On-The-Farm – Mobile Device Use

Each year, mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are becoming more commonplace in agricultural settings. And new, convenient farm apps that can be downloaded onto these devices are being utilized, too.

According to the results of the January Web Poll, 68 percent of the respondents indicated that smartphones, apps and tablets play a significant role to somewhat of a role in daily farming operations. Granted, not everyone has found a use for these mobile devices out in the field, and some of our readers may not ever intend to incorporate them into their farming operations.

With that said, following is a sampling of the comments that we received from Web Poll respondents who shared their thoughts about how they use, or don’t use in some cases, mobile devices while out in the field.

• “Mobile devices have become a very important tool for farmers. They allow easy access to a wide variety of information, such as markets, weather and breaking news, that may affect decisions that need to be made. They improve the efficiency of the farm operator in many of the decisions he or she must make.”

• “A smartphone is beyond my ability to use. I haven’t learned to text yet. I get the weather from TV and market news from the newspaper. My son uses his smartphone all the time. He’s sharper than me.”

• “Big areas that I see mobile devices being used for are weather and markets. I also see producers talking about record keeping with this approach. It is handier than lots of little pieces
of paper.”

• “Obviously, they allow much easier access to market and tech information and are a good means of communication. That efficiency saves much and makes much for the farmer.”

• “One of the reasons I enjoy farming is to get away from the constant ringing of phones and other office-type distractions, so I’ll have to say that mobile devices have very little impact on my operation.”

• “I use my smartphone all the time, every day. It’s become a portable office that fits in my shirt pocket. I’m always finding a new use for it. Sure glad I sold all my buggy whip stock!”

• “I like recording info right there in the field or by the corral chute. The iPhone or iPad is good. Can’t wait for the newer electronic apps coming down the tubes.”

• “Using mobile devices, I can check markets daily and store production books like Arkansas Weed Book MP-44 Cotton Handbook, etc. I have a stack of books 10 inches high in an iPad. I use farm apps like Plainimeter to measure length/width of fields for the Phaucet irrigation program and to figure seed and chemical needs to finish a field if the unit is without GPS. Many times texts are answered when phone calls are not. My iPhone has a calculator, an English to metric converter, DTN, a Weed Manager app and a Financial Calculater app that I can use to figure payments when buying equipment.”

• “Mobile devices don’t play a role in my daily operation. I’m so old that my cell phone operates by kerosene.”

In anticipation of the 2013 season, cotton seed companies across the Belt are rolling out their new varieties. In this month’s Web Poll, we are asking our readers what their greatest expectation is from these latest offerings.

Go to cottonfarming.com to cast your vote and share your comments. Include your location so that readers will know from which area of the Belt you are responding. Results of the February Web Poll will be reported in the March issue of Cotton Farming.


Web Poll Results Last Month

How much of a role do smartphones, apps and tablets play in your daily farming operation?

Significant role – 36 %
Somewhat of a role – 32 %
Very little to no role – 32%


February Web Poll Question

As the upcoming season approaches, what is your greatest expectation from the new varieties being offered for 2013? Explain your choice in the “Comments” section.

(1) Higher yields

(2) Improved quality characteristics

(3) Decreased inputs

(4) Increased marketability

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.


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