Launched in December 2011 for the iPad, ScoutDoc by AgNition Inc. is a field scouting app targeted at professional agronomists and farmers. The app allows users to create or import field maps, and save information collected when scouting or inspecting fields.
“As a farmer, I was frustrated that I couldn’t access content on my Blackberry when I was out in the field. I saw the same things at farmer meetings. That lead to the formation of AgNition with a goal of finding ways of making apps work for agriculture,” explains Peter Gredig, one of the principals of AgNition.
ScoutDoc is the first app launched by AgNition. It is currently available on the iTunes App Store as an iPad app. An Android version is also in the works. The features of ScoutDoc include:
- Field map section allows the user to draw a representative map of each field they are scouting on the iPad using a stylus.
- Data entry fields are provided to input crop and field identification details plus weed, insect, and disease pressure.
- Field map images can also be uploaded from Photos folders on iPad.
- Customizable area allows the user to add information, comments and action plans for each location and crop issue
A key benefit of the app is that it allows agronomists and farmers to easily communicate. For example, if an agronomist is scouting a field and comes across an insect infestation, he can identify the field location, and email the pdf to his farm customer. The app is designed so that farmers and agronomists can go back and update information throughout the growing season.
“With the 3G iPad, communication between the agronomist and farmer is so much easier than the old method of taking field notes on paper, going back to the office, scanning and emailing the information to the farmer,” explains Gredig. “I know some agronomists have bought the app for their customers so they can more easily share information back and forth.”
AgNition is working on further improvements to ScoutDoc. They are close to having a GPS-enabled upgrade that would allow users to do a pin-drop at a specific location in a field to highlight a specific problem, add an image of the site, and then be able to return to the same spot.
“We will add flexibility to the app as technology evolves. When the iPad first came out, it didn’t have a camera, but now that it does, the ability to add a photo image is an important upgrade,” says Gredig.
ScoutDoc doesn’t replace field recordkeeping software programs like Field Manager Pro from Farm Credit Corporation or Farmworks software. Rather, it is designed to simplify field scouting information management and communication between agronomist and farmer. Full integration with field recordkeeping programs is desirable, and Gredig says that is something AgNition is looking at.
“ScoutDoc is designed to replace the pocket notepad or clip board. It simplifies field notes and makes it easy for farmers and agronomists to communicate,” says Peter Gredig.