Apps help transform Australian farming

LAST year was the year of the smart phone app for the agricultural industry, as apps become an ever-increasing part of a farmer’s life.

Smart phone apps have been developed to provide easy access to information such as the weather, CFA fire incidents and agricultural terms glossary.

More agriculture-specific apps such as seed rate calculators, harvest trackers and dairy cow managers have also been popular.

The Department of Primary Industry released several smart phone apps throughout 2012, including most recently a crop disease identification tool.

Agriculture and food security minister Peter Walsh said the DPI would look to develop more apps targeted at farmers in 2013 as demand grew.

“More and more people are turning to their smartphones for information, advice and services,” he said.

Victorian Farmer’s Federation president Peter Tuohey agreed farming was evolving with technology.

He said many farmers were finding some apps increased their efficiency and productivity, particularly around harvest.

He said the GrainCorp app was widely used around central Victoria during Harvest 2012.

“A lot of people are using them,” he said. “There’s a lot out there. You can get a lot of information at your fingertips.”

Mr Tuohey said he thought the reliance of farmers on apps would only increase in the future, even among the older generation.

“I think as time goes by everyone will use them more and more,” he said. “They’ll become more and more important to farming.”

Useful smart phone apps

Elders Weather – Weather in over 2000 locations.

 CFA Fire Ready – Accurate incident and fire safety information.

 GrainCorp – Real-time commodity pricing information.

 RAGT Calculator – Seed rate calculator.

 Tank Mix Calculator – Enter your acreage, tank size, and carrier 

 volume to generate a tank mix.

 Pro Dairy Event – Tracks key cow events and builds cow history.

 Tiny Flashlight – Uses your device camera’s LED as a torch.

 DPI Crop Disease Identification – Allows users to identify crop 

 varieties and disease ratings in the ute, office or paddock.

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