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Goin’ Mobile

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture offers mobile apps


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Row crop, fruit and turfgrass producers can find Arkansas-specific information on disease, weed and insect control via their mobile devices, thanks to the Extension engineers with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“For decades, the Division of Agriculture has provided critical production information to our crop and livestock producers,” says Rick Cartwright, associate director, agriculture and natural resources, for the division.

“What began as printed material has now evolved into a just-in-time resource for producers through their smartphones,” he adds.

Dharmendra Saraswat, Extension engineer for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, led the way into smartphone-based education.

“The use of smartphones empowers those who are out in the field with a network connection and even those without it through the use of smartphone applications, or ‘apps’,” Saraswat says.

 
Smartphone Apps Search Simplified
 

An Extension engineer for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture has developed a tool to help users find just the right app among the thousands created across multiple smartphone operating systems.

Mobile phone usage is growing globally, and app use has also expanded wildly. Earlier this year, Apple marked the 10 billionth download from its apps store.

“It is safe to assume that farmers, consultants and county agents will start relying more and more on smartphones by using either a number of smartphone applications, or mobile-friendly Web applications,” says Dharmendra Saraswat, assistant professor/Extension engineer for Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Saraswat said the Smartphone Apps Search Tool “mainly caters to the agricultural users who have the option to search for free or paid apps using a list of keywords that dynamically varies as per user’s choice across four major operating systems: Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows 7.”

The tool is simple to use. There are three pull-down menus that narrow the search by operating system, by cost of app and by keyword or phrase. Working with Saraswat on the search tool were Kandasamy Prasanna, Extension program associate for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, and Benjamin Hancock, a University of Arkansas graduate student.

The tool can be accessed by clicking the link http://baegrisk.ddns.uark.edu/geospatial/
smartPhoneSearch.aspx
.

Source: University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Access To Latest Crop Production Information
Saraswat, working with research assistant Ashley Wiedower, came up with an interactive, mobile Web solution that works across multiple phone operating systems. The content on the mobile web can be accessed through www.hdwap.com/uada, using “student,” lowercase, for both the login and password.

“The mobile Web link can be used to access the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s latest publications on corn and rice production, weed and brush control, plant disease control and insecticide recommendations,” he says.

Non-Password Protected
Version In The Works
Saraswat said that a non-password protected version of mobile Web solution is under development and will be released this year.

“This will be a great help to our producers,” says Keith Perkins, Lonoke County Extension agent with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. “It eliminates the need for them to haul books or a laptop with them in the fields to find the information they need at the moment. Mobile Web solutions are a boon, particularly for producers who don’t have high-speed Internet.”

Information for this article provided by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

 

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