Brian Arnall is a professor in soil fertility Extension at Oklahoma State University, not an expert in the best ag apps for smartphones and tablets. But he began using them and reviewing them, and now he gives talks on agriculture apps all over the country.
He concentrates on fiber and grain production apps. From about 50 fewer than two years ago, he now has more than 200 of the best ag apps on his list hat are useful for those in the agriculture industry.
His biggest tip is that if it takes more than three minutes to figure out how to use the app, stop and cross it off your list. He believes the best ag apps should be intuitive – easy to use and figure out. Otherwise, you should spend more time on how to use the app than anything it helps you do.
He presented info on apps at the Ohio Valley Precision Farming Conference recently. The talk is under presentations on the above Website. Note that if it is a big file, sometimes your internet may pull it up, sometimes not. Oh, the irony of technology! If it doesn't, you may want to email Arnall directly.
Weather and climate apps
Agrian Weather apps are handy – some give you info about forecasts, others give you more climate information, such as history on snowstorms in your area.
Weed and pest identification
Two dozen or more apps are out there for helping you identify weeds and pests, Arnall says. Some are commercial apps, some are nearly like ads, but some of these have good information.
He finds Monsanto Weed ID and BASF Disease ID very helpful. Both the BASF Weed ID and Monsanto Weed ID show the morphology of weeds in detail to guide in selection.
DuPont's Pest Book is another commercial app that is very helpful on identifying insects, he says. The only hitch is it is an Australian tool, so you need to know the name of the insect.
Farm Progress app
Growing Degree Days app: One very helpful app, Arnall says, is the Farm Progress app that allows you to track Growing Degree Days. You can follow the accumulation of growing degree days and know how it is affecting crop development.
There are a number of good seed selection apps available, Arnall says. Pioneer's Plantability app and the AgriGold Seed app are set up particularly well. There is also a very useful app as you select seed called Seed Select.
Check with your seed supplier to see if they have an app that covers their specific products. Many of the leads Arnall gets for apps come for company reps.
Bayer's Label Guide is a good example of how a company app can be useful, giving information about product labels, Arnall says. The Spray Select app guides you through nozzle selection.
There are also a number of calculators that are helpful, including ones to help you calculate ingredients for tank mix applications.