Whether we like it or not, cell phones, iPads and apps have become a part of our daily lives. These technologies have ushered in a new era of agriculture: non-traditional tools that help producers and agronomists manage risk and improve production. Recently, CropLife magazine published an article highlighting several new apps for 2020; below are a few that stood out to me and could be worth further investigation for incorporation into your operation.
  • Farm Service Manager:
    • Service logs for equipment and machinery
    • By having digital logs available at any time, you can refence tasks that need to be done, order supplies and provide a summary to a potential buyer of the equipment
    • As farm managers it’s your responsibility to track tasks to completion; this could be a valuable tool for a manager to set tasks for employees and to validate completion while keeping records updated.
  • Field Check App, by Field Watch App: 
    • Applicators tool to locate specialty crops or beehives in a regional area
    • Its important to always know potential sensitive areas where applications are being made. With farm sizes growing and operational tasks no longer contained to the section or even the county, this can be a great tool to start one’s research of sensitive areas near where you farm.
    • Once you have identified potential sensitive areas, a specific management plan should be developed to minimize risk.
  • Midwest Cover Crops Field Scout App, Purdue Extension:
    • Helps select the right cover crop for the right situation
    • This tool provides great educational images of the cover crops and also provides scores based off the desired task, so that you know how it should be used:
      • Nitrogen producing
      • Nitrogen scavenger
      • Tillage
      • Ground Cover
  • Field NET mobile: Lindsay Corp 
    • Support management decision for producers with irrigation pivots
    • Generate Variable Rate plans
    • Real-Time alerts
    • Summary Reports of all pivots (Pressure, Flow, Water Levels, power usage ect)
  • RRXtend spray App:
    • Provides most recent weather forecast
    • Provides inversion risk
    • Herbicide application log records (Applicator, Nozzle, Time of Application ect)
    • This tool can be used to better understand herbicide application risk.
  • Xarvio Scouting App, BASF:
    • Interactive tools to improve scouting
      • Track your scouting trip and associate a GPS point for the pest/issues
    • Identify early season weeds for proper herbicide recommendation
    • Use analytics tools to properly identicy disease
    • Helps to evaluate amount of leaf area damage

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About the Author: Todd Steinacher

Steinacher is an ISA CCA Soy Envoy alum and currently supports ISA on agronomic content as well as serving as an Illinois CCA board member. He was recently awarded the 2020 IL CCA of the Year & the 2021 International CCA of the Year. He has over 15 years agronomic experience, currently working with AgriGold and GROWMARK previously. Steinacher has an associate degree from Lincoln Land Community College, a B.S. in agronomy and business from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in crop science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.