Gain agronomic insights on the go with these mobile tools
If information is power, then smartphones might be one of the most powerful devices you can put to work in the field.
Quick and easy access to accurate data gives farmers a real edge, says Ian Grasshoff, a mobile app developer for Smart mAPPS Consulting, especially if they don’t have to return to the farm office to access it.
“The time it takes to get back to the office and desktop computer could affect the time it takes to make a
decision,” he says. “[Numerous apps] have been created with the very idea that they should be used in the field, regardless if an Internet connection is available or not.”
Searching for apps to help you farm smarter? Via the AgWeb App Finder (http://www.AgWebAppFinder.com), you can access reviews of almost 100 apps that could be useful during the growing season. Here is a sampling of the apps you’ll find there:
ID Weeds: From the University of Missouri Extension, ID Weeds has several features producers can use to learn about weed species that might be growing in their fields. The “Identify” feature helps users pinpoint weeds by answering questions about plant type, habitat, leaf arrangement, leaf characteristics and other visual cues.
Aphid Speed Scout: From the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Aphid Speed Scout helps users determine whether aphid exposure justifies treatment or further monitoring. When out in the field, producers can use this app to track aphid infestations then save scouting logs to access later. Photos show infestation stages for a soybean leaf.
Pesticide and Field Records: Available from Iowa State University, the Pesticide and Field Records app allows users to record and maintain pesticide applications, link to fields with satellite mapping and keep other crop production information. A product search provides EPA information.
Corn N Rate Calculator: Corn and fertilizer prices are constantly in flux. How do you know if you’re applying nitrogen at the optimal, most economical rate? This app provides guidelines to help you make smarter fertilizer decisions based on your individual crop scenarios.
AgraScout: As you scout your fields, use AgraScout to “pin” problem areas. Take pictures and write comments on each pin, then send scouting reports to your team. This app includes a database with more than 200 insect, disease and weed species.
Mix Tank: Developed by Precision Laboratories, this app helps producers create tank mixes, build mix sheets, track spraying and learn about products. Users can choose from several input categories, including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, adjuvants and foliar nutrition products.
Sprayer Calibration Calculator: This tool from the University of Illinois is useful on aerial, ground, turf and boomless applications. Determine nozzle flow rate, how to split flow rate among different orifice sizes and required pressure to achieve a specific flow rate. It also has a function to factor in common variables to figure operating speed based on nozzle capacity.
FarmLogs: Features of the FarmLogs app help users pinpoint in-season yield threats, track field activities, plan inputs and access soil maps to know where to apply nutrients. It also tracks crop heat accumulation and field performance to compare to prior years.
eFarmer: Users can create field maps to track progress, identify points of interest and more. Take pictures and make notes while scouting then add them to the map. A “field operation planning” function allows users to save details about each field and monitor a to-do list. This app makes it easy to review and share reports from anywhere and with anyone.
Corn Yield Calculator: Did you forget the formula to figure corn yield? Input row spacing, harvestable ears, kernels per girth and length and estimated kernel size, and the Corn Yield Calculator computes a projection.