Apps for the Dairy Farmer you might not know about
Published on Thu, 10/24/2019 - 3:30pm
Apps for the Dairy Farmer you might not know about
By Jaclyn Krymowski
There’s no questioning it, the dairy industry has long been an early adapter of agri-technologies. Producers and professionals have been quick to jump on innovations in robotics, genetics, housing, parlor technology, veterinary medicine and much more. Reasonably, this industry has also been the home and birthplace of many works of genius large and small.
While it’s easy to get swept away with the grandeur of expensive new equipment, advanced robotics and reproductive technologies, let’s take a moment to appreciate the unsuspecting small, but highly valuable tools that fit in the palm of your hand or on your desk. Private companies and extension services have developed a huge array of programs and applications to make the complicated farm world a bit simpler and more efficient.
Finance: The Farm Margin Tool
This is a mobile app that helps calculate a dairy’s individualized breakeven cost of production – a pivotal number for the successful dairyman. Simply input your numbers from various accounts, expenses and sources of income into one place and have the program do the difficult number crunching. This is one tool you won’t want to go without!
Dairy Cents Mobile App
To aid with the tricky finances of income over feed cost, Penn State Extension has developed this handy program. This application also compares the prices of various feed ingredients to the official Penn State Feed Price List. DairyCents Mobile and the Farm Margin Tool are both available for download directly from Penn State’s extension website.
Hay Price Calculator
Never overpay for hay thanks to this mobile app developed by the University of Minnesota.
It aids hay buyers by calculating the fair price per ton while providing cost comparisons of small and large square and round bales. Simply input the information and the app will calculate the approximate cost per ton for the most economic value.
Crops Grower’s Edge
This program keeps a variety of ag-related crop production tools in one convention location. Here you can look up prices, market quotes, futures, weather, news and even commentary. As a nice bonus, this free program is available for desktop and mobile from iTunes and Google Play.
This is another handy app for a large variety of ag-related content useful on a day to day basis. In addition to market reports, you can customize and track details related to your crop production. You can log details and information by individual fields, create yearly plans, lists and budgets, manage inventory, and track rainfall.
The University of Missouri Extension presents this app useful to producers of all sorts. It allows users to search for weeds by name or characteristics and provides detailed information and photos of each weed species.
Herd Management IPM Tool Kit
This was developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and helps producers create an Integrated Pest Management program. It offers advice and suggestions to layout and create a personalized, sustainable pest management protocol through avoidance, monitoring, and minimizing risks.
Remember the classic breeding wheel that once hung in every dairy office? The Google Play store has a downloadable modern spin on this device. This is a simplified way to monitor reproductive status and efficiency with an overview of the entire herd and by individual animal. You can forecast estrus cycles, set dry cow periods, track lactation periods, schedule services and more in one place.
This is a must-have cheat sheet for dairy health and treatment. Sponsored by Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, this app, the Compendium of Veterinary Products, puts over 5,900 parasiticide, feed medication, biological and pharmaceutical product monographs and over 260 manufacturers and distributers with their contact information. It also includes specific charts of withdrawal times, biologicals and anthelmintics and parasiticides. Users can search this massive data base by product use and category indexes.
Office Tasks Evernote
This isn’t a farm specific-app, but many farmers have found it extremely helpful in juggling miscellaneous electronic data. This app allows you to organize, sync and update your notes, to-do lists, projects and much more. The beauty of Evernote is it allows you to have your information kept consistent across a variety of devices. Simply make your updates on your phone and it will show up wherever you need it to.
If you have a lot of tasks, lists and ideas to share among a family or team, this is one for you. The unique feature of Google Keep is it allows multiple members to access and edit notes and lists in real time. You can also set time and location-based reminders for your to-do lists. This is especially helpful for farm supply shopping lists, chores and more.
Here’s a helpful tool you might not have thought of when it comes to the dairy business – password management. As more services, programs, accounts and tools move to the internet, there is an increased danger of online security breaches. This password manager confidentially stores your usernames and passwords from several accounts so that you can login in from different devices automatically. You can maintain several unique and secure passwords without having to remember them all each time you login.
If you’ve invested in any sort of camera monitoring system for your dairy, be sure to take advantage of their remote monitoring options. Now, many systems come with smartphone and tablet apps where you can check in on cameras and receive alerts from wherever you are – you don’t even need to be at your desk to see what’s happening around the farm.