October 30th, 2012 – AgChat on Winter Preparation

AgChat on Winter PreparationBurrr, Winter is Coming! Winter time is not normally associated with traditional aspects of farming, like planting or harvesting. Yet, there are things people in agriculture need to do in the winter. Repair the equipment, place orders for the next season’s inputs, refresh the brain with training or conferences, and review plans for the future.
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iPad Apps I Can’t Farm Without

by Jeff VanderWerff

With more and more AgNerds walking around with Droids, Iphones, and Ipads, people keep asking what apps they should have. Well, here’s the list of apps this AgNerd can’t live without, and remember, I farm both row crops and fruit crops, so these should work no matter your role in agriculture.

Soybean ScoutPro

This app, created in conjunction with Iowa State, will absolutely change your life if you scout your own crops. It’s kissing cousin, Corn Scout Pro, works much the same way. You can take photos, map the field, make all kinds of notes, and email a copy to whomever you like. At $40 bucks for Corn ScoutPro, and $40 for Soybean ScoutPro, they are among the most expensive, but worth every penny if you’re doing any amount of scouting.

JDLink

 

If you run green iron, you simply can’t live without this, especially if you are running a lot of machines. I did some consulting this past year for a large farmer, with multiple sprayers running, and with this app, I could track every movement the guys made. A must have if you’re in the realm of agribusiness and run Deere.

Farm Futures

 

I’m obsessed with the grain markets, and, quite honestly, you should be as well. Hands down, this is the best app I’ve found for tracking the markets, mainly because it shows overnight trading. Ok, so maybe I’m the only guy up at 3am to see what the overnights are doing….

Tank Mix Calc

This is a great app from farmpad, that allows you to enter in the size of your tank, the acres, gallons, products, and rates, and have them come out as a concise, clear recipe that you can save for later use. If you do your own application, you can’t be with this or it’s companion…

MixTank

 

Ever turned a thousand gallons of water and herbicide into a giant vat of cottage cheese because you added crop oil at the wrong time? Ok, maybe that’s just me, but with Roundup showing its age, and the mixes becoming more complicated, this is one tool you can’t be without. MixTank allows you to enter most common ingredients, and it spits out a complete mixing order for you to follow. A must have for custom applicators.

YieldCheck

 

If you’re dad is like mine, he can walk into a field, count the rows on a few ears, and make a dead on yield calculation in his head in under 30 seconds. However if you’re in the realm of the mathematically-challenged, like myself, this app is a life saver. Just input your spacing, number of ears, and the rows and rounds for instant yield estimates.

Honorable mention:

Apps that aren’t on my must-have list, but still worthy:  Google Earth, SpraySelect, Agrian Mobile, agSeedSelect, and AGRIplot

 

 

Jeff VanderWerff is a fourth-generation fruit and grain farmer from Sparta, Michigan. When not watching Netflix in the field, he works to tell the story of agriculture via social media. Check him out on YouTube at www.youtube.com/agsalesman

October 23rd, 2012 – AgChat on Agriculture and Politics

AgChat on Agriculture and PoliticsAg+Politics=Policulture The US political season is soon coming to an end with general elections. What are some of the impacts of politics to agriculture? What are some of the policies that agriculture must adapt to? This fast moving topics is the focus of AgChat this week.
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October 16th, 2012 – FoodChat on Wine

FoodChat on WineWine, Food, Enjoy Food and wine form the base of many holiday and celebration dinners. What are your favorites? How do agriculture issues impact wine? What do you need to know about purchasing wine? This FoodChat conversation tries to answer some of these questions.
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October 10th, 2012 – AgChat on Guiding Online Conversations

AgChat on Guiding Online ConversationsAre You Online Conversational? People are conversational and social. Being digital does not remove the conversation but certainly changes the dynamic. What do you have to do to start and maintain those conversations when the people involved are not in the same room? How do online conversations move to offline conversations? AgChat took on this topic to help other farmers and ranchers learn more about creating and cultivating conversation about their livelihood.
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