By Daniel Azevedo
Innovation adoption in agriculture is an increasing process across the world which can be expensive but, sometimes, for free as well. That is the case for more than 30 apps available in Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) website.
Despite these apps containing cutting edge solutions for several crops and issues, they have a mere 22,644 active users throughout Brazil. The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, related to Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply in Brazil, is appointed as one of the most important promotors on Brazilian agriculture boom since 1970 and, currently, shows Agro 4.0 as a top priority.
"Our mission is to transfer technology, both for livestock and arable farming. Farms are undergoing an intense process of digital transformation. This occurs with techniques such as Big Data, IoT, machine learning and also getting access to information more user friendly," explains Silvia Massruha, general manager of Embrapa Informática (agricultural informatics).
Silvia Massruha, general manager of Embrapa Informática (agricultural informatics). Photo: Nadir Rodrigues
The institution, located in Campinas, São Paulo, is one among 42 Embrapa´s unities and supports the others in order to develop Agro 4.0 solutions on several cultures, regions and biomes in Brazil. The goal is to deliver those tools to farmers, cooperatives, associations.
Currently, these 35 free apps have over 60,000 downloads and only 22,644 were utilised in the last 30 days even though, according to Ms Massruha, producers have to make up to 200 decisions per day.
“Agriculture 4.0 enables a deep transformation using digital content, automation and connectivity to value generation and efficiency gains. The whole technological apparatus in software as in hardware comes precisely to support the farmer to make more assertive decisions," she says.
Agritempo – real-time agrometeorological info
Agritempo GIS app provides real-time agrometeorological information throughout Brazil’s weather stations, such as monitoring and forecasting maps for droughts and frosts.
Maps are divided into categories including drought, precipitation, temperature, conditions for phytosanitary treatment and soil management, irrigation requirements and conditions for harvesting, among other topics.
Moreover, Agritempo GIS uses the global positioning system, or gps, in your phone or tablet, automatically identifying where you are. This information helps farmers, rural extension agents, agricultural consultants, credit agencies and rural insurance to anticipate and make important decisions in a more agile and accurate way.
Zarc – best planning dates
Zarc shows the best planting dates for 43 crops retrieving data from the Zoning Agricultural Climate Risk (Zarc), which is an instrument for risk management in agriculture.
The study is designed to quantify risks arising from adverse climatic conditions and allows each municipality to identify the best planting season of each culture, in different soil types and crop cycles, according to plants features.
This app, developed by Embrapa Informática Agropecuária and its partners, is pivotal for data and information organising that will support Ministry of Agriculture for public policies in order to benefit farmers.
Doctor Corn – for each stage of corn
Doutor Agro app (Doctor Corn) offers several management suggestions for each development stage of corn. Its steps are divided into vegetative and reproductive phases with their own particularities. Thus, this tool supports decision making, is able for crops monitoring and contribute to achieve greater productivity and income.
The “doctor corn” consulting begins with seed selection. The “Doutor Milho” new version also offers offline consultations on all corn and maize varieties on the market. All this from a database that gathers reliable technical information provided by all seed companies.