Sept. 5 2012 01:51 PM

As smartphone apps make their way into agriculture, they could save us time and money.

by Lucas Sjostrom, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

Smartphones have quickly risen in popularity. In the 2012 Hoard's Dairyman Continuing Marketing Study, 28.5 percent of dairy farmers surveyed owned a device similar to a smartphone, BlackBerry or iPad. The 2012 results were based on 2011 information. Based on our travels to farms and conferences around the country, I expect that number to jump sharply in our 2013 results.

For those using such communication devices in our survey, only 33 percent used it for internet access and 34 percent for email. Market updates (22 percent), social networking (15 percent) and entertainment (11 percent) rounded out the category, with 5 percent saying they also used it for other things (besides talking and texting). Is that "other" the app category? I don't know, but I think we're just beginning to see app usage in the dairy industry.

What are the benefits? Remote decision-making, more accurate records and overall time saving are a few. At today's dairy events, you can cut through the programs and handouts and find everything on an app. Learn about the new World Dairy Expo 2012 App by Hoard's Dairyman here:

What's your app of choice?
If you've purchased a smartphone, we've now compiled a list of all dairy and crop related apps we could find. View it here.

We're sure we're missing some, so please leave a comment below if you have some favorites. Beyond our list of dairy specific apps, you may want to check out apps for:

Weather (Weather Channel or Weather Bug)

Note keeping (Evernote)

Agriculture price alerts ($4.99 from mizSoftware2011)

Calculators or converters (Real calc)

Again, if you have others we should add to our list, please comment below or send a message via email or Facebook. Happy app-ing!