STILLWATER, Oklahoma - Oklahoma State University is offering a new app that allows users to monitor the growth and potential damage to crops in the field through photos taken with a smartphone.

Canopeo was developed by the Stillwater school's App Center and students and faculty in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. It's the first mobile application developed from the concept stage to release through the center.

Tyson Ochsner, Sarkeys Distinguished Professor in Applied Soil Physics with OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources said farmers, farm co-op employees, crop consultants and representatives of producer groups, who have downloaded the app, were interested in learning more about using Canopeo.

“Anyone who is interested in how plants are doing in the field will find applications for this,” he said. “That could be people concerned about herbicide damage to their crops. It could be a golf course manager interested in the greenness of their turf. And it’s useful as a way to collect a stream of data for several of our research efforts. At its core it’s a quite basic tool with a lot of potential uses.”

The free mobile app analyzes images taken and provides an accurate measure of percent canopy cover for row crops, grassland, turfgrass or other green vegetation.

The information can then be used to monitor a crop's growth or evaluate damage and allows the user to adjust decisions on how to manage the crops. Users can also re-analyze images previously stored on their phones or computers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report