Farmanco releases iPestbook app for WA graingrowers

By Shannon Beattie
April 11 2022 - 10:00am
Farmanco Pestbook product manager Georgia King.

A SIMPLE app for WA graingrowers and agronomists to quickly identify treatments to control weeds, diseases and insects in major broadacre crops has been released by Farmanco.

By suggesting different treatments, with similar efficacies, iPestbook has the potential to save growers thousands of dollars.

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Currently only covering WA but with content for South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria to be made available soon, the app was developed from the Farmanco Pesticide Handbook (also known as the Pestbook) - an annual publication from the Farmanco agronomy team.

The Pestbook is based on more than 30 years of innovative research data about weed and disease control for all major crops.

Farmanco Pestbook product manager Georgia King said the Pestbook was widely regarded as the best independent guide to weed, insect and disease control in Australia.

"Until recently it was an annual, printed, publication that you would often find on the dashboards of agronomists and farmers' utes," Ms King said.

"About five years ago, we moved all of our data from the 300-plus page Pestbook into an online database and have been producing the printed Pestbook from the database since then.

iPestbook has the potential to save growers thousands of dollars.

"The new iPestbook app is based on this database, which is updated with feedback from our own agronomists as well as external agronomists throughout the year - so it's always up-to-date."

Busy agronomists and farmers can find the treatment they need in just a few seconds and information is constantly updated throughout the year, so they always have the latest information at their fingertips.

Given that Farmanco agronomists are independent, they are not driven by product sales, meaning the information in iPestbook and the efficacy measurements of treatments are based on that independence.

"The recommendations in the app are based on years of original research by our team of experienced, independent, agronomists as well as our farm clients' experience of what actually works, in the paddock," Ms King said.

"For example, you can look at glyphosate in a knockdown setting and the app will tell you the weeds it can treat and each weed will have a star rating from one to three, with one being average and three being really good control."

Each potential recommendation also has an indicative price per hectare, providing growers with a breakdown of the costs involved with different tank mixes.

"We believe that has the potential to save thousands of dollars input costs across the entire farm as you're able to compare the recommendations," Ms King said.

"In a year when fertiliser and chemical costs are at an all-time high, that's a real advantage."

The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and is available to growers and agronomists Australia-wide, regardless of whether or not they're a Farmanco client.

"Often independent information comes with a hefty price tag but we wanted to make it accessible to everyone," Ms King said.

"Instead, it's 30 years of Farmanco knowledge that's available to everyone."

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While iPestbook is only available to Apple users, there are plans to make the app available to Android users in the second half of this year.

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