Arkansas Farmers Find Apps, Wireless Essential to Agricultural Sector

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 12:00 am  

Hunnicutt said soil moisture testing systems are becoming more widespread.

“There’s twice as many around as there were last year,” he said. “It’s a pretty easy thing to convince somebody to do it.”

There’s an App for That

The cameras on smartphones and iPhones have proven to be useful, said Hamilton, the extension agent. “The photo qualities are amazing.”

Texting photos of insects or diseased crops to the extension agent saves farmers travel time and the diagnosis is faster, Hamilton said.

Smartphone apps also allow farmers to better monitor the weather, Hamilton said.

“There’s some apps that will give you estimates of how much rainfall we’re going to get in a given amount of time,” he said.

Saraswat, of the UA’s Agriculture Division, said he helped develop the Corn Advisor app to help farmers in Arkansas, where interest in corn production has blossomed. “There were several first-time producers who were producing other crops, but they wanted to try their hand at corn,” Saraswat said.

He said the extension agents couldn’t help the producers as fast as they wanted to, so the idea of the app was born.

With the Corn Advisor, a corn producer can quickly search for corn-related issues or information, such as ways to identify nutrient deficiency symptoms using photos.

Saraswat said determining how much money farmers can save by using apps like Corn Advisors and others is hard. However, information provided by the apps allows farmers to make quick adjustments, potentially averting disaster.

“Time is essential whenever it comes to agriculture,” Saraswat said.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.