Thursday, March 07, 2013

Farmers reaping rewards with online technology

Being tech-savvy is making farming a more efficient and profitable business, reports Chris Doering of the Gannett Co. Washington Bureau.

He cites a report from Float Mobile Learning, a consulting firm that develops mobile strategies and apps for major agricultural organizations and Fortune 500 companies, that last year nearly half of American farmers were using a smartphone.

In addition to surfing the Web to conduct basic searches, such as looking at commodity prices, the Internet has been flooded with new applications to benefit farmers, Doering writes. One program allows farmers to use an iPad to turn on fans from a remote location. Another helps determine how much fertilizer or pesticide should be applied at a specific point in a larger field, preventing farmers from using too little of the application or adding too much and wasting money. (Read more)

Farmer Apps, a Lubbock, Tex., company, was created by a grain merchandiser, who said he felt farmers needed handheld tools to help them make informed decisions when not in the office. The company offers six apps, including a cotton yield calculator, freight estimator, grain bin estimator, live to cut meat estimator, manure pit calculator and a silage comparison tool, it says on its site.

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