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

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
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
Trending Articles
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Wilco
CropLife 100Valley Agronomics, Wilco-Winfield To Form New Agronomy Joint Venture
November 11, 2016
Valley Agronomics LLC, headquartered in Rupert, ID, is a joint venture between Valley Wide Cooperative and Winfield Solutions, LLC. Wilco-Winfield, Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute Issues Statement On The U.S. Elections
November 10, 2016
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn has issued the following statement on the results of the 2016 elections: “TFI Read More
Latest News
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research has announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
ManagementAg Industry Comes Together To Address Climate Change
December 1, 2016
Addressing climate change — and more specifically, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture — can only be achieved through collective Read More
Young soybean field
HerbicidesLiquid Formulation Valor EZ Herbicide Available For 201…
December 1, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has released Valor EZ; a liquid formulation of the company’s leading herbicide, Valor. Named Valor EZ Herbicide Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
ManagementThe Value Of Cooperatives In Modern Agriculture
December 1, 2016
Editor’s Note: Jaxon Mullinnix of  Lone Tree, IA, was recently named the Iowa state winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay Read More
AGCO Operator of the Year Tony Kornder
SprayersAGCO Names Tony Kornder Operator Of The Year
December 1, 2016
AGCO Corp. names Tony Kornder with Genesis Growing Solutions in Le Sueur, MN, the 11th annual Operator of the Year. Read More
Chris Henney OABA
ManagementOABA Industry Conference To Provide Outlook For Future …
November 29, 2016
The upcoming Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is packed with widely-respected speakers and industry professionals, sharing their expertise on a Read More
Corn
InsecticidesMajor Review Finds Neonic Poses Low Risk To Aquatic Inv…
November 28, 2016
A major new ecotoxicological review and risk assessment has been published in the peer-reviewed literature and concluded that registered crop Read More
EquipmentGSI Details New Grain Drying Efficiency System for Coop…
November 28, 2016
Grain elevators and ag co-ops are always looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency to help improve profitability. For Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
AGCO AgControl system
Precision AgPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
November 28, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
ARA
Eric SfiligojTaking The Industry’s Pulse At ARA
November 28, 2016
When most of you read this particular column, many of the industry’s key folks will probably be spending at least Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls …
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
FertilizerNutrient Management, Conservation Among Topics Covered …
November 23, 2016
Certified crop advisers, consultants, farmers, agribusiness professionals and students will learn more about nutrient management, soil and water conservation, pest Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsa…
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
Arysta LifeScience
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Forms Alliance With Beem Biologics
November 21, 2016
As part of its recently announced strategy to become a leader in high-value, high-growth specialty market segments in the crop Read More
DuPont sign
Crop InputsDuPont To End Pension Contribution For Active Employees
November 18, 2016
DuPont will no longer contribute to active employees’ pension plans, a move that will affect the retirement of 13,000 workers, Read More