Development

Red Sky Farm Performance Analysis was launched on 28 January 2003 with the latest major upgrade released on 23 September 2019.

The latest version 5.03.01 includes a new currency conversion function so any year of data can be reported at a chosen foreign exchange rate, with this exchange rate entered in the General screen of each Year. The other significant new feature is that the software and reports can be displayed in Spanish by selecting the language in the Options screen.

Previous upgrades to Red Sky include the automation of our Opportunity Map or 'DOT' report so that this can be generated by all users of Red Sky.  We have also upgraded the irrigation entry screens and report so that significantly more detail can be entered in regards to water use and irrigation assets.

Version 5.02.01 was written in an upgraded software language VB.NET. The main changes of note are in the reports area where the formatting of reports is both simpler and more flexible.  This includes having 'Align Data Columns Right' and 'Align Rows Top-Bottom' tick boxes that fit reports to the page, attempting initially to fit to 1 page and then to as many full pages as is possible.

There is also the ability to number pages with a 'Starting Page Number' entry field.  And there is also now a 'Save' button that allows you to save data to a wide range of formats.  This provides the opportunity for instance to save data to Excel so that it can be further manipulated.  Another improvement is that logos no longer need to be sized correctly in the Options screen.  Once you have selected the logo, Red Sky will size it appropriately for all reports.

Also in the Options screen you have the opportunity to hide certain reports if you are not generally using these.  For instance if you rarely use the Financials reports this could be hidden, or if you always use the Market Balance Sheet report rather than the Rolling 4-Yr Average Balance Sheet report, then this could be hidden.

Another change of note is that future updates of Red Sky will be completed by selecting 'Check for Updates' from the Help menu within Red Sky.  This eliminates the need to download and save files from the Red Sky website as the process is now automated.  There is also a tick box in the Options screen that will remind you weekly to check for updates.

Previous versions included a Scalar function with Copy or Rollover which allows you to select a change to farm area or livestock numbers, after which the program scales all relevant numbers within that Year.  This will ensure that creating business plans and budgets can be done with considerably more speed and efficiency

The Fertiliser/Farm Gate Nutrient Balance is available and it provides an overview of the nutrient balance of the business and a guide as to the effectiveness of your fertiliser program.  It is not designed to replace a full nutrient balance for a business which should be done on a number of areas over the property.

A strong quality assurance program has been implemented from the outset. We are confident that you can expect a trouble free and rewarding experience when using the software, including after each new version is launched.

Red Sky was initially developed after 20 months of use of a prototype product with dairy farmers in Australia and New Zealand. The reaction to this prototype version by farmers had been overwhelmingly positive. An enthusiastic response was also received from other sectors such as accountants, agricultural consultants and banks and this encouraged us to commence development of the web enabled version of Red Sky.

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