The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) is excited to announce a product that will be a handy tool in oyster production operations across the country. The Oyster Farming app is the newest free mobile app from Alabama Extension. The app will be a tool for commercial oyster farmers to input, store and share harvest information.
Creating the App
Bill Walton, an Alabama Extension shellfish specialist and a leader of the project, said that the app was created to help simplify the day-to-day activities of oyster production.
“Working with farmers, we saw that they were doing a lot of repetitive tasks and jotting things down and then losing those papers,” Walton, who is also an Auburn University marine biologist, said. “We figured that we all have smartphones, so why not put them to use. We hope this helps oyster farmers by making life a little easier and by helping them keep and share information.”
Development of the app was a collaborative effort of professionals with Alabama Extension and Auburn University. The project team also worked with Sea Grant agents in other coastal states for feedback and advice.
Dr. Gary Lemme, director of Alabama Extension, said that this app is another example of Extension providing modern educational tools for the public.
“The Oyster Farming app will help modernize the way commercial oyster producers run their operations,” Lemme said. “This project could not have been accomplished without the collaborative efforts of Extension and Auburn University professionals.”
Useful Across the Nation
Although the app was created with Alabama producers in mind, it is useful for producers across the country.
“Oyster farmers across the country can use this app, especially the oyster calculators,” Walton said. “We built this with an eye on making sure that it would be useful to farmers across the United States, possibly even around the world.”
The app includes several customized calculators that help producers determine the number of shellfish seed delivered (with a record of that number within confidence intervals), that assist in achieving desired stocking densities and that help estimate current stock on a farm.
Users can also track the latest news from the Auburn University Shellfish Lab Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. The app features a section to submit questions to the Extension water resources team and the Auburn University Shellfish Lab.
“We hope the app will act like a Swiss Army Knife with a lot of useful tools that the farmer will always have in his or her pocket or on the dash of a boat,” said Walton. “We would love to hear from farmers about how we can improve the app and what features should be added. It’s a work in progress, and we hope that we can build features on top of this base.”
Download for Free
For more information about the Oyster Farming app, visit Alabama Extension at www.aces.edu.