University-developed apps aid Arizona cotton farmers
"There is a new disease of cotton in California that prompted me to want to get more information out about how to differentiate diseases," Olsen said. "There is some concern we might find this disease in Arizona."
The disease—caused by a fungus—is called Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum race 4. Symptoms may be similar to other Arizona cotton disease. If it were to spread to the state, Olsen hopes the app would alert growers.
The Web app provides information on treating disease, and users can send photos of plants with suspected disease to Olsen with a few simple touches.
The app is funded by the Arizona Crop Improvement Association and Cooperative Extension. CCT plans to make it downloadable as an iOS mobile app from Apple iTunes App Store.
Yuta Torrey, lead developer for the Mobile Cotton app, said the challenge was to "put as much information on one little screen with as few thumb presses and scrolls as possible."
J.D. Gibbs is lead developer for the Differentiating Diseases of Early Season Cotton app. He said once the app is on your phone or tablet, you can use it wherever you are, even if Internet is not available.
Both apps will evolve as technology improves, Rahr added.
"Cotton is the most important agronomic crop in Arizona," Olsen said. "Our goal is to give growers information they need to make the best decisions they can."