AgPick tool helps track pickers during pandemic

AgPick – a harvest management system developed by South Australia’s Agricultural Picking Technology (APT) to capture harvest activities, has the capability to work as an auditing tool to help producers keep track of pickers and ensure harvests continue during the global pandemic.

APT chief executive officer Henrietta Child said AgPick, which captured and reported on field activities and helped managers track, analyse and improve crop outcomes, also recorded picker movements – vital for helping growers comply with COVID-19 safe auditing practices.

“AgPick, initially designed to help provide growers with better visibility and control over harvest activities via hand-held Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanners, is flexible and scalable enough to work across any hand-picked fresh produce line,” Ms Child said.

“In a COVID-19 context, producers are using AgPick to help them track pickers’ attendance and on-farm locations via a picker’s ID card without having to go into the paddock to see what’s happening. It’s helping producers meet auditing and Health Department requirements easily.

“In a situation where producers might have two teams working in different areas – and they have to isolate a picker or a team – they can continue the harvest with the other team.

“If there’s ever been a time to know where pickers are on a farm – especially for producers with multiple farms in one location – it’s now,” Ms Child said. “Growers can access this data in the field or in the office on any device quickly and simply. It’s providing peace of mind in uncertain times.”

Ms Child said AgPick can be customised to record all outdoor activities, including seasonal picker payroll reconciliation, traceability, on-farm crop management costs and provide yield comparisons.

“Producers want to look at more than picking outcomes, move away from paper records and have the flexibility to access information easily and remotely via any device,” she said.

“The AgPick system supports flexible workflows and can be configured for different lines. It captures key data ranging from grade variables and seasonal payroll differences such as piece-rates to hourly rates, depending on the time of year and volume to be picked. It also counts waste and captures information such as break times – paid and unpaid – for accurate payment.”

AgPick was launched in 2017 by Ms Child and APT chief technology officer Tony Drake. Ms Child’s experience is in the IT industry, implementing software and training and mentoring early stage technology companies. Mr Drake’s background is in developing software knowledge systems for the wine and beverage industry.

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