Farmers' favorite phone apps
Farmers carry more tools in their pockets than ever before. These aren’t items that belong in a toolbox. They’re apps on phones and tablets. XtremeAg farmers Kelly Garrett, Matt Miles, and Kevin Matthews each have several favorites they use regularly.
In North Carolina, Kevin Matthews starts his mornings by opening the Bible app on his iPhone or iPad to read the verse of the day. Bible is a free app in the App Store.
MyRadar helps Matthews keep tabs on weather that may impact his plans or crops for the day. MyRadar Weather Radar is a free app that offers premium features for a cost in the App Store.
Matthews also uses MyMeasure often, and says it’s very accurate. It’s $2.99 in the App Store.
The cameras Matthews has installed around his operation can be controlled by an app on his phone, too. “It’s really nice to be able to pop that up on your phone and see what’s going on. A lot of my guys have the cameras on their phones also, so they can see what’s going on, see if a load of fertilizer is there. It’s something that saves you a lot of time during planting season when you’re really busy or during hauling time if you’re wondering if that load of grain has been unloaded: Just hit that app on your phone and look,” he says.
Like many farmers, Kelly Garrett of Iowa checks the CME app often for markets information. The CME Group Mobile app is free in the App Store.
Google Maps comes in handy when he needs to send precise locations to truck drivers and delivery people. Google Maps is also free in the App Store.
Because of his plant food business, Garrett uses the premium version of onX Hunt for $30 per year. “It’s obviously for hunters, but the reason we use it is that it lists every landowner. When we’re spraying plant food, things like that, it’s very easy to look at the field, and outline the field. We’re all on the same account on our phones, so it’s easy to get everybody in the right place using that and Google maps to ensure accuracy of our applications,” he explains.
Matt Miles farms in Arkansas. He’s got several favorite weather apps he turns to when he needs to know the forecast, and a few others to keep an eye on agricultural markets.
Planimeter is another one of Miles’ most used apps. “In the app, I can actually go to my individual field on the farm at any time and measure acreages. It’s helpful if I’m trying to calibrate a sprayer or fertilizer rig, or even at harvest, I get a rough idea on yield,” he explains. It is $7.99 in the App Store.
Miles admits he used to make fun of his kids for being on Facebook, but now he considers it one of his favorite apps. “The reason is there are so many agriculture sites that you can go to on Facebook that have information and things that we need to know. It’s gotten to the point you can buy equipment on there, and be at auctions on there. I guess my kids will end up getting the last laugh on that one,” he smiles. Facebook is free in the App Store.