CropMetrics is an industry leader in water management solutions for growers. The company has launched the first commercially available full-service variable rate irrigation program. By combining data on crop growth, soil type, soil moisture and weather, CropMetrics’s Virtual Optimizer software enables growers to make decisions that maximise the-cost effective use of water. The growers’ water usage decisions are typically implemented through automated large-scale irrigation boom sprayers.
CropMetrics’s Virtual Optimizer is a full featured web application. To increase flexibility to access information, CropMetric’s wanted to move Virtual Optimizer to a mobile platform and approached Spatial Vision to build a new app.
Spatial Vision developed a mobile application using the IONIC framework that is supported on both iOS and Android devices. Users are able to login in and report on growth in their fields, add crops, add progress records such as irrigation, precipitation and moisture probes that feeds into the Virtual Optimiser. User are now able to access this information from anywhere and choose how to customise their irrigation.
Spatial Vision developed the mobile app in collaboration with the CropMetrics team using agile methodology. We worked with the Crop Metrics’ Product Owner to develop the required features in the order of priority as set by Crop Metrics. The app features were developed in two-week sprint cycles. At the end of each sprint, the developed features were showcased to the client. This process was used to illicit feedback and then improve the product development going forward. This process worked very successfully in creating a product that was in line with the client’s expectations. The app was developed using industry-leading open source technologies. The user interface was developed using IONIC – a hybrid mobile app platform that allows the development of both mobile apps and websites using a single codebase, delivering native iOS and Android apps. The backend was developed using nodejs and Restful services running on AWS.
The app allows the farmers and agronomists literally standing in the field to add crop related data to the Virtual Optimizer. Records on irrigation volume, rainfall and moisture probes such can be added easily and notes exchanged between growers and agronomists in real-time so that time critical actions can be taken to maximize the health of the crop for maximum yield. The app will be further developed to allow geospatial capabilities, bringing most of the functionality available in desktop web app to the mobile platform.