Precision Agriculture: 6 Mobile Use Trends To Watch

Perhaps no segment of farming is benefitting more from the ubiquitous power of mobile technology than precision agriculture. Just think about it — complete mobility to be able to monitor, store and share information at anytime, anywhere in the world via a smartphone or tablet has taken precision agriculture to another level.

In fact, the mobile device was ranked the No. 1 technology to watch in the Fall 2013 PrecisionAg Special Report (PASR), ahead of other top trends like variable-rate seeding and unmanned aerial systems. “I do feel smart devices will continue to be adapted by agriculture,” said Tim Norris, manager of Ag Info Tech, in the PASR article. “It’s technology that people seem to have already, so telemetry and data transfer with those devices makes sense to me.”

The evolution of mobile technology in precision agriculture should only continue upward over the next several years, too. Consider the next generation of farmers has grown up with this technology and feels completely comfortable using it. Their familiarity with iPhones and iPads should make it seamless for them to integrate mobile technology into their farming strategy.

But exactly how are today’s growers and retailers using mobile technology in precision agriculture? We set out to answer this question in our 2013 Precision Ag Mobile Internet Usage Survey. Nearly 200 respondents were comprised mostly of growers (35%), retail agronomists/consultants (25%) and manufacturers (17%), and about 90% said they were “very involved” to “always involved” with their organization’s precision ag activities. These highly engaged participants certainly helped in the credibility of the study’s results. Thus, here are six mobile use trends to watch for in precision ag in 2014 and beyond:

1. iOS dominates mobile devices. As of October 2013, Apple has sold more than 170 million iPads since its release in April 2010, according to AppleInsider.com. So not surprisingly, iPads (63%) were the most commonly used mobile device among precision ag practitioners. It was followed closely by the iPhone (54%) and Android smartphone (36%). Other mobile devices being used in precision ag to a lesser degree are the Android tablet (10%), Windows tablet (8%) and Windows smartphone (6%).

2. Internet quality and availability improving. It wasn’t too long ago that Internet service in rural areas was a crapshoot. While you may have had good access, your neighbor may have been out of luck. But with vast improvements in connectivity — particularly with wireless broadband and cloud computing — Internet quality and availability is better than ever. Consider 83% of respondents rated the availability of high-speed Internet access in their area as “good” to “very good,” while 76% rated the quality of high-speed Internet as “good” to “very good.”

3. Mobile slowly phasing out desktop computing. Are mobile devices making desktop computers obsolete? Perhaps they are in some industries, but not quite yet in precision agriculture. In fact, slightly more than half of respondents (52%) said they use their mobile device(s) “about the same as” or “more than” their laptop/desktop computer for precision ag work. Meanwhile, 48% use their smartphones and tablets less than their personal computers for precision ag-related jobs.

4. Mobile devices increase … mobility. Without question, the ability to work anywhere is one of the biggest advantages of mobile technology. When asked what locations they are using their mobile devices for precision ag-related work, most respondents said “in the field” (83%) and “in the cab” (62%). Interestingly, respondents are using them slightly more “at home” (51%) than they are “in the office” (49%).

5. Data collection No. 1 task performed. As the industry continues to emphasize the need to provide better data to growers to help them make better farming decisions, mobile technology will help immensely in this regard. So when asked how they use their mobile device(s) for precision ag purposes, it was not surprising that data collection was the most common answer to this open-ended question. Also mentioned several times by respondents was mapping, scouting and soil sampling/testing.

6. Mobile app is a key component. One of the main tools that enable a wide variety of precision ag work to be conducted on a mobile device is the app. And precision ag specialists are using lots of them. Connected Farm (Trimble) was the most used precision ag-related mobile app (31%), according to respondents. It was followed by John Deere’s JD Link (28%), Precision Planting’s FieldView (24%) and John Deere’s Mobile Farm Manager (16%). In addition, the overall attitude toward these apps is positive. More than 70% said they “agree” to “strongly agree” that most precision ag apps improve the quality of work they do.

2013 Precision Ag Mobile Internet Usage Survey Executive Summary

You can download an Executive Summary of the 2013 Precision Ag Mobile Internet Usage Survey by completing the form below:
Topics:

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories

Matt Hopkins5 Misguided Reasons Why Ag Retailers Are Not Using Social Media
June 2, 2014
These most commonly cited reasons for not embracing social media need to be re-examined. Read More
Matt HopkinsHow iPads Are Transforming Customer Service At Dow AgroSciences
March 12, 2014
Dow AgroSciences' Tiffany Galloway discusses how iPads and mobile apps have completely changed the way the company's sales force interacts with customers. Read More
Matt HopkinsPrecision Agriculture: 6 Mobile Use Trends To Watch
March 3, 2014
The convergence of precision agriculture and mobile technology is highlighted by several key trends. Read More

Trending Articles

CropLife 100Agrium To Cut 500 Jobs, Sell Some Businesses
November 11, 2014
Among the businesses Agrium will try to sell are its micronutrients and European UAN (urea-ammonium nitrate) lines. Read More
HerbicidesMonsanto, Sumitomo Chemical And Valent Extend Crop Protection Collaboration
November 10, 2014
The agreement extends their strategic partnership in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform for soybeans and cotton in the U.S. Read More
FertilizerCorn Rootworm Hybrids And Potassium Uptake
November 4, 2014
To achieve successful yields, grower-customers can’t afford to cut back on their potassium use with corn rootworm hybrids, say experts. Read More
StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More

Latest News

EquipmentAGCO Announces Operator Of The Year Finalists
November 20, 2014
Four custom applicators have been selected by AGCO Application Equipment as finalists for 2014 Operator of the Year, an honor that recognizes them as being among the top professionals in their industry throughout North America. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 20, 2014
H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
soybean field
FertilizerGeneral Mills Honors United Suppliers For Nitrogen Opti…
November 19, 2014
United Suppliers winning proposal detailed SUSTAIN, a consulting network that provides customized products and services for farmers using a needs-based system approach. Read More
EmployeesOhio AgriBusiness Association Awards $25,000 In Scholar…
November 19, 2014
Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending several state colleges. Read More
ManagementServi-Tech Names New CEO
November 17, 2014
Servi-Tech has named Greg Ruehle its new president and CEO. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Ag Acquires Colorado Aerial Application Outlet
November 17, 2014
Ft. Lupton, CO-based Reck Aviation — a full-service chemical application company providing aerial crop applications of fertilizers and crop protection products — will operate as part of Pinnacle's AgOne Application Services brand. Read More
Eric SfiligojMcDonald’s Message: Biotech Crops Scarier Than Cancer
November 17, 2014
Despite their potential health benefits, one of the world’s largest potato users will pass on a new biotech offering. Read More
MicronutrientsWinField Releases 2014 NutriSolutions Results
November 14, 2014
A number of significant regional and national crop deficiency trends emerged from the 2014 WinField NutriSolutions tissue sampling program. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Opens Chinese Production Lines
November 14, 2014
The occasion was the official launch of the Tiger-Sul sulphur Bentonite production line of two much anticipated fertilizer products in China, T90CR sulphur fertilizer and TZinc micronutrient enhanced sulphur fertilizer. Read More
ManagementOhio Certified Crop Adviser Program Accepting Nominatio…
November 14, 2014
The award recognizes an individual who delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production in Ohio. Read More
HerbicidesSyngenta Announces Acuron Trial Plot Results
November 14, 2014
Acuron was tested at 167 trial locations across 35 states. Trials included 95 Syngenta locations, 54 university locations and 18 distributor locations. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Expands Sales Force
November 13, 2014
The new sales representatives will work with growers, retail partners and distributors to oversee technical training and product education. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Raises $100K For Wounded Warrior Project
November 13, 2014
AGCO Corp. partnered with local AGCO dealers across the U.S. and Canada to raise nearly $100,000 in support of wounded service veterans. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Launch Of Enlist Duo Herbici…
November 12, 2014
It will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 12, 2014
Agricultural firm H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
Blenders13 Fertilizer Blenders For 2015
November 12, 2014
Dealers can find a fertilizer blender to deliver any speed, volume and custom mix they want. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Vice President Receives Honorary FFA Award
November 11, 2014
Jim Loar, vice president of operations of Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division, was awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 2014 National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, KY. Read More
FertilizerBASF Makes Limus Nitrogen Management Available In U.S.
November 11, 2014
Reducing ammonia losses by more than 90%, Limus nitrogen management has demonstrated increased crop yields on average of 6%, according to 2013 replicated research. Read More