Web-Enabled Phones: Get Smart

They may seem like toys to some, but more and more ag retailers are finding professional value from using smartphones. According to a recent Internet Use survey conducted by the CropLife Media Group (CLMG), 47% of ag dealers use a smartphone, or Web-enabled mobile device, for business-related purposes.

Plenty Of Uses

Here are 10 ways smartphones are being put to use:

1. Track weather. More than 40% of the respondents in our survey said they use their smartphones for weather reports. Access to real-time weather information like wind speed, soil moisture, temperature, and barometric pressure is a must for any agriculture professional, especially in the field. Users can check the latest local radar and satellite weather images to help them make better, more-informed decisions about daily activities (e.g., spray vs. don’t spray).

2. Check crop prices. Need current corn prices? Better cash grain market intelligence? Smartphone technology allows users to view this information in real time. For instance, log into mobile.FarmFutures.com from your smartphone to get market prices from quote screens you can customize and read commentary from market analysts.

3. Applications. Is there an app for that? The answer is increasingly becoming “yes.” With smartphone adoption on a steady rise, the number of applications available to users has skyrocketed. Crop fields can be viewed via these GPS-enabled mobile units. RTK correction can be made in an instant. Tank mixes can be calculated quickly. The possibilities are endless.

4. Communication. Text messages and e-mail can both be handled seamlessly with smartphones. Stay connected with your e-mail account (nearly 60% of survey respondents do), which in turn keeps you connected with the office — a must when your job has you in the field more often than behind a desk. Being able to view and reply to e-mail from virtually anywhere can be a huge advantage for time-strapped retailers during those critical farming periods when 12-hour-plus days are the norm. Of course, a smartphone can still function as a phone.

5. Information. According to CLMG’s Internet Use survey, 31% of respondents said they use their smartphone to view ag-related e-newsletters. And why not? A smartphone, with its full, crystal-clear display, has a distinct advantage over a small-screen flip phone when viewing the latest news and information (think CropLife eNews and CropLife.com).

6. Data collection. Smartphones give you the ability to collect data at any time, any place, and do real-time editing of that data. Scouts who are working additional acres have to be more efficient when collecting field samples. Imagine being in a field with an iPhone, making a voice recording of field notes, and then tagging it with the GPS location.

7. Computer synchronization. Smartphones can be synched with PCs or laptops, enabling users to wirelessly access information from their office computer via their compatible smartphone. Need to make a change to your calendar from the field? A smartphone allows you to do it while synchronizing changes instantly with your calendar.

8. Touchscreen display. Smartphones feature big screen displays with touchscreen capability. These high-resolution screens offer a graphic interface for easy navigation. The big screen also makes viewing sharper photos and/or videos, which leads us to the next smartphone use.

9. Camera and video. Most smartphones come with a still camera and a video recorder. For many, this eliminates the need to buy a separate digital camera or camcorder and really makes the smartphone an all-in-one gadget. The added detail from the big-screen display enables users to more easily identify pest problems and make real-time diagnoses.

10. Social media. According to ComScore, more than 25 million Facebook users accessed the site via a mobile browser in January 2010. Twitter attracted 4.7 million mobile users. The influence of smartphones as an access point to the Web, and in particular social media sites, is growing in the U.S. as more people buy the devices.

In agriculture, it’s a convenient way for professionals to network with their colleagues and industry experts from remote locations.

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories

Farmers on Tablet
Matt Hopkins6 Mobile App Trends Worth Watching In Agriculture
May 9, 2016
The agricultural industry is being transformed by the use of data. It is everywhere, and over the next several years, Read More
Social media
Matt Hopkins7 Social Media Trends Shaping Ag Retail In 2016
April 22, 2016
After writing my last column on why social media is a must for ag retailers, I heard from several readers Read More
Farmer on social media
Matt Hopkins6 Compelling Reasons Why Social Media Is A Must For Ag Retailers
March 17, 2016
The evolution and growth of social media use among ag retailers since 2010 has been nothing less than astonishing. In Read More
Wheat Growers
Matt Hopkins16 Most Diversified Ag Retailers In 2016
January 8, 2016
Diversification. It’s the battle cry for financial planners everywhere. Many will preach that spreading your investments across market sectors, industries, and Read More
Trending Articles
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Latest News
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More
Tissue testing
FertilizerMosaic: 6 Tips For Better Crop Nutrition In Corn
August 16, 2016
Late in the crop season is a good time to assess visual nutrient deficiencies and ensure early- and mid-season deficiencies Read More
WebinarsWebinar Schedule
August 14, 2016
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDowDuPont Update: EU Takes Closer Look at Merger
August 12, 2016
Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. face months of haggling with European Union antitrust regulators who opened an in-depth probe Read More
ManagementNews from InfoAg 2016 and Weed Wands
August 11, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review what happened at last week’s big Precision Ag event and a possible solution Read More
Crop InputsFBN: We’re ‘Here To Stay’
August 11, 2016
PERSPECTIVE — If you’ve been following this site for a while you might remember a certain editorial we published on Read More
Diversified Agri-Services
StewardshipDiversified Agri-Services Certified In 4R Nutrient Stew…
August 11, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Diversified Agri-Services Inc. in McCutchenville, OH, has been added to its growing Read More
Soil
FertilizerSoil Health Experts Gain Ground On Standardized Measure…
August 11, 2016
Soil health experts from across North America plan to integrate more research projects to provide agricultural producers and policy makers Read More
Regulator 3.0 Concentrate
AdjuvantsNew Max Systems Product Aids Irrigation
August 11, 2016
A gentle rainfall is nearly always welcomed by crop producers, including those who rely on irrigation to produce a profitable Read More