Farming in the smartphone age

While on the tractor, there’s a little less downtime for some farmers these days.
With smartphones and tablets, they're checking crop prices, inventory levels and weather conditions and the technology is having a profound impact on the agriculture industry.
Greg Stamp has plenty of toys on his farm, many with hundreds of horse power, but his favourite is always within reach — his iPhone.
The smartphone brings a bevy of information to his fingertips, chemicals, inventory levels, and markets, to name a few. Most important, is likely the weather.
"If you think the winds are going to start picking up or whether you have time to do another field or not."
A study by Farm Credit Canada suggests a third of producers have smartphones, the same level among all Canadians.
Companies are developing apps and programs to meet demand.
Rick Taillieu, of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, says the number of agriculture apps and mobile websites being developed is growing.
"Now we realize, we can't wait for them at the end of the day, when they've already put in a full 15- or 16-hour day, expect them to read email or go to a website. We want them to be able to that while they're on the tractor, while they're in the fields."
Taillieu helped design a mobile website for the Alberta Canola Growers Commision.
"Quick, easy to access tracking of where the futures are at as well as the pricing that happens on a local basis throughout Alberta."
For Stamp, he can't wait for his next device. His tablet arrives next week.


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