A harvest management system developed by South Australia-based Agricultural Picking Technology (APT) is proving its worth as an auditing tool during Covid-19 restrictions.
Named AgPick, the solution captures and reports on field activities, helping producers record picker movements.
Raspberry and blueberry producer Paul Dydula of Paradise Fruits Enterprise and Paradise Berry Propagators implemented AgPick at his businesses in Caboolture, Queensland, during the state’s Covid-19 lockdown in March. It was a decision that has already paid for itself, according to Dydula.
“We were already investigating AgPick to create efficiencies and improve record keeping,” he said. “Covid-19-safe protocols (including daily temperature checks) accelerated that decision. Within two weeks, AgPick was installed and keeping track of workers’ attendance and location.”
Dydula said AgPick has helped his businesses meet auditing and Health Department requirements.
“Each picker is assigned an ID card,” Dydula explained. “In the event where we might have two teams working in different areas – and we have the need to isolate one individual, or one team – we can continue the harvest with the other team. That would have been so much more difficult with the previous paper-based system.”
The solution has also streamlined the staff management process.
“AgPick records when pickers clock on and off, what they pick and where they are, with real time data which was the selling point for us,” Dydula added. “Before that, we would have to go into the paddock to see what was happening. Anyone who can operate a smart phone can use it, it’s that simple – and we’ve never lost data.”
The AgPick system can handle and record all labour costs, as well as harvest management costs such as pruning, weeding, spraying and more.
"It operates on flexible workflows and is not a one-size-fits-all-approach,” said APT chief executive, Henrietta Child. “Being flexible in a Covid-19 environment is more important than ever.”
AgPick was launched in 2017 by Child and APT chief technology officer Tony Drake. Child has previous experience in the IT industry and has mentored a number of early stage technology companies. Drake’s background is in developing software knowledge systems for the wine and beverage industry.
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