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

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
Matt Hopkins15 Best New Agriculture Apps Worth Downloading In 2014
December 16, 2013
These latest agriculture apps are sure to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2014 and beyond. Read More

Trending Articles

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipProgram To Examine Ag-Related Practices, Policies To Pr…
September 22, 2014
A panel discussion on October 14 will include a significant discussion on key issues and solutions related to all aspects of harmful algal blooms. Read More
Eric SfiligojIt’s Product Of The Year Voting Season
September 22, 2014
Readers of CropLife IRON will choose 2014’s best new product over the next month. Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesValent To Discontinue Gangster Herbicide
September 22, 2014
Valent will discontinue Gangster Herbicide after the 2015 growing season as growers can now deploy Fierce XLT herbicide in soybeans. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More