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

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