With forage maize playing such an important part of the New Zealand fodder supply chain, a useful hand-held moisture measuring device might prove useful for making good management decisions.
A new online app called Onside allows users to develop their own health and safety plan by working through pre-populated lists of potential risks which are overlaid on a satellite map of the property.
The system saves time and tells farm staff or visitors about risks and how to manage them, reducing incidents and improving farm safety overall.
Visitors to a property will need to be encouraged to 'sign in' on a smartphone as they cross a virtual 'geo-fence', which might be the farm's boundaries, and in doing so will be advised by the app of any risks and asked to acknowledge them.
New risks identified can be updated by the user in real time and visitors can report such via their smartphones. All information is cloud-stored, eliminating the need for paperwork. Offline capability serves when cell coverage is poor.
The technology allows users to map boundaries of the enterprise and uses photos rather than written descriptions to show known risks; and it allows users to access instructions for emergencies in real time.
The app developed from discussions with farmers and industry experts in health and safety, then technology partner Jade Software wrote it.
This potential new addition to a farmer's smartphone looks to have huge potential in this complex but necessary aspect of a modern farm business.