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Managing with mobile
If things have gone well, your crops are stretching high and you're able to sit back and enjoy a brief lull before turning your eyes toward harvest.
While true downtime doesn't seem to stick around for long on the farm – chores, business planning, and more will fill up any lull – your trusted smartphone can make life easier. And m.agriculture.com, the mobile-optimized website operated by Successful Farming magazine, is full of features that can help you better manage your farm business.
Visit the site and you'll see immediately why it's such a valuable tool. You can check the latest weather, markets, and news; connect with other farmers; and stay current on everything related to Successful Farming magazine.
One of the most popular features of the site is the Markets section, where you'll find cash prices, futures, and detailed charts and commentary. You can even monitor current commodity prices right on the home page with a scrolling markets ticker.
The website's unique Ag Apps section offers a series of editor-featured smartphone applications that you download directly to your device. A video section plays closing market commentaries, farm business segments, and more. And the Today section provides timely reminders of topics that can help you manage your farm business on a daily basis.
Michael Lewis, a young farmer from Bayard, Iowa, finds a few facets of the site particularly useful. He says the ease of navigating the day's top stories is especially beneficial.
“It's nice that I don't have to move around the page a bunch to read those things,” he says.
In addition to the daily market commentary videos, Lewis values the optimized discussion groups.
“The Talk section, specifically the Marketing area, is something I look at constantly either on the phone or on my computer,” he says. “The market is pretty shaky right now, so the more information I have, the better!”
“The mobile site is consistent,” says Neil Mylet, a central Indiana farmer and founder of mobile technology company LoadOut Technologies. “The same standards from Agriculture.com and the same quality of stories from Successful Farming magazine are there in the mobile version. It's all just very consistent.” Mylet says he also considers the availability of mobile video quite useful.
One click deeper
m.agriculture.com has been designed to bring the most vital information to the surface of the site, reducing the need for too many clicks. But just one click beyond the main category pages grants you access to rich, detailed information.
“You can check the latest weather, markets, and news; connect with other farmers; and stay current.”
For example, one click deeper in the Markets page gives you updated charts for various futures prices and the latest marketing news from the Dow Jones Newswire. From the Weather page, a simple zip code entry shows current conditions for your area, including radar, temperature, wind speed, a three-day forecast, and more.
To use this tool to its full potential, dig around. You'll discover a wealth of items that can help your operation.