Extension releases new, improved Farming Basics App
By Justin Miller
For the Enquirer
In 2019, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System brought the world of farming to the palm of a farmer’s hand with an app. The Farming Basics app opened a gateway of information for small and beginning farmers. Fast forward to 2022 – this app has received a facelift, providing even more information to farmers.
“The new features of the Farming Basics app will immediately help our team better connect with the audiences we interact with,” said Ayanava Majumdar, coordinator of the Alabama Extension Alabama Beginning Farmer program. “These updates will help in many of our projects, such as the Operation Grow project for veterans that we recently released.”
New App features
The original Farming Basics app included tons of features. These included information on major insect pests and diseases, crop descriptions and a fertilizer calculator, just to name a few. The updated app includes several new features that add to this wealth of information.
“The most exciting part of the new app is the reorganization of the materials, creating a one-stop shop for specialty crop producers,” he said. “For example, the tools section of the app now provides immediate access to features like the Where to Start blog for beginning farmers and the Farming Basics online course.”
The new app features also include the following:
- A refined list of crops, insects and diseases in Alabama and the Southeast
- A new list of major weeds
- Tools for record keeping, enterprise budgets, chill-hour accumulation and irrigation calculators
- An impact assessment survey for producers and educators
The new update also includes several elements that Majumdar refers to as rapid communications tools for producers.
“The alert archive is designed to send out push alerts to producers on a continuing basis,” Majumdar said. “Also, the social tab connects producers to the program’s social media accounts and newsletter, plus the archived updates from the team.”
Download the App
The Farming Basics app is available as a free download on iOS and Android devices.
“This update could not have happened without the contribution of our entire team,” Majumdar said. “The app development was led by regional Extension agents, Eric Schavey and Jessie Rowan, with assistance from Ann Chambliss, Harli Willis, undergraduate student Libby Neal and the whole team.”
About the Beginning Farmer Program
The Alabama Beginning Farmer program, a statewide effort, has a wide array of resources for all types of farmers. The program puts an emphasis on serving military veterans and underserved communities. The overall implementation plan involves collaboration with a wide range of institutions, producer groups and nonprofit organizations for supporting beginning farmers statewide.