Must-have smartphone apps for farmers, part I

There are an estimated 4.55 billion smartphone users in the world and that includes many farmers. Smartphone technology is a big support to the farming industry and app developers are recognizing opportunities to help advance agriculture through technology. In this two-part series, we look at smartphone apps and how they are changing the way America farms.

#1) Weather Underground.  There is no shortage of weather apps, but Weather Underground gives all of them a run for their money. It provides valuable information about temperature, visibility, and humidity along with forecasts down to the hour.

#2) Virtual Farm Manager.  This subscription-based service helps the farmer store, view, and log information about their fields. What’s most important about this app is that it was developed by farmers Jacob Fannik of Max, N.D., and Ryan Raguse of Wheaton, Minn.

#3) Livestock Manager.  Several mobile apps are targeted to livestock producers. The Livestock Manager app allows users to track various information about their animals, including parentage, transport information, medicine administration and more.

#4) USDA News Reader.  Staying on top of what’s important in the farming industry is easy with apps that help collect news information. The USDA News Reader allows users to create their own news feeds, learn about recovery plans and programs, and easily navigate the massive USDA website in an easy-to-use mobile environment.


column by MARK MARTIN

BIO: Michael Martin of Martin Law Office in Lakeland specializes in agriculture and environmental legal representation. A native of Polk County, Mike attended college at Sewanee in Tennessee, before obtaining a doctorate in law from the University of Florida and has tried numerous cases nationwide since that time. Mike also serves as the director of the FFA Foundation and is the author of the novel, The Crestfallen Rose.