Seven apps that could boost agriculture businesses
Too much of a good thing? There are hundreds of potentially helpful mobile apps farmers could use, with more being added all the time. Here are some of the newer agriculture apps that hope to earn a roster spot on your smartphone or tablet computer.
1. NCGA Action – this app places advocacy powers in the palm of your hand. The National Corn Growers Association created it as a means to notify farmers about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that could affect their operations, and gives them a means to get involved and make their own voices heard.
“Digital tools like this are being used more and more by farmers and others, and are critical when we need to make our voices heard on important matters quickly,” says NCGA president Chip Bowling. “As a farmer, I know how important saving time is – especially during planting and harvest – and being able to take action anywhere and anytime, within minutes, can help us protect our freedom to operate and defend and expand important markets for our corn.”
2. Seed Finder – this app is included in Farmer Business Network membership ($500) and allows users real-world yield results on more than 550 seeds and 56 brands. FBN has aggregated and standardized millions of acres of production data from its member farmers. Users can search yield performances and impacts based on various criteria, including by seeding rate, cumulative precipitation, rotation, planting speed, soil type and planting temperatures. This allows farmers to match top-performing seeds to each of their fields.
3. KSUSoyYieldCalc – this Android application can help estimate yields of soybeans prior to harvest. Users need to input four pieces of data – plant population, pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed size. The result is a quick, relatively easy yield estimate.
4. MachineryGuide – this app lets farmers turn their Android devices into a simple GPS precision guidance application. (Note – requires purchase of software and a small GNSS antenna.) The app’s creators say it is ideal for smaller or medium-size farms that don’t care to invest money in more expensive guidance systems, and say the app could save farmers up to 10% in reduced input costs.
5. NeoMyco Reports – this app from Neogen lets users access the company’s latest mycotoxin reports in the U.S. and Canada. They can also submit their own mycotoxin reports, catch up on Neogen’s blog (sample headlines – “Study of U.S. farm data shows loss of crop diversity” and “Food fraud cases growing; becoming more serious”), and quickly link to the company’s mycotoxin tests and information. Click here to find the app on iTunes or the Google Play store.
6. Farm at Hand – this is a cloud-based app intended to help farmers manage their operation “from seed to sale.” Users can track and schedule field activities. They can also trace every bushel from bin to buyer. And they can keep up with their equipment fleet by entering machinery details and creating maintenance logs. A calendar function allows cross-team collaboration. Users can share this data with vendors as needed, at their discretion. Farm at Hand is available for both Android and Apple devices.
7. My Farm Radio – last fall, Farm Journal Media launched My Farm Radio, giving users access to best-in-class news, weather and markets, and features both live streaming and on-demand content. “There is a 24-7 stream, which functions just like a 24-7 news talk station, it’s a constant stream of farm news, information, and analysis,” says Mark DePrez, vice president and general manager of My Farm Radio.
Content includes Farm Journal programs, like AgDay, U.S. Farm Report, Machinery Pete TV, AgriTalk and Market Rally radio. The list also includes outside contributors, such as USDA, Top Third Ag Marketing, Agri-Pulse and Real Agriculture out of Canada.
In a major September 2015 update, DePrez says the app added a farmer-curated country radio station called “The Farm.” The playlist is a blend of current hits, along with country classics from 1990 to 2005.