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Gadgets and Gizmos

Gil Gullickson 07/22/2011 @ 3:14pm Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

Here are some cool precision agriculture tools and other techy gizmos that Phil Rasmussen, director of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Center in Logan, Utah discussed during the InfoAg 2011 Conference earlier this month in Springfield, Illinois.

* Ever try writing down field observations on soggy, coffee- or water-stained paper because it was the only thing in your pickup’s glove box? Rite in the Rain has a kit featuring all-weather writing paper and an all-weather pen to ease this frustration. For more information, go to www.riteintherain.com

* Ever been doing fieldwork and the battery in your cell phone, iPad, or laptop computer dies? “Battery power is a major limitation,” says Rasmussen. This can be eased by using non-rechargeable lithium batteries.Batteries are good, but non-rechargeable lithium matrix batteries are great,” says Rasmussen.

They are lighter, have 8 times the hour capacity of alkaline batteries, and have a shelf life of 20 years compared to four years for alkaline batteries, he adds.

* Looking for a rugged mobile computer that stands up to the toughest conditions?

“Consider the Juniper systems,” says Rasmussen. “They are expensive, but tough. They are absolutely the toughest computers for field use.”

The company bills its TK 6000 as the world’s most rugged handheld computer. (For a video demonstration, go to http://www.junipersys.com/Juniper-Systems/solutions/Agriculture/Crop-Management and hit the video under the TK 6000 portion on the right side of your screen. 

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