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

Linkedin-Groups
Matt Hopkins5 Compelling Reasons To Join The PrecisionAg Professional LinkedIn Group
March 1, 2017
Many ag professionals are actively using sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote their businesses. But perhaps no other Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Twitter
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
ManagementTrip Report, PSM R.I.P, and Ag’s Reaction to Federal Bu…
May 25, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent travels, the end for Process Safety Management (PSM), and how Read More
Corn soil
LegislationARA Member Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee
May 25, 2017
Agricultural retailers stand on the front-lines of the American economy. As trusted advisors to America’s farmers, ag retailers are uniquely Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsFortenza Insecticide Seed Treatment Receives EPA Regist…
May 25, 2017
Fortenza seed treatment insecticide from Syngenta has received registration approval from the U.S. EPA for use on corn and cotton Read More
ManagementFarm Market iD’s Agriculture Database Now Covers More T…
May 25, 2017
Farm Market iD, farmmarketid.com, has announced the release of its 2017 Annual Update of its farm and land database. The Read More
Food IT Fork-to-Farm
Precision AgThe Mixing Bowl Event Connects Technology, Food, and Ag…
May 24, 2017
For the fourth consecutive year, The Mixing Bowl presents FOOD IT, under the theme “Fork to Farm.” Action-oriented entrepreneurs, industry Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Seed/BiotechKansas State University Researchers Find New Pathogens …
May 24, 2017
A single seed seems so simple. Put it in the ground, give it some care, and you’ve soon grown food. Read More
Soybean Field
HerbicidesNew Dicamba Herbicide Premix Coming Soon from Syngenta
May 24, 2017
Syngenta has announced the name of its new herbicide featuring the active ingredients of S-metolachlor and dicamba. Upon registration by Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More