Weed App on Show

FARMERS will soon be able to use smart phones to better identify problem weeds, using a new phone application.

The popular GRDC ‘Weeds: The Ute Guide’ – which has been previously available as a small notebook sized book, will now be launched as a smart phone app to assist southern cropping region growers in identifying weeds growing on their properties.

The app is free and provides growers with a free-of-charge weeds identification service that can be accessed anywhere at any time.

The application is designed to be used in the paddock by growers to assist in identifying the most common annual, biennial and perennial weeds in southern Australia.

GRDC Regional Grower Services’ Manager of Delivery Platforms, Tom McCue, says the weed identification application represents a major advancement in communicating industry knowledge to growers.

“Most grain growers carry a mobile phone with them wherever they go so the GRDC is adapting its information resources to enable growers to have ready access to data and facts when that information is needed most,” said Mr McCue.

“A mobile phone is the one tool that growers tend to carry with them at all times so it makes sense that we utilise that platform for delivering immediate information to support them in their on-farm decision-making processes.

“Quite often growers will walk out into the middle of paddock to inspect crops so if they come across a weed they are unsure of, they can easily check its identity by using the phone app.

“And the service will work even if growers don’t have mobile coverage in a certain area.”

Currently designed for download on to an iPhone, the weeds identification application will soon be available in other smart-phone and tablet formats.

Mr McCue said the application, available only in Australia and New Zealand, had been created in a farmer-friendly format to streamline the weeds identification process.

“Where possible, photographs of the weed at various growth stages have been provided to ensure correct identification. A calendar for each weed shows which time of the year the weed is likely to be present in the paddock,” he said.

“And the application allows users to search, identify, compare and email photographs of weeds to their networks via their phone’s inbuilt contacts list.”

While the application is designed for use in the southern and western grain-growing regions, a similar weeds identification product for northern grain growers is expected to be launched soon.

The application, developed with assistance from digital agency Reading Room, can be accessed via www.grdc.com.au/apps.

Source: GRDC