This application is designed to optimize the work of the technicians regarding the record of information in field. The app reduces the time devoted to the register of information and improves the decision-making capacity thanks to the availability and delivery of information from anywhere
Price: from €115/month (14 days free trial)
Language: Spanish / English / Catalan (the last two languages, only in the web application)
Runs offline: yes
Last update: Android 19/05/2017 (v. 1.1.5) – iOS 03/05/2017 (v. 1.1.28)
Website of the developer: eFoodPrint
Hesperides is a farm field notebook designed to keep up to date the activities and the traceability of the production in a farm, according to the stipulated by the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain. It also serves to connect technical teams and consultants with producers. It has as an extra tool with a calculator that allows to know the main indicators of crop sustainability (water footprint, carbon footprint and water use efficiency), although this module is not available in the trial version.
For the present analysis of the app, a user account has been opened using an “agronomic adviser” profile, although the tool is not limited to this type of professionals and can be used by producers or their representatives.
The web application, which is the main resource of the tool (mobile applications are basically for the collection of information in field), presents the following options:
- Field notebook administration, where the so-called Control Plans and Observations are created, which enable to define during field visits if the crop is ready for harvest, for example.
- Agronomist trap management, section linked to the biological control of pests without using chemical substances. Each trap is identified by an alphanumeric code, the type to which it corresponds, the species to be captured, the location or manufacturer of the pheromone. The introduction of the data related to the captures can be done from the mobile app or from the web interface itself.
- Farm field notebook, section in which producers introduce aspects relating to the daily management of the farm: events, plot, personnel, machinery, equipment, product prices and reports.
- Productive numbers, section in which farms can be organized or grouped by clusters (e.g. all stone fruits). This function is useful for later sending segmented news.
- Agronomist field notebook, where advisers control the farms in their charge, being able to manage news (for example, warning of pests to affected producers), strategies to be developed (application of phytosanitary or fertilizers), planning of visits, reviews (information introduced in the field that requires a review), etc.
- Customer administration, section from which new farms, crops or campaigns can be created.
In the upper left, next to the avatar, are the access to the information section, which enables you to change the language and fill in additional information about the user, and to the video tutorials of the application.
Images: Screenshots 30/05/2017. ©eFoodPrint
Agriculture is one of the economic activities that have the greatest impact due to its intensive use of natural resources (soil, water, etc.). Thus, taking into account FAO data, «over two-thirds of human water use is for agriculture». The agriculture also generates significant impacts from pollution caused by fertilizers or other chemicals used to combat pests or weeds. Given this background and the increasing consumer awareness, especially with respect to food consumption, aspects such as traceability or exhaustive control in the application of plant protection products and fertilizers are becoming increasingly important.
Applications like Hesperides enable the computer control of all the activities that take place in a crop, also serving as a monitoring tool for agricultural technicians responsible for the management of large farms. One of the aspects highlighted by this application and which is directly linked to the environment is the module for the calculation of water footprint, carbon footprint and efficiency indexes, although its usefulness has not been practically evaluated since this not available during the trial period. Hesperides also stands out for the inclusion of issues related to the biological control of pests. As for improvements, the interface of the web application is sometimes a little messy, because it is not very clear what functions are undertaken by the technical managers and which by the producer. Also, some minor flaws in the design of the mobile app have been noted, such as the fact that by entering comments in the section “New visits”, the lower menu is overlapped, as can be seen in the third capture of Screen corresponding to the application for Android devices.