It could be a surprise for most people that mobile technologies has reached even one of the most traditional spheres – farming. Forget about online games: we speak now about real farming, real crops and harvest, which represent an essential part of our lives. Still, the work in this area is very hard, yet extremely necessary for the population. As mobile technologies tend to simplify many different business activities, they have found their appliance even in agriculture.
In the age before intense technology development it was quite a task to organize and track work at the fields. To cultivate such large areas was too difficult and time consuming to make the process of cultivation adjustable for weather conditions and quality control more efficient. The automatization of routine processes contributes to better crops management and eliminates human factor. That is why mobile solutions for farming become more and more popular today among both small farms and large agricultural companies.
Small Farms vs Agricultural Companies
One might think that such technological advances are more applicable for big agricultural companies and would be of no use for ordinary small farms. In fact, on the contrary, small farms need technological support the most. As a rule, big companies already have certain coordination and prediction means, such as cellular communication, GPS navigation and several more additions. They work as a net of interconnected services that exchange data, and take decisions using acquired information, which helps them to reduce costs, maximize yields and profits.
Having no such a global experience and specific information about the weather, the soil and other environmental features, small farms are the most vulnerable and crying out for hi-tech decisions. Along with the common applications for farmers and successful performance of their business, there is a wide variety of different specialized apps for rural industry able to make the processes more efficient than ever before.
The Variety of Rural Apps Appliance Scenarios
Unfortunately, gadgets are still unable to do manual work which is the core of agricultural activities. Still, their usage is more than effective in such areas:
Marketing intelligence. Here we assume applications that use mobile technology to retrieve market information, namely product prices and trading facilities (commodity marketing), which match your production the best.
Weather prediction. Such apps bring an important information concerning how to use environmental conditions to maximize yields, for instance, how to prevent possible diseases and pests sensible to the weather changes, or damages of solar impact.
Outstanding geospatial applications. Highly integrated with GPS facilities, they are developed in order to manage, process and visualize space information easily. The abilities of these apps deserve high attention:
• land and water use planning;
• agricultural input supply;
• natural resources utilization.
Using these tools eliminates the necessity to spend money on an effective work allocation or driving around the farm.
Data collection and exchange. These mobile apps for agriculture and rural development are able to determine, for example, subtle soil features that can be useful for better fields accommodation, and share this data with other farmers. It also provides learning services, such as agricultural/agronomy information, news and advice resources.
Quality control and environmental protection. The outstanding apps provide tools for effective quality control through measuring different factors and creating reports on them. It excludes human factor and mistake probability from rural activities, creating digital checklists and reminding farmers of particular safety guidelines.
These specialized tools for livestock, field operation/inspection and crop farming might also be used with other financial and transportation services connected to payments, loans, insurance, farm equipment and product tracking. However, sometimes business requires more specific solution and the question about how to develop a custom mobile app for agriculture arises. Fortunately, mobile development industry is agile enough to provide such solutions.
How to Develop a Custom Mobile App for Agriculture
In modern days a so-called e-agriculture gains traction, with many corresponding startups appearing at the market. Farming app developers today turn our accustomed iOS and Android gadgets into a powerful tools for boosting rural efficiency. It is all testified by a huge number of ready-made solutions that is already available at mobile stores. However, sometimes it is necessary to create something more focused and specific, and it is when you might decide to embody your ideas in a custom mobile app for running your farm.
Like any other mobile app, e-agriculture solutions are delivered by high-qualified programming specialists. But still, such apps also have some peculiarities, namely:
• deep GPS integration;
• high-resolution camera;
• strong Wi-Fi or mobile internet connection.
As agriculturing is closely connected with geography, navigation is of a particular significance in the area. To keep track of accommodations, logistics and fields processing a farmer needs a powerful GPS-based application, that will allow to find precise location of every object.
High-resolution camera is necessary in many rural activities, for instance, in quality control, as well as in logistics. As sometimes image acquisition needs to be performed not only by means of a gadget itself but by some additional devices, it is necessary to have a strong connection to the Internet for better integration with them. And, finally, such technologies as GPS or image acquisition require high performance both of the device and app (Google Glass and Android Wear might also be used for these purposes).
In every other aspect, every e-agriculture app is developed the same way as any other app. As usual, the development could be conducted either by a specialized agriculture app development company, or by a team of freelance developers.
Mobile Apps for Agriculture and Rural Development
Here we collected some popular ready-to-use agriculture apps to illustrate how useful they might be in the field.
Mixmate is a portable cloud-based agricultural chemical blending system. In addition, it performs the calculations according to the prescription and accurate work records are generated during the mixing process on an Android device.
The University of Missouri has designed the app that contains information on more than 430 weed species common to fields of Missouri and the surrounding area. It allows users to input plant features and then identify the weed. The app is available on Android, iPhone, and iPad.
FARMapper is a web-based cloud app to build farm maps and share across both desktop and mobile devices. The application parses public land survey data and allows to build customs fields with the app’s drawing tools. It is also useful for keeping track of water rights, easements, and irrigation records.
Pocket Rain Gauge
Agrible development company’s app provides accurate, instant location-specific rainfall measurements. All that is necessary to get rainfall totals for all of your fields it is to create a personal account. To provide more and more precise data, it uses feedback procedure, so the forecast precision is getting more and more high. This app is also available for Android, iPhone, and iPad users.
AgriSync is a place where farmers and advisors to connect with each other and resolve support issues on the farm. The app allows them connect through both tickets and a real-time video broadcast. It is available on a wide range of devices, namely as a web-based, Android and iOS app.
Read also: What makes mobile apps popular
Today agriculture moves with the time and generates sophisticated mobile solutions for reducing costs, maximizing harvest and optimizing the farming processes. There are many off-the-shelf solutions to every taste at the market, but still, there is enough possibilities to bring innovation into farming industry. The peculiarities of this area caused e-agriculture mobile development to be a non-trivial task that requires deep knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, the result warrants an effort for sure: the results impact favourably not only the farm business, but also helps to provide better environmental protection.