A NEW app develop has compacted more than five decades of soil biological health service into the one location.
Developed by The University of Western Australia (UWA) amerita professor Lynette Abbott, the SOILHEALTH app was funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants to provide essential information about complex aspects of soil health in a digital format.
The app includes an eBook, podcasts, and seven soil health animations custom-created by Lush Digital.
Professor Abbott is a world-leading academic and science communicator in soil science and soil biology at the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment and The UWA Institute of Agriculture.
She runs hands-on activities demonstrating the benefits of soil biota for soil health, and leads the Land Restoration Demonstration Site research project at UWA Farm Ridgefield at Pingelly.
This site was also established with funding from the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants.
Although Australian farmers are the main target audience, professor Abbott said app was a valuable resource for anyone interested in soil health, including teachers, students, and gardeners.
"All in-app resources can be downloaded online, and then accessed offline," professor Abbott said.
"A farmer could take a break from harvesting to watch our animated video on 'Effects of soil disturbance on organisms' while out in the field, or perhaps tune in to a few podcast episodes from home."
She said UWA Farm Ridgefield researchers and staff assisted with the development of the eBook.
"I thank the farming community for inspiration in delivering this soil health resource," professor Abbott said.
UWA communications officer Cheryl Rimmer, who first suggested the app in 2019, co-ordinated its development, with artwork by Angela Rossen and photographs by Paul Rigby.
Regional agriculture landcare facilitator Peter Clifton, South West Catchments Council, collaborated in the review and delivery of the app within the community.
The app is available to download for free on IOS and Android phones and tablets via Apple and Google Play.
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