The Age of Apps
Although the agriculture industry is usually behind other industries when adopting new technologies, the increase in smartphones has opened the industry to a multitude of new useful tools for the ag professional. As agribusiness professionals are buying newer phones, smartphones are quickly replacing phones that could not store data or connect to the internet efficiently. Agribusiness companies, the government and other organizations are developing smartphone apps at a fast rate, which is bringing new tools to ag retailers, crop consultants and growers.
It is impossible to list all of the apps available, but here is a list of some apps that are more targeted to retailers and consultants.
Apps that help retailers and consultants better manage weeds, scout for insects, determine if invasive species are near treatment thresholds and analyzing soil samples are functions of some apps.
Aphid Speed Scout from the University of Nebraska. This app helps determine if soybean aphids have reached the 250 aphids per plant threshold. It relies on the number of "infested" plants. Plants are considered "infested" if there are 40 or more aphids on that sample. This app is designed for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
Western Bean Cutworm Speed Scout app from the University of Nebraska. UNL and University of Minnesota entomologists developed the app. It allows users to speed-scout cornfields to help them determine whether WBC populations have reached the action threshold for treatments. The app also can store scouting history, which allows the user to review the information without Internet access. The app can also send a reminder for when scouting is needed again. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.
The Northern Plains Integrated Pest Management Guide from South Dakota State University. This guide is intended to provide current effective management options for insect and other arthropod pests affecting soybeans grown in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas. This app is designed for iPhone/iPod Touch and Android.
Photo courtesy Johne DeereAg retailers, crop consultants and farm managers are turning to using tablet and smartphone apps to assist customers. The Mobile Farm Manager app from John Deere is an example of how the technology works in the field. Mobile Farm Manager app from John Deere. The application connects to customers’ Apex farm management software. Functions include field maps, historical reports, GPS tracking, field navigation and soil sampling grids. Customers with this app can share agronomic information with ag service providers, farm managers and other advisors as needed. This streamlines the communications process and helps ensure the accuracy of various applications and production practices. The app is available for iPad and iPhone.