Mobile Agriculture Research Explores Benefits for Mobile Technology in North America

New Float Research Report Surveys 60 Mobile Agriculture Apps

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A majority of mobile agriculture apps on the market today for North America are classified as farm management apps, according to new research from Float Mobile Learning.

Of the 60 apps surveyed and described by Float, fully one-third is geared toward running an agricultural enterprise. These apps include Cattle Breeding Calculator, Dairy Inventory Form, and PureSense Irrigation Manager HD.

All told, Float examines nine categories of apps. In addition to farm management apps, these categories include agriculture information apps, business apps, conference apps, diseases and pests apps, learning and reference apps, location-based apps, market data apps and weather apps.

Though mobile agriculture (also known as mAgriculture) has existed in developing countries for nearly a decade, it is just now beginning to increase in North America. Float Mobile Learning authors Gary Woodill, Ed.D., and Chad Udell explore mAgriculture in a series of three research reports that look at a survey of available mAgriculture apps on the market in North America, how consumers can benefit from these apps and what the future holds for mobile technology in farming, forestry, and fishing.

In mAgriculture: The Application of Mobile Computing to the Business of Farming, Gary and Chad provide a general overview of the mAgriculture landscape as it exists today, how it got there and why it is vital in today’s business environment. Citing a Vodafone and Accenture research report, the authors point to a potential $138-billion uplift in emerging market farmers’ incomes due to mobile computing and communications services. Mobile technology also lends the ability for farmers to exchange, save, and borrow small amounts of capital using mobile money transfer systems. Additionally, devices and software let industry professionals receive detailed and localized weather forecasts, crop prices, and resource management information. Helpline services related to pest control and climate change are another major factor in mobile technology in agriculture.

Mobile applications can be classified into five categories: environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, machine, and process control, facility automation, and traceability systems (e.g., RFID). The authors note that many of these systems encapsulate food production processes from initial seeding to delivery to the market.

“Like many other businesses, agriculture is becoming an information-­intensive enterprise,” the authors write. “To understand how mobile agriculture should work, it is necessary to analyze the information needs of farmers and distributors of agricultural products.”

For a complete listing of the apps and more information on mobile agriculture in North America, be sure to take a look at our latest cellular agriculture research.

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Adam Bockler is the communications manager for Float, responsible for all of Float's marketing initiatives. In addition, Adam is a certified DDP Yoga Level 1 instructor, a certified personal trainer, a martial arts instructor, and a graduate of the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.

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On August 29, 2012

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