Design and Development of Innovative AgTech Product – Providing Farmers With a Modern Herbicidal Spraying System

Drift App was founded by Todd Golly and Jen McCarty in 2020. Todd is a 5th generation grower in southern Minnesota and Jen has a strong background in sales, start-ups and innovation. Headquartered in Winnebago, Minnesota, the Drift App organises seed trait information in a farm and surrounding fields to mitigate spray drift damage each season, which is a key concern for farmers across the US.

The Drift App is targeted at owners of large farms in the United States that spray herbicides and other chemicals on their crops. The app helps farmers to optimise the use of herbicide and to manage the best time to spray (based on weather forecast). The app also allows farmers to manage which fields are sprayed with which product, create an inventory of all the farm fields based on a satellite view of landscapes, calculate the drift of pesticide to neighbouring farms and notify those neighbouring farmers.

The goal of Drift App is to provide farmers with an innovative way to grow more by using less plant protection products (PPP). It does this by providing better coverage than conventional crop spraying systems and reducing spray drift. Spray drift refers to the unintentional spreading of PPP onto areas other than the intended crop. By reducing spray drift, the Drift App benefits both farmers and the environment.

Key Takeaways

The Drift App was founded by Todd Golly and Jen McCarty in 2020.
Optimised Spraying System
The app helps farmers to optimise the use of herbicide and to manage the best time to spray.
The company is headquartered in Winnebago, Minnesota, USA.
App Store
The Drift App is available in the Apple App Store and as a web app.

Keeper Solution’s Award-Winning Mobile App Design Team

The team at Drift wanted to build an app which would support a modern herbicidal spraying system. Drift App’s team wanted farmers to have all the tools and information they needed to optimise spraying, in the palm of their hands. In 2020, Drift was introduced to Keeper Solutions with a view to helping them to design and development of this ground-breaking AgTech app.

The Drift team had deep knowledge of the farming industry in the US and some prior experience in developing AgTech apps. However, they did not have the necessary expertise to design and develop the complex modular suite of software products needed to build their app.

Keeper engaged with Todd and Jen initially using the Keeper Design Sprint methodology. This is a variation of the GV Design Sprint and it enables a rapid design-focused approach to product development.  During that initial phase which lasted four weeks, Keeper Solutions was able to map out the product user personas and their user paths. It quickly became clear from these workshops that a multi-tier architecture would be required. This included a back-end, front-end, mobile-app, web-app and extensive reliance on third party APIs (for field GEO data, weather forecast and payments).

Crucially, the Design Sprints set of outputs provides approximate timescales and budgets for the development of the product.  Keeper was able to provide this key information because we were so deeply involved in the design phase. In Drift’s case, time was of the essence as they needed their product to be in production in time for the growing season which starts in April.

Drift swiftly pivoted from the Design Sprint to the development project.   

Our development team uses an agile workflow that puts clear communication to the fore. While working on the app, our team is in constant communication with updates and builds. We work closely with the customer’s internal team, right through to deployment and adding the final product to the app store.

About the Engagement

The engagement commenced in late 2020 and the product was live by May 2021. Since the product launched there has been extremely strong demand from US (and international) farmers.  Within 45 days of its launch the app was in use on 212 large farms covering 76,000 acres.  
Key Projects 
Mobile and web app from initial design sprint to UX/UI development and deployment.
Tech Stack
iOS app and web app. Amazon Web Services, Apple App Store, Stripe, WeatherStack, Python/Django, PostgreSQL, PostGIS (add-on for PostgreSQL), Python/Django Admin panel, Vue.js, Amazon SES, AWS Lambda.
CEO Todd Golly  was recognised as one of the world’s Top Innovators in Agriculture 2021.

Building Drift’s Mobile App From Initial Design to UX/UI Development and Deployment

Our mobile app design team worked with the Drift App team, helping them to build a mobile and web app for farmers in the United States. Our team of mobile developers guided the project from the initial design to UX/UI development and deployment. The app was launched in April 2021 and is now available on the Apple App Store. 

The Drift App is highly customizable and unique to each farmer. Using an intuitive map, farmers can outline their fields and those of their neighbours. Variables such as seed trait, current drift patterns, current weather conditions, seed traits planted, off-target drift acres and sprayability range are shown in the app. The app uses bordering seed traits along with the current weather conditions to generate a sprayability index. The user can also add specific elements such as what herbicides are being used, nozzle size and pump pressures and the app suggests a suitable spraying plan.

Since launch, Keeper Solutions has continued to provide mobile app support to the Drift team. This innovative mobile app is transforming the way that farmers manage their field.

Photo by Thomas Pierre on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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