, manages and optimizes your operation.

What an industry-specific ERP provides

An agricultural ERP can deliver the tools and collaboration that will improve your business at every level. With an industry-specific ERP solution, your business benefits from having:

  • A centralized system that can automate processes and manage information and reporting across sales, supply chain, inventory and accounting using a single database
  • Comprehensive management of your growing operations, including harvest details and attributes
  • Optimized planning for the season with specificity options down to the day and/or the crop, including seed and fertilizer inputs, employee and machinery scheduling and harvest analytics
  • Effective inventory management tools such as expiration data tracking and first-in-first-out processes to reduce spoilage and waste
  • Data security
  • Forecasting, management and analytics on crop estimates, maturity dates, pricing using current and historical data
  • Scalability to expand as demand and needs evolve
  • Compliance management that ensures adherence to multiple regulatory mandates, including the elimination of manual processes with automated data capturing, monitoring and reporting while reducing the risk of errors

Sage X3 is the right ERP for agribusinesses looking to improve efficiency, reduce costs, provide transparency and act quickly. With a deep understanding of agribusiness’ needs, Sage delivers an ERP that features:

  • Integrated processes including planting, harvesting, accounting, supply chain, retail operations, farm management, imports and exports, human resources, contracts and sales management
  • Cost calculation functions for accurate costing, forecasting, pricing and analytics about farms, contractors and machines
  • End-to-end traceability
  • Management of formulas, recipes, byproducts, potency, shelf life and packaging

NexTec helps agribusinesses select, deploy and optimize business software and is a Sage Platinum Reseller. Learn more about how NexTec and Sage can transform your agribusiness.

Take a free tour of Sage X3.

Sage Platinum Reseller

Download – 6 challenges facing the growing cannabusiness whitepaper

By | Agriculture, Sage X3 | No Comments

6 challenges facing the
cannabis industry

Download our whitepaper to learn about the challenges that the cannabis industry is facing.

Download – Cannabis supply chain challenges whitepaper

By | Agriculture, Sage X3 | No Comments

Supply chain challenges for
the cannabis industry

Download our whitepaper to learn about supply chain challenges that the cannabis industry is facing.

Man pointing to icons including cloud, wifi, and dollar sign.

ERP issues in industries Intersecting with food, chemicals, and cannabis

By | Agriculture, ERP, Pharmaceutical / Nutraceutical | No Comments
Man pointing to icons including cloud, wifi, satellite and dollar sign.

Access to better data can help pharma companies make better decisions about operational and sales matters.

For pharmaceutical and agricultural businesses, the opportunity to forge deep partnerships can make a major difference. In an era of tight margins, rising costs, and increased regulatory scrutiny, these partnerships can go a long way towards transforming profitability.

As noted in the recent post, Three Industries Where Your ERP Choice Is a Major Competitive Differentiator, several industries are seeing the advantage of using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to ensure compliance and improve operations. For pharmaceutical and agricultural companies, using ERP tools can enhance the ability to partner with other companies in highly regulated spaces.

Here is a closer look at ERP issues in industries intersecting with food, chemicals, cannabis companies.

It begins with data

In both pharma and agriculture, data is critical to making better decisions. Having an enterprise resource planning software solution helps companies resolve several key issues with data.

Both industries have suffered from a lack of real-time data to drive decisions. There’s also the risk of unreliable data, largely due to manual tracking and reporting.

Data duplication and unreliable data can have a severe impact on decision-making. With incomplete or inaccurate data workers are unable to make informed decisions reliably.

Farms are notorious for creating silos where different areas of the organization are not integrated or producing unreliable data. The consequences? Not knowing how much inventory is in place or how many finished goods are available for sale.

In pharma companies, integration of sales, production, and distribution can lead to major competitive advantages. However, without an ERP solution in place, companies will struggle to gain leverage.

Man standing in a dairy farm surrounded by cows.

Farms need access to integrated data to manage inventory and available products.

The ERP Advantage

ERP platforms allow for the integration of data and systems across enterprises. Sales and marketing information, customer relations, finance, and production areas can share data transparently, providing access to employees across the organization. Shared data allows for more insights and better coordination.

Companies can also share information across the supply chain, providing companies with the opportunity for deeper collaboration. In pharma and agriculture, and related nutraceutical companies, this can mean deeper relationships with food and beverage, chemical, and cannabis industries.

By providing data, access, and insights, pharma and agriculture companies gain major competitive advantages. The ERP provides richer information and context that drive more strategic decisions. Here are a few key benefits:

  • Real-time visibility into production, shipping, financials, and regulatory compliance tools
  • Inventory tracking and management
  • Production scheduling, including, for farming, nutrient, watering, and application scheduling
  • Work monitoring
  • Quality control
  • Materials consumption
  • Order management
  • Analytics that can be deployed to drive efficiency

ERP systems also provide an advantage when it comes to regulation. Automation tools and sensors help to track, record, and report on data necessary for compliance. For many industries, compliance relates not just to the company itself but its suppliers. By providing accurate, detailed, and timely compliance information, pharma and agriculture companies deepen relationships with other regulated partners.

At NexTec Group, we help companies manage the complexities of choosing the right ERP solution. Our consultants know the vendors, products, and features that best match your needs. Contact us to see how NexTec can help your agricultural or pharma company gain a competitive advantage.

Download – CannaBusiness ERP eBook

By | Agriculture, Sage X3 | No Comments

Track it all from
seed-to-sale

Download our cannabis ERP eBook to discover how you can grow much faster with efficient business practices.

Download – Manage your cannabis venture to the next level

By | Agriculture, Sage X3 | No Comments

Track it all from
seed-to-sale

Discover how CannaBusiness ERP can help you grow much faster with efficient business practices.