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Local Editorials

Agricultural ‘apps’ save money, resources

With technology providing more and more information, it is hard to imagine a world without the Internet.

Agriculture has been impacted by the Digital Age just as much as any other sector. Farmers can now receive up-to-date information through their phones, and several apps can make farming a little easier.

Each app has its own unique features, which all benefit their target audience — farmers.

Soybean ScoutPro — the soybean now has more uses than ever. With biodiesel fuel becoming more in demand, the price of soybeans has skyrocketed. To help farmers better understand how to protect their soybean crop, the Scoutpro team uploads up-to-date information about identifying weeds, insects, diseases and disorders of the crop. It also features grower reports.

The app takes farming a step farther by allowing farmers to generate field specific scouting reports, which include: staging of pests, plant population, stand count, pest pressure and weather.

It also features a GPS coordination feature allowing for increased accuracy in reports. The GPS function tracks the identified pest.

The reports can be saved on the ScoutPro company website, and they can be emailed to be archived. They also have a similar app for corn.

Farm Futures — it allows users to receive information on market trading. The app also shows overnight trading stats. While it’s unlikely too many farmers will be checking futures prices at 2 a.m., having the option of checking on crop prices before bedtime can be a nice feature.

In addition, the app allows users to receive market insight from agriculture’s leading market analysts.

JDLink — the John Deere Company’s app gives users the ability to receive machine alerts right after they appear. This is perhaps one of the best ways to manage farm equipment.

Users also may check engine hours, ping machines and even get directions to their machines. If frequent alerts become an issue, users have the ability to filter them.

YieldCheck — this app allows farmers to have a simple way to calculate and store corn yield estimates. One of the most interesting features of the app is integrated satellite imagery, which provides an entirely new view on farming.

Users can also see how much a difference one additional acre per year can generate.

TeeJet Technologies SpraySelect — this app allows for users to easily choose the proper tip for fertilizer spraying. Selecting the right nozzle is very easy. All that is required is for the user to select the speed, spacing and target rate. A drop size category will show a list of tips that will work.

All drop size information is based on the water spraying at a temperature of 70 F.

Farm Manager — this app provides farmers with the ability to record not only crop data, but livestock as well. For crops, it allows users to record the full crop history. This includes chemical and fertilizer use, including type, rate and data.

For livestock, users will have the ability to access full details of the stock history including: ear tag numbers, bloodlines, year born and breed. The app also covers machinery maintenance and shearing and crutching dates.

And although much of the work of farming today is still being done “the old-fashioned way,” the future of farming may become easier in the years to come with advancing technology.

Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at via email.

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