A Croppa Creek farmer has used his skills as a software engineer to develop an app to help farmers record, monitor and track what needs doing around the farm.
Matthew Higham, a software engineer with a background in defence and smart cards, moved to Croppa Creek two years ago to work on a family farm.
When he first began working on the farm, Mr Higham embraced the technology currently used in modern farming but quickly identified many ways in which technology could be better utilised to avoid double handling of data and to improve communications between operators and their workers.
“After working on the farm I noticed a bit of a gap in the market,” the 29-year-old said.
“I spent a year just working on the farm and taking note of things that could be done easier. I spent last year developing it.”
The app, farmSimple, was released on Apple iStore on Tuesday, April 18 and can be downloaded for $10.99 per month.
FarmSimple allows farmers and their workers to manage, track, search and sort jobs easily; manage farms, paddocks and equipment; keep track of equipment and maintenance histories; and export PDFs to an email or an AirPrint printer.
“You’ll be able to plan what needs to be done easier, everything will be there on your phone or ipad,” Mr Higham said.
“It stores on cloud database, so it’s available on multiple devices.
“You can look up equipment and maintainence issues for equipment, as well as allocate jobs to people.”
Mr Higham said the app will allow farmers to spend less time on paperwork, freeing up their time to be spent in the paddock.
“We’ve found it’s made things a lot simpler here already,” he said.
“My boss is away now, but he’s still able to see what’s going on at the farm and if he sees something that comes up, he can add it in.
“It just simplifies everything, it makes everything more precise.”
The app is still a work in progress, with more features to be rolled out as farmSimple evolves into a complete farm management package.
The next step is to develop it into a desktop application so farmers can access it across all digital platforms.
“I do see technology becoming more and more important in agriculture,” Mr Higham said.
“There’s no reason why it can’t be developed out here in rural areas, rather than the city.”