App takes crop walking to new level

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A new version of the Omnia Scout app has been launched to make it easier for growers and agronomists to share crop walking information and update field records remotely.

The iOS app is a complete rebuild of the original Omnia Field Scout app, that allows growers to view the various layers of data stored within their Omnia account from an iPhone or iPad, and also update field records with notes, pictures, operational inputs or other information.

Providing there is a data or Wifi connection, the app will automatically sync with the associated Omnia account as soon as information is added, giving instant access to field notes and observations, digital farming manager Lewis McKerrow explains.

It also features an offline function whereby crop records can be downloaded in advance of going into an area with limited or no data connection, and any changes will be synced as soon as a connection is available.

“It provides a more professional, standardised way of making, recording and sharing crop notes from the field. It is especially important in this current Covid world, where agronomists and farmers aren’t necessarily able to meet face-to-face, so it should help strengthen these relationships.”

With increasing scrutiny of all crop inputs, particularly insecticides, the app also provides a digital record to help demonstrate the rationale behind input decisions and potentially allow more targeted treatment of crops.

Location markers can be tagged to any notes or pictures manually or by using the phone’s GPS, allowing that area to be revisited and monitored over time, and targeted management plans to be developed in Omnia if required.

Likewise, users can analyse data, such as satellite biomass imagery or yield maps, in Omnia and highlight specific areas for further investigation and “ground-truthing”.

Field information can be accessed and edited in a variety of ways through the app, such as by viewing all diary notes for a particular field, fields, variety or crop type.

“For example, you may find yellow rust present in one variety, so the app allows you to add this as a note to all fields affected,” Mr McKerrow says.

The Omnia Field Scout app is available for iPhone and iPad from the app store.

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.