More U.S. farmers and ranchers are using smart phones or other mobile computing devices to increase efficiency and generate higher profits. -USA Today
Although mobile computing has penetrated many industries, including oil/gas, health, mining and engineering, the agricultural industry has been slower to adopt the use of smartphones and tablet computers for the everyday maintenance of equipment, crops and animals. However, mobile agriculture (also known as mAgriculture) has spread as farmers and ranch owners realize the time and money saved through mobile devices.
According to a March 3, 2013 USA Today article by Christopher Doering, “Farmers growing comfortable with mobile devices”, 94% of farmers now own a smartphone or a mobile phone. Farmers use their smartphones or tablet computers for routine tasks such as checking commodity prices, identifying weeds or pests, and monitoring the activity of watering equipment.
Mobile computing has gained traction in the ranch industry as well. Ranchers use their mobile devices for different reasons, including the tracking of weather conditions and checking commodity prices. Mobile computing is already in use as a method of wildlife surveillance; in time, ranchers may adapt it to note the location of predatory wolves equipped with GPS collars. These wolves pose a significant danger to cattle and cause a significant financial loss if cattle are injured or killed.
In an industry where many mobile device users typically work in outdoor environments, it is not surprising that mobile computing is escalating among ranchers and farmers. The smartphones and tablet computers provide portability and convenience in remote conditions. And when users combine these mobile devices with specialized workforce management and data collection tools such as COMMANDmobile®, these devices increase efficiency, improve productivity and create financial gain for ranchers and farmers. Additional advantages to COMMANDmobile include:
- Reduction in paper usage – Since users record data onto mobile devices, there is less need to use paper-based records.
- Customizable data entry forms – COMMANDmobile permits the creation of customizable forms for data surveys or work performance records.
- Fewer data entry errors – By reducing the need for paper forms, users are less likely to make accidental errors as the result of typing information from traditional paper forms onto a computer.
- Geotagging capability – Users may add geographical tags to data as needed and later collate the data to show trends and improve farm or ranch management.
- Intelligent dispatching through two-way communication – Field workers and ranch hands can be easily contacted and sent from one location to another, so that they handle equipment problems or livestock illnesses more quickly.
COMMANDmobile is adaptable for different mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones, Androids and other mobile devices. For more information about COMMANDmobile’s capabilities, request a demo account or view our product information video.
Why The Hype: Agriculture And Mobile Technology -(SlideShare presentation)