Mobile More Vital to Farm Operations Than You Think

Ten years ago, Apple Inc. – then known as a software and desktop computer manufacturer – unveiled a society-changing product.

The iPhone.

The company began selling the first iteration of its smartphone in June 2007.

A decade later, smartphones have become one of the most invaluable business tools on the market. The handheld device has made it easier to connect with the world and stay productive, 24 hours per day.

That’s especially true in the agricultural sector.

Today, mobile devices have become the must-have component of any farming operation.

Recent trends reveal that farmers are some of the most connected and forward-thinking members of the U.S. economy. They’re also relying more and more on mobile to get business done in an industry where there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Today, let’s dig into the numbers. Then, we’ll talk about one of the latest mobile tools that can make farmers even more productive.

Down on the Farm

It wasn’t long ago that seeing a smartphone on a farm was like seeing a dog walking on its hind legs.

But the data shows that a lot has happened in just eight years…

Farm Journal Media has been conducting a survey for nearly a decade on mobile and tablet use on the farm. The survey tracks the activity of 1,071 respondents.

Back in 2009, just 14% of respondents said they used a smartphone.

By 2017, that figure hit 94%. Meanwhile tablet use, has increased from 27% in 2014 to 64% this year.

Farm Journal’s research also reveals that 83% of farmers are “always” taking their phones with them everywhere they go on the farm. Mobile devices have been a critical tool to stay up to date on emails, weather trends, social media, and texting.

Asking FarmLead Users

With these trends in mind, FarmLead wanted to get a better understanding of the most important reasons why users carried their phones. Earlier this month, we asked our Twitter followers two key questions about their mobile use.

First, we asked how many farming applications that they had on their phone.

The data revealed that the majority had at least four applications.

Then, we asked a more important question. Thinking about your farm’s entire year, which type of farming app is most important to your operation?

An application that track the weather was the top answer at 45%. There’s not argument against the logic of staying up-to-date on what’s going to happen in the skies in the next 15 minutes and next 15 days.

But there was another interesting figure: 31% said that they were looking to stay up-to-date on grain prices.

That latter figure is important. In a market where price changes can swing by double digits in just seconds (remember the August WASDE report), it’s absolutely vital that farmers have every tool necessary to ensure that they are selling into the market where they can get the best price.

But as we noted… things can change quite rapidly. And that offer from the local elevator can change just as quickly.

Mobile devices highlight the ever-increasing importance of timing, which means if you have all the right applications, you can capitalize when opportunity arises.

That’s why FarmLead’s mobile application offers the next generation of helping farmers be more productive and get the best price for their grain.

The FarmLead application provides real-time grain trading at the press of a button. From anywhere on the farm, you can connect with hundreds of financially verified buyers, negotiate deals with buyers across North America, even explore prices around your neighborhood or hundreds of miles away.

You can also lock in basis deals, which means you’re never susceptible to rapid price swings in the cash market.

Just set it… and forget it.

The FarmLead Mobile app, available on iOS and Android gives you all the tools to simplify your grain trade and get back to what you love doing the most. Click here to learn more.

About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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