Mobile apps for farming are cropping up
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Now, more than ever before, people around the world are embracing mobile applications as a valuable resource in both business and pleasure. And now with two new farming specific apps being developed in Saskatoon, it seems that one more tool can be added to the farmer’s arsenal – the smartphone.
“Technology and agriculture go together all the time,” said Chad Jones, founder and CEO of CollegeMobile and Smartphone programming instructor at the University of Saskatchewan.
A Saskatoon development firm, Quintapps, recently launched of an app called Farm At Hand that enables farmers to manage things like commodity storage or commodity contracts.
Two University of Saskatchewan engineering students, Lindsay Sweet and Bradley Weiers are fine tuning their app Crop Scouter, which will be released before next spring. The app will help farmers identify and manage unwanted weeds in their crops.
Jones says apps like Crop Scouter will prove to be useful to farmers because it will save them time and money.
The problem with farmer friendly apps is that using a smartphone in the field is a fairly new idea for farmers. In fact, smartphones aren't as common on farms as they are in more urban populations.
“But, they are consumers just like the rest of us, and obviously Smartphones are here to stay” he says.
If smartphones become a regular part of farming, Jones says that farming specific apps could revolutionize how they run their fields.
Maybe not quite ready
Doug Ausmus, whose family has been farming in the Leader area for generations, said that he would be inclined to use an app, but if it provided a service that he needed.
“It depends on what they do. It’d have to be convenient,” said Ausmus.
Ausmus said that an app that helped him keep track of marketing issues, such as prices at local grain elevators, would be the kind of app he would be inclined to use.