FARMERS have all the latest agricultural software at their fingertips, but they’re now able to identify the online products and apps to suit them through The Digital Farmer.
The free website allows the user to analyse and access digital products in each sector of Australian agriculture.
Agricultural technology consultant Tristan Shannon started the online library after identifying a gap in the market – there was no one-stop-shop for agricultural software.
The idea began three years ago when Mr Shannon was teaching farmers how to use tablets and smartphones for business as part of a series of Grains Research and Development Corporation workshops.
”The goal was to create a hub where farmers can go if they're looking for software in a certain area, from farm management to selling livestock – somewhere they can go and find all that information,” he said.
About 140 products are listed on the site, but Mr Shannon expects that to grow to more than 200 as more farmers go digital.
He said farmers were overwhelmed with software options, but the website allowed them to make a quick, simple decision on what products suited their needs.
“It’s good for agriculture that we've got such a wide range of products available and that’s definitely only going to increase,” Mr Shannon said.
“Some farmers are using agricultural software every day.
“The biggest category of apps and products is the farm management space, so everything from complete farm management systems which will cover every component of the business, from cropping and livestock to finances, right down to the smaller, more specialised apps like those that exclusively focus on spray records or for weed identification, as well as apps to help list management for to-do lists on farms.”
Experts from each agricultural sector will compare products and review them.
Among the contributors are Mr Shannon, who will cover grain marketing, and Meridian Agriculture livestock advisor Dan Korff who will handle livestock.
”Once we got the contributors on board it was quite quick to come together,” Mr Shannon said.
Mr Shannon said the only thing stopping farmers from embracing online tools was the unreliable and expensive internet service in many rural areas.
“We’re still waiting for reliable networks in the country, but we've got to build for the future assuming that the service is going to come,” he said.