Helping farmers protect New Zealand’s waterways

Using location intelligence and 3D mapping to avoid pollution

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is one of the largest fertiliser and animal feed cooperatives in New Zealand. With 13.9 million hectares of farmland, much of that land using agri-nutrients to increase crop yield, Ballance is central to our agricultural industry.

Location intelligence is critical to Ballance for their operations, sales and customer service. Ballance have built a client facing application called MyBallance, which is a custom SAP and Esri integration.

MyBallance makes it easier for Ballance customers to manage online ordering and track their use of fertiliser. Farmers can map their farm, name their paddocks, record when and where fertiliser has been spread, create their own fertiliser mixes to fit their unique conditions, and order new agri-nutrients when their stocks are low.

Business stability and peace of mind

When Ballance first contacted Abley in 2018, they needed our GIS specialists to support the mapping elements of MyBallance by handling upgrades and resolving bugs and database issues.

Our priority was to stabilise their system to ensure that it provided MyBallance customers with a reliable service that met their needs.  A lot of interconnecting systems rely on their GIS infrastructure and we provide assurance that if something goes wrong, we’ll find and fix the problem.

Now that their GIS infrastructure is more robust, we’re working with the Ballance team to assess their technology, plan and implement major upgrades and ensure their system is fit for their future needs.

Helping farmers manage fertiliser run off

Ballance Agri-Nutrients are focused on creating the best soil and feed on earth and they understand the importance of working in partnership with the environment. 

Their MitAgator app uses 3D mapping to help farmers manage nutrient run off and avoid polluting waterways. The app combines a wide range of data, from soil tests to elevation models, to identify areas where nutrient loss may occur. It also creates plans to help farmers reduce nutrient losses and farm more sustainably.

MitAgator was in a critical phase when our team took over development of the app. We came on board in the last four months of a complex two-year project that had been 12 years in the making. Because of the size and complexity of the MitAgator project Ballance had two other mapping vendors involved, and our team had detailed handovers with both.

Our approach was to get stuck in and learn as much as we could, so we could add value and ensure the launch of Mitigator went smoothly.  

Response to MitAgator from Ballance customers has been positive. There’s a real sense from farmers that they want to be good environmental stewards, as well as new environmental policies coming into play. If farmers don’t know how to get going, MitAgator shows them where to start.

Abley can support Ballance’s innovation because we understand the potential of data to grow their business by adding value or improving efficiency for their customers. And our close partnership makes quality conversations possible. We bring best practice industry standards to the table, question assumptions, and make recommendations.

A partnership of continual evolution

The work we do with Ballance is now in the ongoing product development space. Together we continue to build and enhance their GIS system and their customer apps. Our goal is to continually improve Ballance customers’ experience of their applications.

Ballance are gamechangers in the agricultural space, with their approach to product development, customer service and environmental responsibility.

Abley can support Ballance’s innovation because we understand the potential of data to grow their business by adding value or improving efficiency for their customers. And our close partnership makes quality conversations possible. We bring best practice industry standards to the table, question assumptions, and make recommendations.

We’re in this together with Ballance. We’re one team and we’re here to do the best for them. Our question is always: ‘How do we work together to get the best result?’

Chris Morris
Associate Director, Location + Technology