Apr
22

Smartphones and Agriculture

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One of the interesting trends in emerging nations is the rapid spread of mobile phones without first moving to landlines. Millions of people who don’t have landlines and may not have the infrastructure for them are able to benefit from cell phones. As cell phones increasingly become smart, offering a variety of apps and services, their smartphones can change the way people work and live. That includes the way they farm, including they way they apply pesticides, apply water, manage the soil, and harvest crops. Look to agriculture and the related fields of water and soil management for added value in coming years.

Lindsay Corporation (no relation, unfortunately, though I did profit as an investor in the past–NYSE:LNN) recently announced a new cell phone application to help farmers track and control their automated irrigation systems such as the Zimmatic® system. Here’s an excerpt:

Lindsay Corporation, maker of Zimmatic® irrigation systems, announces the introduction of FieldNET Mobile—pivot control for smartphones. The new feature allows growers to fully control and monitor their irrigation pivots anywhere through the convenience of smartphones.

“FieldNET Mobile provides a labor-saving innovation with the convenience of web-enabled phones,” says Reece Andrews, GrowSmart™ product manager at Lindsay. “With full control and monitoring from anywhere, growers are more efficient with their time and always know the status of their irrigation systems.”

FieldNET Mobile’s graphical interface supports most industry-leading smartphones, including the iPhone®, Droid® and BlackBerry®, according to Andrews.

FieldNET is an award-winning web-based irrigation management system. With the addition of FieldNET Mobile, growers can view the current status of all their pivots in one list, receive system alerts, arrange pivots by predefined groups, view water usage reports and receive a history of pivot runtimes.

Innovators are already considering many other smartphone-enabled opportunities for improving the way we farm and manage water around the world. It’s too early to discuss some details, but I look forward to seeing what we can do to further improve the quality of life through better agriculture practices enabled by the power of smartphones. Stay tuned!

What do you see as future applications of smartphones in agriculture?

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