Leading national agriculture laboratory APAL has today launched its revolutionary new app for tablets, designed to streamline the soil, water and plant testing procedure.
The web-based tool which links to a tablet application, Farm2Lab, enables agronomists, researchers and growers to directly and seamlessly transfer data from the field to the laboratory.
APAL Managing Director Ryan Walker said the app had been designed to integrate with other geolocation and spatial technology such as Google Earth to maximise ease-of-use.
“We have worked closely with farmers and consultants to develop this product as we wanted a tool that is simple and efficient and requires minimal in-field data entry,” he said.
“The paperless system is simple to use: a sampling plan which a grower or consultant has already created using a spatial platform like Google Earth is uploaded into the online system in the office.
“Extra sampling locations can then be added manually, but using the geolocation technology ensures the same sites are sampled each year.
“Then once you’re out in the field, all you need to do is open the app, use the app’s inbuilt barcode scanner to scan the barcode on the bags supplied from APAL, and the data is submitted firstly to the online portal, and can then be sent directly to the lab.”
The technology, which was developed by Square V Design, is believed to be the first of its kind developed specifically by an agricultural laboratory in Australia and Mr Walker said there had already been interest from other companies seeking to replicate the technology.
“We’re really proud of the speed and the ease of use with this app,” Mr Walker said.
“It’s a paperless system that ensures maximum in-field efficiencies and is synchronised with GPS locations to ensure consistency in sampling sites.”
The APAL Online system also allows clients to track their samples through every stage of the testing process in the laboratory.
As the sample moves through the laboratory, its unique barcode is scanned and information transmitted to the online system in real-time.
APAL processes more than 75,000 soil, water and plant samples annually and is focused on providing clients with quality independent analytical services.