Florida agriculture growers may have more help than ever with the advancement of technology and support from the U.S. Florida Department of Agriculture. A recent article in The Grower, shares about a new smartphone App being built by the University of Florida in partnership with a grant from the Department of Agriculture. The App is scheduled to enter beta testing in the coming weeks.
The App was designed to put “decision making tools” into the hands of farmers and will help farmers manage their irrigation systems. It will be open first to citrus growers during phase one and then to strawberry growers. The USDA grant will cover development costs for Apps supporting four crops: strawberries, citrus, cotton and turfgrass. According to the article, the App combines field and system information with data from the nearest FAWN weather station to calculate evapotranspiration and the crop’s water needs. The citrus App considers how much water irrigation systems put out and combined with tree age, row and tree spacing, and weather conditions – help to calculate the needed running time for the system.
While not all decision making are suited for technology, advancements of this nature should help growers work around Florida’s well-known climate issues. Future additions to the App may include help with calculating fertilizer, and tools for better management of disease and insect control.