These days, it’s becoming more and more common to hear people say, “There’s an app for that” or “Where did you get that app?” At the same time, you may be asking yourself, “What the heck is an app?”
An “app” is shorthand for “application,” which is a program that can be downloaded on a cell phone and performs one or more functions. Some apps are free and some are not.
A good example of an app is the iPest1 application, developed by University of Florida entomologist Rebecca Baldwin of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. It includes photos and text describing 40 common household pests and is one of the first mobile phone apps dealing with pest insects. Since almost everyone carries a cell phone, this app allows a person to identify a pest as soon as it scoots across the floor.
“Proper identification of pests is crucial in effective pest management,” Baldwin says. “I couldn’t find one, so we ended up creating one.”
Although this particular app deals with household pests, apps related to agriculture are starting to become available, too. With that in mind, Cotton Farming decided to poll its readers to gauge the producer’s level of interest in this technology.
Following is a sampling of the comments we received from respondents regarding whether they would consider downloading ag apps on their cell phones and/or what type of app in which they would be interested.
• “I would download an ag app if it has specific information such as real time markets (cotton and/or grain) or insect outbreaks. The app should not have just general articles/stories.”
• “I would be interested in details of pesticide rates and labels.”
• “The download must have value for my operation.”
• “My cell phone is with me 24/7. The more information it will provide me, the better. I am taking this survey on it right now.”
• “My cell phone is a valued tool and always with me.”
• “I can barely see the numbers on the phone much less read text.”
• “I am concerned that adding more apps will slow down the phone. I am able to trade stocks and don’t want to get delayed cotton quotes, weather, email, etc.”
• “I need to upgrade my cell phone to take advantage of the apps available. Once I upgrade, I would be more likely to download these types (ag) apps onto my phone.”
• “I already monitor irrigation and markets from my cell phone. More and faster access to information is always a good thing.”
• “Real time cotton and grain markets would be great.”
• “I am technologically challenged. I just use my cell phone to make and receive calls.”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is addressing what is probably the hottest issue in the industry right now – weed resistance. Please take a moment to participate in this poll and explain in the “Comments” section of the Web Poll why you voted the way you did.
Producers probably will also be interested in what part of the Cotton Belt you are located so that they can weigh whether a particular strategy has the potential to help them in their efforts to combat resistant weeds.
Go to www.cottonfarming.com to cast your vote and share your comments. The results of the January poll, as well as a sampling of the respondents’ remarks, will be reported in the March issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
In November, we asked: How likely would you be to download a cell phone app (application) pertaining to some aspect of your farming operation?
• Very likely -- 50 %
• Somewhat likely -- 25 %
• Not at all likely -- 25 %
January Web Poll Question
In combating weed resistance, what strategy do you plan to use? Please explain your answer in the “Comments” section.
(1) Rotate crops
(2) Rotate technology
(3) Apply residual herbicides
(4) Use specialized spray equipment
(5) Use a combination of strategies
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.
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