In an effort to make AgraScout the fastest and easiest to use crop scouting application on the market, the AgraScout team has redesigned their flagship product from the ground up for the 2014 growing season.
“We had customers in Wisconsin who were rained out till early July, so when they finally got into the field they needed a scouting program that made scouting quicker and easier,” said Brandon Warner, Director of Sales and Marketing said. “We realized that if our program wasn’t dead simple to use, we would miss opportunities to fulfill our mission.”
Here are some of the new features in AgraScout 2.0:
Fields Nearby: New in 2014 is Fields Nearby, a feature which locates the user’s position and instantly plots all their customers’ fields around them on a map. Clicking on a field gives the user a range of options: view all the recent findings for that field, get driving directions to the entrance, schedule it to be scouted later or jump right in and start scouting.
“One click on the field and you’re off scouting” Warner said. “It’s that easy. We completely reimagined the traditional method of finding fields through a long list of confusing names or having to draw them by hand.”
Fields Nearby also gives users the option to change a crop type, draw a new field, or even send a scouting report off if a field is clean. One trial location was able to double the number of fields they could scout in a day.
“Increasing scouting efficiency 100% is no easy task,” said CFO Frank Rosenbaum. “AgraScout is the best kept secret in the ag industry.”
Redesigned Scouting Screen: To go along with getting into the field faster, the AgraScout scouting screen was also redesigned for maximum efficiency.
“We cut the number of interactions to drop a pest pin in half” Warner said. “When you’re scouting you don’t want technology to get in the way, you want it to help.”
Georeferenced Image Capability: Also new this season will be the ability to attach a georeferenced image to every pest found.
“We worked with a select group of progressive ag retailers in 2013 and the one thing they all wanted to do more of was take pictures of their customers’ fields,” Warner said. “A picture really reinforces field findings, making AgraScout scouting reports a powerful in-season touchpoint.”
Trav View: Trav View aggregates all the pest information in the AgraScout system onto one map. Users can now view specific pest proliferation by either the number of days since that pest was found or by that pest’s recorded densities.
“You can sit in the office and watch a plant disease like Common Corn Rust move North throughout the U.S.,” said Brandon Warner, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Or you can see an insect like Potato Leafhopper arrive in your area and watch as its population grows till it reaches economic damage levels.”
To maintain user and customer privacy, AgraScout pest data is broken down into anonymous 10 square kilometer grids.
Recent Activity: To accompany Trav View, the AgraScout team also built a Recent Activity feature, which catalogues all the disease, insects and weeds found by an organization, allowing users to see a stream of the very latest field findings as they’re reported.
“Our customers understand the value of scouting, we wanted to help them capitalize on it,” Warner said.
The Recent Activity and Trav View features were not only designed to help scouts understand what to look for, but they can also help management allocate product and move equipment as pest breakouts occur.
“A customer of ours, the president of a large retailer in the Midwest, was attending a conference last year and someone mentioned Armyworm hadn’t been a problem in wheat,” Warner said. “This AgraScout user raised his hand and said, ‘I’ve sprayed 10,000 acres, and we’re just getting started.’ He was sitting in the conference, monitoring incoming scouting reports with his e-mail and buying additional product from a supplier at the same time.”
Besides bringing increased pest intelligence to users; eventually, AgraScout aims to capitalize on pest data the same way soil, weather, and yield data are sought after.
“Everyone wants to create a story to tell their customers,” Warner said. “However, soil, weather, and yield data are only part of the story. If a customer was reluctant to spray last year for a pest we found with AgraScout, now we can go back and say, ‘you know, you waited a week to spray and look at how it hurt yield.’”