SAN ANTONIO, January 13, 2014 – Rather than luxuries for today’s farmers and ranchers, tablets and smart phones are tools that can be used to keep their operations running smoothly, Jackie Smith, professor of Extension economics, and Jay Yates, Extension program specialist, both from Texas A&M Agri-extension Services, told attendees at a seminar at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention.
With the ever-growing marketplace for apps, Smith and Yates recommend farmers and ranchers be careful before buying. Ask friends and peers, visit workshops, read agriculture magazines or blogs and watch agriculture television shows to see what others are using. Make sure that no additional equipment or subscription is needed.
Apps are currently being developed for all corners of agriculture, turning a farmer’s phone or tablet into a portable office. The markets can now be monitored while sitting on a tractor, allowing a farmer to input data into a decision aid app and discern what his or her crop costs will be. A livestock producer can now make a few basic measurements and know how much an animal should bring in when sold.
Yates also touched on a new trend in Web development that allows farmers and ranchers to save websites and label them alongside other apps. With smart phones and tablets, any information that a producer needs is never more than a few clicks away.
“A lot of content is not in an app. It is on a mobile-ready site,” Yates said. “Many sites do this now because it is easier and faster to manage content.”
Security is a concern for everyone, but Yates encouraged people not to be thrown off by the potential risk.
“You’re information is on the Internet, whether you put it on there or not. It is as safe here as anywhere else,” Yates said.Return to Newsroom