The IKnowFood research team in collaboration with farmers in an Innovative Farmers field lab have created an app that aims to be the middle ground between paper notes and a database app. In discussions it was made apparent that many farmers were making notes on paper which were then being lost or destroyed. Equally notes made on phones couldn’t be simply copied to the desired programmes when back at home, leading to a duplication of data entry and so work.
To answer this gap in support and productivity, the team created an app that aimed to bridge the gap between notepads, home databases and memory. The app allows you to make a note very quickly that is associated with an item, for example, an animal. When ever you make an additional note about that item, in this case the ear tag number of that animal, all previous notes will be displayed. This allows for reoccurring offenders of high vet bills to be surfaced even if separated by months or years in medical applications.
If culling animals, the item could be ‘culling’, you would then make notes about the ear tag numbers. As these notes can be opened on any computer connected to the internet, when you were home, you could simply copy these numbers into the appropriate programme rather than re-entering the information from paper notes.
In addition to being synchronised between your phone and computers, the notes can also be synchronised to colleagues phones on your farm. This means that everyone can share the same up to date notes.
For example the item could also be ‘fences’ and notes made on all areas where fences need improvement or replacing. This would give oversight and allow for an easy assessment of where work needs to be done.
Equally when vaccinating small numbers of livestock, this app could collect the ear tag numbers under the item of ‘vaccinations’, ready to be simply copied when you return home.
The aim of this app is not for mass collection of data on herds or other large datasets as there are solutions for those already. This app aims to be paper 2.0 for farmers. For those edge cases where information needs to be remembered or in-field correlations over long time frames are often not observed. As a result we focused on just being able to make written notes, audio, picture and video notes cannot be made with this app.
In trialling this innovation, we have noted that it is most helpful to farms where there is commonly more than one worker, collecting information and performing farm activities.
Who will find it useful
We are now looking for 25 farms to try this innovation to see if it is a benefit to farmers outside of the initial collaboration. As this is a pilot of the technology, the data collected in the app may be visible to researchers during activities required in order to run the app and provide the service to you. The purpose of this trial is to test the apps benefit to farmers, and if positive, to support future development of it to assist farmers in their day to day activities.
This app runs on Android, Apple and Linux devices.
How to get the app
If you're interested in using this app on your farm, please get in touch at email@example.com and we'll put you in touch with the engineers.