Farmable is a mobile app designed in Norway specifically for top fruit, which is fruit grown on trees such as apples and pears. All data from field operations are collected in one place and form the basis for a digital model of the farm to support decision making.
Lars Blikom is the Farmable CEO and co-owner of one of Norway’s largest fruit farms. He was looking for simple and pragmatic software to bridge the current gap between spreadsheets and robotics when he came up with the concept for Farmable.
Benefits for the grower with Farmable include:
- Document crop treatment and access a spray calculator that specifies the amount of product needed.
- A job management function uses GPS technology to track spraying in the field and automatically logs activity.
- Issues spotted in the field can easily be recorded using the app’s field notes. These notes can be shared together with GPS coordinates with agronomists or other team members.
- Harvest logging allows users to track yield back to the trees at a block level.
After spending three months with ten pilot growers in Australia, the Farmable team gained valuable feedback from vineyard and orchard managers across the country. The concept was so successful in Australia that the team will expand its pilot program to the UK and Germany for the 2020 season.
Mitchell McNab, an orchard manager from Victoria, Australia, has been one of the first to use Farmable. He says: “It’s incredibly rewarding to contribute to a digital future and watch new ideas take shape. I think particularly in horticulture, the grower needs to be central to the development of any new app if we expect to have technology adopted for fruit production. This means making time to try new things and offer genuine advice.”
“Not everyone we approach is keen to try,” says Blikom. “Many feel too busy or perhaps intimidated by new technology, but we try to include all types of growers in our pilot programs. You don’t need to be a computer nerd to make a big impact in a software trial.”
Since the pilot, Farmable has gone ‘all-in’ on the Australian market. In addition to launching their latest mobile app in Australia, the team spent three weeks across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to present their technology at evokeAg, AdvanceAg and meet many of their pilot growers face to face.
By working closely with growers across a variety of regions Farmable aspires to build global best practices into the technology. Blikom continues: “We have a great appreciation for the feedback we receive from pilot users around the world. There is a recurring theme in Europe and Australia on the challenges of increasing documentation requirements and it’s overwhelming for growers. In the same way, the teams developing software experience a never-ending list of features that could be built. When you consider the need to create a simple, user friendly tool, frequent input from growers becomes essential.”
Farmable has used grower input to determine its first features, which include: mapping blocks, recording scout notes (with GPS coordinates and images), tracking crop treatments, and logging harvest volumes down to the block level. In the coming months, Farmable will launch task management, weather system integration and an exportable reporting tool for spray records.
In April 2020, the team plans to launch a complementary profile for agronomists to improve the flow of information between growers and advisors. This means the team will be expanding their search for pilot growers to include pilot advisors.
If you are interested in participating in a pilot program for Farmable do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more information on Farmable’s member profile here.