New Tools to Help You Farm Smarter

October 8, 2018 10:48 AM
New Tools to Help You Farm Smarter

As technology advances, farmers have more opportunities to learn about the ins and outs of their fields and operation. Hand-held technology is especially helpful when on the go. Here are four apps or platforms released in recent months that can help you make better decisions.

No More Guessing to ID Weeds, Diseases

BASF has a new app that allows farmers to snap a picture to identify weeds and diseases. BASF acquired the xarvio scouting app from Bayer as a condition of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.

When you take a picture, the system quickly compares it to all the other images in the massive database to find a match. The remote server currently contains more than 150,000 weed and disease images. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms, the system gets smarter with the addition of each new photo.

Even at early stages of infection, the xarvio scouting app can identify the disease. Knowing the importance of proper identification and early detection, particular attention was given to gray leaf spot and Northern corn leaf blight, for example, which can be hard to distinguish at early onset.
The app is free and can be found by searching for xarvio in the App Store or Google Play.

Track Profitability by Field

Each field is a beast all its own, and some fields are just going to be more productive than others. A collaboration between John Deere and Granular allows farmers to track which fields are making money and which fields might need to trim some fat to be profitable.

Available in the John Deere Operations Center, Profit Maps is a free tool that helps farmers view average cost, revenue and profit map layers at sub-field levels. The tool combines machine and production data with business management capability to understand profitability better, explains Harley Janssen, product manager with Granular.

To access Profit Maps, click the Granular Profit Maps icon on the tools menu in the Operations Center. After that, farmers can access the cost,
revenue and profit mapping in the Field Analyzer tool. Learn more at and

Connect with Buyers Anywhere

Indigo Marketplace by Indigo Ag Inc. connects grain buyers to the particular product they’re looking for and helps growers sell their product for a premium. Because it’s digital, both buyers and sellers have access to a larger market.

In addition to providing digital transactions for grain buyers and sellers, Indigo Marketplace facilitates grain quality testing, transportation and payment within the platform. It also supports long-lead bids, future delivery and basis contracts across the 40 states in which the company is a licensed dealer.

Indigo is expanding its product portfolio, which includes growing Marketplace. For more details, visit

Calculate ROI with Current Market Prices

Adding to its FARMserver platform, Beck’s Hybrids now offers a return on investment “ROI” calculator. It allows users to view average profit or loss per acre with market prices automatically updated every 15 minutes.

Users can view ROI two ways: a percent of overall costs or as a cost-per-bushel analysis. Average yield is preloaded into the app, but can be updated with real numbers. In addition, input costs can be updated in real time.

Another layer is available that allows users to evaluate ROI using harvest numbers at the field level. The Profitability Map shows profitable (black) and not profitable (red) areas of a field. For additional information, visit

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Spell Check

Haxtun, CO
10/9/2018 12:35 PM

  With respect to tracking costs/profitability per field, that has been available for a number of years from FBS Systems, Aledo, IL. It integrates with their accounting package seamlessly and can be be very informative. Within the data base, one can also track fertilizer recommendations, rainfall and other bits and pieces of information. It also integrates with other field information gathering devices and that linkage can be confirmed by calling their offices. We have used the program for over 20 years and the information gleaned is interesting and informative.


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