Mobile Apps for agriculture: Introduction
In recent years, several companies and public institutions have developed Apps for mobile devices with the goal of providing a service to agricultural consultants and producers with educational materials and support tools. There is an increasing interest in these “Ag-Apps” and the use of new technologies for increasing the efficiency in communicating and decision-making.
The articles in this issue of the Agronomy eUpdate provide a brief summary of the current status of Ag-Apps.
Note: Most of the Apps presented in this series of articles are free to download. Before paying for any App, please check online reviews or consult with any specialist working with that App in order to understand the benefits in using it and how it can assist you in your daily farming operations. As a general rule, an App needs to be “easy to use” and “intuitive.” Most Apps do not come with a user guide or a manual. Take all these points into consideration before downloading and using Apps.
I group Ag-Apps into the following nine classifications with the goal of dividing Apps by their different uses and purposes:
- ID Apps: For identification purposes (weeds, insects, diseases, and nutrients)
- CALC Apps: For calculating purposes (nutrient removal calculations, tank mixes, volume to spray, etc.)
- ECON Apps: For checking grain prices, market evolutions, fertilizer price trends, news and finances.
- SCOUT Apps: For scouting purposes or for geo-positioning (soil sampling, recording notes, soil types, etc.).
- GUIDE Apps: For diagnosing crop production issues in the field, primarily related to field guides (crop management: insect, disease, weed, and more).
- LIVESTOCK Apps: Apps related to the animal side, nutrition, health, and information on markets.
- MACHINERY Apps: Apps for associated with agricultural equipment preparation, inventory, providing information of the machine.
- GAG Apps: GAG (general Ag-Apps) for general use, weather-related, for meetings, for reading magazines, among several other Apps’ properties.
- NON-AG Apps: For general use from e-readers to calculators, email, calendar, picture editing, and more.
In summary, there are several different Ag-Apps with diverse applications and unique features that can assist key stakeholders in the farming decision making process.
I will continue updating the list as soon as more Ag-Apps are becoming available. Stay tuned for the Ag-Apps coming from our KSUCROPS team and the K-State Department of Agronomy!
Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist