Make your job easier with these useful mobile tools
Consider these 10 mobile apps as a foundation for using your smartphone as a tool to make you more efficient, productive and profitable. They are all free and can be found at the Apple and Android app stores.
1. Commodity Prices. Track corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, lean hogs, live cattle, feeder cattle and more. The app has a clean interface and is simple to operate. As one Android Market reviewer commented, it is "dead-on right all day, every day."
2. Cash Grain Bids. Simply input your ZIP code to find out cash bids and base levels in your area. Get bids from the five elevators closest to you.
3. Weather Underground. There are many weather apps, and this one holds up as well as any of them. Lots of information is available, including temperature, visibility and humidity. View hourly and seven-day forecasts, too.
4. USDA News Reader. Create your own news feeds, learn about recovery plans and programs, and easily navigate the massive USDA website in a mobile-friendly environment.
5. Virtual Farm Manager. This subscription-based service helps you store, view and log information about your fields. There are many other management apps; this one is notable because it was developed by farmers Jacob Fannik of Max, N.D., and Ryan Raguse of Wheaton, Minn.
6. SoilWeb. USDA–National Resources Conservation Service soil survey information at the touch of a button. The app works with your phone’s GPS receiver to identify soil properties anywhere in the lower 48 states where there is cell phone coverage.
7. MyTraps. This subscription-based service allows farmers and consultants to place insect traps wherever they want and then track the movement of insect pests across their fields throughout the season. This provides data that helps users to more accurately target their insecticide applications to areas where there are concentrated populations.
8. Livestock Manager. A lot of mobile apps are targeted to livestock producers. This particular one allows users to track various information about their animals, including parentage, transport information, medicine administration and more.
9. Agrian Mobile. View product labels and material safety data sheets for more than 8,000 crop protection products. Browse usage rates, preharvest and re-entry intervals, worker safety information and more.
10. Mix Tank 2.0. Calculate the proper mixing order of tank mix. After determining the tank-mix parameters, you can create field notes on volume per acre, nozzle type, etc., for better record keeping.