Western View: Your Phone is Your Partner

Taylor Hillman General, Western View

technologyLen Wilcox explores some of the new apps available for growers today.

It’s a new year, and I’m turning over a new leaf. I’ve decided to stop acting like the only thing my cell phone can do is make calls, check the weather and play games. Some people use it as a legitimate tool. I’ve discovered there’s a whole slew of applications that will help farmers by making their jobs easier or more efficient. It’s time to look these over.

Yes, I’ve known for a long time that my phone will entertain me – while sitting around waiting at the doctor’s office I can play blackjack or solitaire to my heart’s content. My grandsons do something called mine craft; I tried, but it was beyond me. But I hadn’t realized how many apps there are for serious work.

Here’s one: Yara International, the fertilizer company, has created CheckIT, which is a tool growers can use to spot plant health problems. The app will help identify nutrient deficiencies and suggest solutions.

Mix Tank allows applicators to quickly create, save and share spray logs with GPS location information and integrated weather data.

Farmlogs is a complete farm management system which can be used from your phone, tablet or computer. It’s cloud based, which means all of the data is stored on their computers and you’re working on the same file no matter which device you’re using. Field activities such as planting, fertilizing and harvesting can be quickly logged and tracked right from your phone and checked later on your computer. It’s a system that would bring any user fully into the 21st century.

Another useful tool is TractorPal. This App keeps track of all of your equipment, your maintenance records, even serial IDs and parts numbers. And if you need to replace some of that equipment, Agsource magazine is available, using your browser. Or, if you want to hear more ag news, point that browser to AgNetWest.com and download the Farm City Newsday podcast.
It’s going to be a busy year, checking all these things out.

I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the western view from AgNet West.

Theres an App for that