A new smartphone application has been developed to help farmers better manage and keep track of their macadamia harvesting season.
The Harvest App aims to assist growers with yield data and optimise workers’ performance by efficiently measuring worker productivity, tracking the foremen on the farm, recording information and data, and displaying the necessary information on the farmer’s smartphone or desktop.
In short, it replaces the old-fashioned clipboard with a real time monitoring and data collection system that farmers can manage from afar.
The app was developed by a group of students at the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the macadamia industry and is available on both Android and iOS platforms. It can also be downloaded onto your desktop for easier viewing and management.
The app is simple to use and any staff member with a smartphone will be able to enter data into the app as the nuts are being harvested. This includes the amounts of nuts brought in by each worker and the total harvest for each block.
Harvest gives farmers all the information they would get from monitoring each worker’s yield collection on a clipboard. These include:
- Graphs of worker performance throughout the day or for any given time period;
- Real-time location tracking of the person (typically a foreman) using the app;
- Historic locations of where the phone or tablet travelled and where data points were captured while using the app;
- Heat maps to show differences in yield within an orchard, farm or area, which can also be used to semi-quantitatively measure theft or other problems in specific areas on the farm. The heat maps also assist in viewing the hot spots of where work is being done. Farmers will be able to see the critical areas of where workers, foremen, orchards or farms are best or underperforming;
- Comparisons in yield between orchards. Compare and contrast the performance of workers, orchards, foremen and farms over periods of time. This is done through predictive graphs that are shown using prior performance history to give an estimate of what might be expected in the future.
While the macadamia harvesting season is over, farmers are being encouraged to download the app and get acquainted with it before next season and report any glitches or problems with the system so that they may be ironed out.
The app is available free of charge on the Play Store or at these links:
Go to www.harvestapp.co.za to download the programme onto your desktop.
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