Row-crop farmers don’t get to have all the fun when it comes to agriculture and farming apps. Livestock producers have plenty of options, too.
Here are a few livestock-focused mobile apps that have been reviewed on the AgWeb App Finder. For dozens of additional farming app reviews, ratings and links to download, visit www.AgWebAppFinder.com.
1. Zinpro Step-Up – this is a resource developed by Zinpro Corporation, the Beef Cattle Institute and Kansas State University to help producers identify, diagnose and treat lameness. Educational materials include locomotion scoring videos, a diagnostic guide, a nutrition overview and additional training materials.
“I think that over the next five years, we will see a decrease in lameness because of the Step-Up program,” says Dan Thomson, D.V.M. and director of the Beef Cattle Institute. “That’s better for the animals and comes back as money in the pocketbook of ranchers and farmers.”
The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
2. farmGRAZE – this app prompts users to measure the forage available in their fields. The app estimates grazing needs for sheep, beef cattle and dairy cattle. To make these estimates, users record sward height or kgDM/ha for 30 observations. Then, after answering a few other questions, the app produces recommendations for whether the forage present in a pasture will support livestock production, and it provides tips for boosting animal performance.
In the full version, available for $9.26, users may generate reports, save their measurements and access more forage management tips. The basic version is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
3. CattleFax - this aggregates a variety of information for cattle industry stakeholders. The app categorizes news stories, and it aggregates USDA Market News reports. The dashboard component displays multiple graphs relevant to livestock production. Other features include weather reports; operational performance and break-even calculators; futures prices; and inventory, fed sales and historical basis data.
Some users complained of frequent freezes and crashes. User ratings were otherwise high. Available for free only on Android devices.
4. Calf Book – this app allows farmers to track calving data, calf weaning and yearling performance. They can create reports with the data they collect. The data is stored on your mobile device, removing the need for a constant internet connection. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
5. MSUES Cattle Calculator – the free app from Mississippi State University had been available on Apple devices since 2013 but is newly available on Android devices for 2016. It calculates various factors that have an impact on livestock management decisions.
“We wanted to provide an app that would be easy to use and would allow producers to quickly assess issues related to reproduction, animal performance and other management decisions,” according to Brandi Karisch, Extension beef specialist and an assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences at MSU.
Here is the direct link to download on Apple and Android devices.
6. All About Beef – with beef production education, the “steaks are high,” and this app funded by the Beef Checkoff Program gives students in grades 3 to 5 a chance to learn more about livestock nutrition and environmental facts, and cook up some kid-friendly recipes. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
7. Beef News and Markets – powered by Drovers, stay current on beef news and market information, dig into expert commentary, receive custom weather alerts and more. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
8. Angus Mobile – created by the American Angus Association, this app lets producers access their AAA herd data and keep updated records. Users can also search for any registered Angus animal or Angus member, see results of past Angus sales, review upcoming Angus sales and more. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
9. Feed Cost Calculator – from South Dakota State University, this app helps producers compare feedstuffs based on relative cost per pound of protein and energy delivered. “It’s saved me a lot of money and helped me make the best decisions possible,” remarks one iTunes reviewer. Find the app free on Apple or Android devices.
Have a go-to app not listed here. Let us know your other favorites in the comments below. For nearly 100 farming and ranching app reviews, go to www.AgWebAppFinder.com.