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Veggie Growers Plan & Track Crops with Google Maps

Veggie Growers Plan & Track Crops with Google Maps

YUMA, AZ - Google Maps has made life a lot easier for everything from travel plans to dining choices, but for selecting planting grounds?

That is what seed producers in Yuma, Arizona, are saying, according to a KJZZ report.

“We were spending a lot of time just going back and forth trying to pin isolations on [a] board,” Jose Solorzano, Research Manager for vegetable and flower seed company Takii, told KJZZ.

Isolation is key for this aspect of the industry in order to maintain the purity of the seeds, Yuma County Extension Director Dr. Kurt Nolte explained.

Dr. Kurt Nolte, Director, Yuma County Extension“Cross pollination is vital within a field, but purity of the seed is at risk when bees move pollen to other fields," Dr. Nolte said, according to the report. "So if we have a white onion field right next to a red onion field, the possibility of getting a pink onion is very high.”

And of course, he added, nobody wants a pink onion.

Now these growers have “plugged in” so-to-speak, having a shared Google map that has moved the pins of isolated areas from a board in Yuma’s extension office, where everyone had to meet annually to sort out crops and areas, to one easily accessible forum online.

2015 Yuma County Vegetable Seed Pin Map (Photo Source: KJZZ/Google Maps)

“As long as we have an Internet connection, we can do it anywhere in the world,” Solorzano told KJZZ.

While the workers of this aspect of the Arizona produce industry, which the USDA reports brings in more than $4.5 million, can’t control the bees, they now have a bit more control over how they compensate for them.

Though Google Maps does have many options for different mapping needs, including satellite, topography, transit and the like, it does not yet have a mapping option specifically geared toward agriculture. Perhaps with a few more stories like the seed producers of Yuma, Arizona, Google will provide the industry with one.

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