Top 10 Ag Apps to Try
The number of apps available for download continues to grow. Android users can now select from some 2.2 million apps, while Apple’s App Store holds 2 million apps, according to the statistics portal Statista.com.
Agricultural apps make up a relatively thin slice of the overall mix, but still present a huge assortment of options to sort through. One of the most common ways to discover a new app is a word-of-mouth recommendation. Another is to go exploring on your own. Below are ten newer or time-tested apps that can get you started.
All are free and available in Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Some include premium versions or in-app purchases.
Have an app you’d recommend to other farmers? Please send us your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ID Weeds. Find a weed in your field you can’t identify? This app, popular with Midwest farmers, enables you to search weeds with an easy-to-use identification system. You can ID weeds based on a number of features, including their habitat, leaf type, flower color, root system and other characteristics.
- FarmLogs. A free app is available to introduce yourself to the premium farm management and prescription farming capabilities of the company’s software and advisory services. With the mobile app you can quickly map your field boundaries and glean historical and real-time info on each field, including rainfall data, soil maps, yield maps and growth stage estimates, says Shep Whitcomb, FarmLogs product marketing manager. “You can also log and share scouting notes, photos, and activities from the field and remotely monitor plant growth and crop performance,” he says.
- AgMobile. Developed in a collaboration between AgriCharts and Successful Farming, the app offers an array of info, including commodity markets, news and weather. Among its many features are local cash grain quotes and charts, breaking news from Successful Farming, live market commentary and technical analysis. Most recent major update was the addition of info from Grains.com, an AgriCharts marketplace for farmers and grain buyers.
- Cattle Market Mobile. A quick way to view local cattle auction reports organized by state, as well as USDA cattle market info. A “Useful Tools” section includes a calf calculator and a gestation calculator. Updates this year are addition of four new USDA commodity reports.
- SoilWeb. The app uses your phone’s GPS to tell you what soil type you’re standing on and enables you explore deep levels of info from USDA’s soil survey data. The app gives you just about everything you need to know about your farm’s soil, including soil type and taxonomy, land classification, hydraulic and flood ratings, organic matter, and more.
- Tank Mix Calculator. The app generates a tank mix quickly and easily, according to the developers at TapLogic. Enter your acreage, tank size and carrier volume, then select chemicals from a list, or create your own. The app then shows the number of loads needed to spray your field. New additions to the app last year included an updated chemical list, now up to 14,000, as well as formatting and styling changes.
- Wunderground. Not strictly an ag app, but one that should interest farmers who are weather enthusiasts, those who want more detailed weather data on their phones, or who have their own weather stations. The service is distinguished by its network of more than 180,000 personal weather stations (which you can join), providing “hyper-local” forecasts, radar, current conditions and more. New developments are reported frequently on the developers’ page: “We believe in showing you how the sausage is made.”
- Canopeo. Oklahoma State University’s developers tout the app as a “rapid and accurate green canopy cover measurement tool.” It quantifies the percentage of canopy cover of live green vegetation for your crops and pastures, helping you monitor crop progress and make informed management decisions. New features added last fall include an option to upload images when wifi is available, as well as a screen that shows the geographic location of the images in your account.
- Bean Cam. Launched in January 2016, with upgrades since, the Wisconsin Soybean Replant Calculator uses the green light spectrum on your phone camera to estimate soybean stands. “The Bean Cam app has taken a lot of the guess work out of replant decisions, says Kyle Stull, a Wisconsin-based agronomist. “Once calibrated, you get a quick and accurate population along with a yield estimation of the current stand and an estimate of a replanted stand.”
- GPS Area Measure: The app calculates the area on a map, providing accurate area, distance, angle and volume information. To use it with spraying, for example, you can record the area that has been sprayed, allowing you to see exactly what’s been sprayed and what hasn’t, says Blake Bennett, a Texas A&M extension economist to whom the app was recommended at a farmer meeting. “If you quit spraying in the field one day, the app would show you exactly where you left off when returning to the job the next day.”