By Carroll Smith
From telegraphs to text messages and rotary dials to keypads, when it comes to phones, we’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. Cell phones not only have revolutionized the way we communicate but also how we live our lives and do our jobs via cell phone applications, or apps, as they’ve been dubbed by all the cool people out there.
When you download an app, it allows you to perform an additional function on your phone besides making a call. More and more apps are being developed and offered to the agriculture industry. Most are free, but some do charge, in most cases, a nominal fee.
If you Google or Bing “agriculture apps,” you will find that there are a multitude of them from which to choose – far too many to name in this short space. However, I’m listing a few to give you an idea of what is out there. For example, Dr. Natalie Hummel, LSU AgCenter entomologist, recently announced the release of a beta version of the LSU AgCenter RiceScout app. “The RiceScout app contains images, descriptions and management information on insects, diseases and weeds that commonly occur in southeastern rice-producing states. Information on fertility is also included. The purpose of the app is to increase the speed and accuracy of rice fertility and integrated pest management crop decisions,” Hummel says.
Faculty members from LSU AgCenter, University of Arkansas and Texas AgriLife all made contributions. Special kudos go to LSU AgCenter research associate specialist in entomology Anna Meszaros, who directed the project. You can access a Web-based version of the app at: http://ricescout.lsuagcenter.com. A stand-alone app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is in development.
Mississippi Extension rice specialist Dr. Nathan Buehring also sent out a list of apps that he has found helpful in the agriculture world. Some of the apps that Buehring recommends are as follows: Intellicast: This app gives you the most up-to-date weather radar information within the last five minutes, along with the latest forecast.
RiceTec Toolbox: This app is for hybrid rice growers trying to calibrate grain drills for low seeding rates.
Dupont Tankmix: This app calculates the amount of product to add to the tank and how much product to order for a certain amount of acres.
Agrian Mobile: This app gives you access to the latest pesticide label information.
Spray Lite: This app stores and organizes farm spray records.
These ag apps are only a few of many, and more are being developed everyday. If you have found one that has proved to be beneficial to your operation, let me know and I will be glad to share it with our readers.
Send your comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 1010 June Road, Suite 102, Memphis, Tenn., 38119. Call (901) 767-4020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.