Keep the apps you like and discard the rest
Dozens of mobile apps are available to help you run a more efficient, knowledgeable, productive farming operation. But Australian farmer Richard Heath shares an all-too-familiar experience—finding farming apps can be half the challenge.
As an example, Heath searched for "farm management" apps in both Google Play (Android) and App Store (iPhone), then shared the top results.
"We have 10 games, one farm simulator, a marijuana growing app and what I would consider to be one solitary proper farm management app," he says.
Heath channeled his frustrations into a website, www.farmingwithapps.com. Farmers who want to boost their smartphone’s productivity can also visit the App Store at www.agweb.com. In the meantime, here are 10 apps to try. They are free unless otherwise noted.
1 Machinery Sizing. Developed by Kansas State University, this app allows farmers to quickly estimate the tractor horsepower that they will need to pull various implements. Certain parameters such as ground and soil conditions, tractor type, pulling speed, working depth and size of the implement are needed to determine the tractor’s drawbar and PTO horsepower requirements.
2 RealCalc. Calculate fractions, percentages, unit conversions and much more with this app. It’s a must-have digital multi-tool for the shop.
3 YieldCheck. This Precision Planting app is a simple way to calculate and store corn yield estimates and organize them by field. Enter kernel counts for three ears of corn, and the app calculates a bushel yield estimate.
4 Fertilizer Removal by Crop. Select crop and yield goals in this app from Ag PhD to get a rundown of nutrients the crop needs. Save results on the app or e-mail them to yourself or your agronomist.
5 30/30. Struggling with time management? Increase productivity instantly. The 30/30 app lets you set up a to-do list and assign a length of time for each item. Start the timer, and the app will alert you when it’s time to move on to the next item on the list.
6 Grain Bin Contents Calculator. Select the grain bin’s diameter and height to determine bin capacity. Then, use average distance from the top of the bin to the top of the grain to estimate volume. Add in the test weight of the grain to estimate tonnage. (Price: $5.99 for iPhone; $4.99 for Android)
7 AgDNA. This app offers a broad range of functionality, such as tracking a multitude of in-field activities and in-season progress. It has record-keeping and data-sharing capabilities as well. Users can import additional layers of information such as soil profiles, irrigation and fertilizer applications.
8 Accuweather. With dozens of weather apps, choose one with high ratings. This one provides short- and long-term weather forecasts, plus notifications when the weather’s about to get bad in a specified area.
9 Climate Basic. This app from The Climate Corporation allows you to view weather, soil and crop data for each of your fields. Review online tracking and scouting tools to enable better production
decisions. Sample the basic version for free, or upgrade to Climate Pro for a per-acre subscription cost.
10 University Extension apps. Check with your state’s land-grant university for details. Many of them have excellent mobile resources such as production guides, pest identification and more. Two notable examples include the University of Missouri’s ID Weeds app and the University of Wisconsin’s IPM Toolkit app.
You can e-mail Ben Potter at email@example.com.
Coming later this year, AgWeb will launch an innovative app reviewer. For more information, visit