Just a few years ago, the idea of “phoning in your job” was not generally accepted as either ambitious or efficient. Now, thanks to special apps and hardware, it’s the smart thing to do.
In fact, Sunnyvale, California-based Trimble (News - Alert) is offering a new feature for its Connected Farm app that can distinguish how crops are faring—and how much fertilizer they need for optimal growth—better than an experienced field hand can, alone.
The free app for smartphones and tablets can be used to enter NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) readings taken with the company’s proprietary GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor and then to calculate nitrogen application rates. Crop readings and nitrogen rates also can be saved and viewed online.
Connected Farm is an integrated operations management solution that combines industry leading hardware and software to increase efficiency and enable better decision making for today's farming business. Connected Farm facilitates management of a farming business from any compatible Web browser with live access. Data can be collected in the field using a smartphone or tablet—or with Trimble's DCM (News - Alert)-300 modem in the cab. A free Connected Farm account allows users to easily view, sort and print information.
"Our goal is to make it easier and more efficient for farmers to do their increasingly complex jobs," said Ian Harley, business area director for Trimble's Agriculture Division, in a statement. "Recently, we introduced the GreenSeeker handheld to help farmers make more efficient use of fertilizer. Now we've made it even easier for farmers by automating the application rate calculations and location tracking through the Connected Farm app. The result is added convenience and efficiency and that's what farmers are looking for."
Image courtesy of Trimble
The new Connected Farm app feature is expected to be available in January 2013 for both Apple and Android (News - Alert) smartphones and tablets.
Trimble applies technology to make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. Solutions are focused on applications requiring position or location—including surveying, construction, agriculture, fleet and asset management, public safety and mapping. In addition to using positioning technologies, such as GPS, lasers and optics, Trimble solutions may include software content specific to the needs of the user. Wireless technologies are utilized to deliver the solution to the user and to ensure a tight coupling of the field and the back office.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey