‘Swiss army knife’ of oyster farming apps
May 3, 2019
By Ruby Gonzalez
With its number of useful tools, developers of a new app are hoping that oyster farmers would treat like an indispensable Swiss army knife.
The Oyster Farming app was “created to help simplify the day-to-day activities of oyster production,” said Bill Walton, an Alabama Extension shellfish specialist and a leader of the project.
The app is a tool for commercial oyster farmers to input, store and share harvest information. Among the features are several customized calculators that help producers determine the number of shellfish seed delivered, helping them achieve desired stocking densities and estimate current stock on a farm. These will aid commercial oyster producers modernize the way they manage their operations, said Dr Garry Lemme, director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
The app has a section for farmers to ask questions to Alabama Extension and the Auburn University Shellfish Lab teams.
“Working with farmers, we saw that they were doing a lot of repetitive tasks and jotting things down and then losing those papers,” said Walton, who’s also an Auburn University marine biologist. “We figured that we all have smart phones, so why not put them to use? We hope this helps oyster farmers by making life a little easier and by helping them keep and share information.”
The development of the app was a collaborative effort of professionals with Alabama Extension and Auburn University. The project team also worked with Sea Grant agents in other coastal states for feedback and advice.
The Oyster Farming app is available as a free download on both the Apple and Google stores.
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