Practical Farmers of Iowa has released a new cover crop app designed to help farmers easily locate cover crop seed, services and suppliers in time for fall 2021 planting decisions. The app, Find Cover Crops, is free to download and use, and is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Practical Farmers worked with North Carolina-based Onyx Ocean Technologies, a Black woman-owned mobile app and web design company, to develop the app, which is funded by a three-year Gulf of Mexico Division Farmer to Farmer grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Find Cover Crops app lets users:
- Search by location or GPS for at least 44 cover crop seed dealers, seed cleaning and custom spraying services located across Iowa, as well as locations in surrounding states
- Request aerial application, custom drilling and high-clearance seeding services right from their phones, or from their computer at https://findcovercrops.com
- Access advice and management recommendations – including embedded how-to videos – for seeding, grazing and terminating cover crops
- Precisely identify the boundaries of fields to be cover cropped using the app’s “Find My Field” feature, which lets users search for, mark and send images of a field to businesses or to PFI for cost-share purposes
“Parcel data from the USDA has been incorporated for all fields in Iowa so that a user in Iowa can zoom to their field and find its boundaries,” says Michael Borucke, data analyst for PFI who worked with the developer on the app.
“The app allows for further modification of the field boundaries to let the cover crop business know which part of the field should be planted to cover crops. The app also includes parcel data from neighboring states.”
The new Find Cover Crops app enters the market at a time when mobile phones have become ubiquitous and essential tools for farmers – and when more farmers are integrating cover crops into their farming systems.
Cover crop apps are few, however, and the Find Cover Crops app is one of the first custom-designed apps dedicated to connecting farmers to cover crop services – and among the first to offer geo-location search capacity, real-time USDA parcel data and in-app service request functionality.
To have your cover crop business added to the app, contact Michael Borucke at firstname.lastname@example.org.