This MacNews Category Review looks at farming/ag software for the Mac. Products covered Alpaca Herd Works, Agri4d, Power Agronomy and Decision Aid System.
Alpaca Herd Works
Alpaca Herd Worsk (http://www.alpacaherdworks.com/) runs on the Mac but also includes an integration with the iPhone for field notes. The software lets you create and manage an extensive database of valuable alpaca information. The application focuses on specific areas related to Alpaca herd management practices. Herd management, health management and reproduction management highlight the main functions of the application. Additional features provide producers with the ability to add alpaca photos, link to documents, maintain show records, record fiber histogram data and keep financial records and more.
Agri4d (http://www.agri4d.com/ACD_informatique/Accueil.html) offers agricultural software, accounting, fields, mapping, GPS and farming crops management GPS. It's localized in English, French and Spanish.
Power Agronomy (http://software.powertekgroup.com/power_agronomy/default.html) is designed for agronomists and helps them track field visits, problems with weeds, diseases and so on, chemical details, and more. It includes many chemical recipes, crop data, weed data, disease data, and insect data and the ability to add or change any data, i.e. farms, fields, chemicals, crops, weeds, diseases, and insects.
Decision Aid System
Dr. Vincent P. Jones of the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, also contacted us with info on a web app. It's a decision support system for making pest management decisions in tree fruits (apples, pears, cherries) that's made on a Mac with a combination of mySQL, php, and other web technologies, tested on a wide range of browsers for the Mac and PC. There is also an iPhone version of the site that simplifies the output.
"Basically, we take weather data from the WSU-AgWeather Net network, digital site-specific weather forecasts, and run insect, disease, and horticultural models, then provide the user with what the models predict should be happening now and whatever management recommendations are appropriate for each pest/disease," Jones says. "There are also graphic representations of the model, or rainfall, and weather forecasts. The weather forecasts also give us the ability to predict conditions and management recommendations out to 10 days."
There are a number of on-line narrated screen capture video explaining how to use the different features as well as stories that are time-specific that are released throughout the season. You can find the web site at das.wsu.edu .
There is no charge to use it right now, but you have to set up a profile to tell the system which locations and models to display when you log in. You can find an article explaining the system at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123248014/PDFSTART .