New Mobile Apps for Farmers to Grow on the Go

Seeking some new business-related apps to scope out? Here’s a short list you can quickly access on your smartphone or tablet right from the field.

Protecting Pollinators
With bees — or, unfortunately, the lack of them — being such a hot topic these days, you might want to check out a smartphone app (Reduce Bee Poisoning From Pesticides) for growers and beekeepers to consult while in the field.

Released by Oregon State University (OSU), this smartphone app accompanies OSU Extension’s publication, “How to Reduce Bee Poisoning From Pesticides.”

Growers and beekeepers can now remotely consult the publication’s pesticide tables on their phones or tablets. The popular guide lists 150 insecticides, fungicides, miticides, slug killers, and growth disruptors — all of them now searchable by trade name or chemical name in the new app.

The guide recommends best practices for managing pesticide applications to protect all bee species — not only honeybees (Apis mellifera), but mason bees (Osmia lignaria), alkali bees (Nomia melanderi), and alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachile rotundata). These bee species also are managed as agricultural pollinators.

It also tells how to protect native ground-dwelling species such as squash bees, long-horned bees, sweat bees, mining bees, and bumblebees.

Front Line Food Safety
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has launched its first app designed to help train field workers on how to properly wash their hands while on the job.

To do the job right, there are six basic steps to be followed. Workers also need to know when they should wash their hands, which — of course — is important after using the restroom, but also after eating, taking breaks, or smoking. Effectively training workers on how to properly wash their hands, not to mention how to best use gloves and hand sanitizer, can be difficult and time-consuming.

The training tool takes about five minutes to complete and includes step-by-step directions, clear captions, photographs, video footage, and exercises to reinforce concepts. There is also is a multiple choice quiz at the end that users must complete (and pass) to ensure information presented is understood.

The California LGMA Handwashing and Glove Usage Training app is free for download on Google Play as well as on iTunes. In addition, the app’s content is available in English or Spanish versions.

Integrated Pest Management
Following the release of MyIPM, Clemson University has expanded its smartphone app series with more crops covered.

With the two newest MyIPM apps, growers now have information on dozens of insects and diseases that attack peaches, blueberries, and strawberries (MyIPM-SED) as well as apples, pears, cherries, cranberries, and blueberries (MyIPM-NED). A third app (MyIPM-SEP) features advanced blueberry pest-control solutions and soon will feature the same for strawberries and peaches.
The three MyIPM apps are available at the Apple Store and Google Play. The NED version covers fruit crops preferentially grown in the Northeastern U.S., and the SED and SEP versions cover crops preferentially grown in the Southern U.S.

The apps include tips on identifying and managing crop-threatening diseases with instructions for growers to manage disease resistance and submit pathogen samples for resistance profiling.

The MyIPM series is maintained at the Southern IPM Center, University of Georgia in Tifton, and the back-end database allows regional experts to update information at any time, making the apps easy to keep up to date with the newest information as science evolves.

Connecting Growers/Advisors
AgriSync enables growers and advisors to connect and resolve support issues on the farm. Farmers using their Android, iPhone, and/or iPad devices can connect with multiple advisors from different companies to submit and receive support in real time via video.Advisors can manage multiple service tickets through a dashboard and remote video that allows them to see what the farmer sees in real time. A Web-based customer service dashboard allows the advisor’s organization to see open cases, resolution status, and farmer feedback in real time.

Help for Job Seekers
Job seekers are provided free access to the AgCareers.com job board to search more than 4,000 active job openings at any given time throughout the U.S. and Canada. The app, which has been available since 2013, now includes better search criteria, equating to more accurate results. Seekers using their Android, iPhone, or iPad can narrow down available jobs through keywords, location, industry sector, industry type, career type, and even by specific employer.

Users can now also create an account with a job seeker profile; something that couldn’t be accomplished in the previous version. The app is now capable of uploading a résumé as well, a job which required a computer in the past. Résumés can be uploaded through Google Drive or DropBox, creating three methods for users to apply for a job: logging in, creating a profile, or as a guest with no profile.

Measuring Rainfall
Pocket Rain Gauge from Agrible brings accurate, location-specific rainfall measurements delivered instantly. Log in with your free Morning Farm Report account to get rainfall totals for all of the fields tied to your account.

Available on Android, iPhone, and iPad, the app includes feedback functionality so you can let Agrible know how accurate its measurements are. Pocket Rain Gauge data is updated every hour and reflects the previous 24 hours.

Flying Your Farm
AgVault 2.3 Mobile from Sentera allows Android, iPhone, and iPad users to easily fly entire fields using a DJI Phantom 4, Phantom 3, or Inspire drone. The app allows the operator to select the drone’s altitude, sensor configuration, overlap, sideslip, and an area on their field to survey.

The drone launches from within the app, autonomously flies the predetermined route and automatically returns upon completion.

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