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Top Mobile Accessories for Farm Workers

By Paul Fitzgerald for America's Backbone Weekly

Mobile accessories have taken the farm by storm. These add-ons are making life in agri-business easier on a variety of levels, leading to more productivity and enhanced profits while boosting the performance of larger tech tool items. Instant communications are at the center of farm life and this article will address how smaller technology investments can make a big difference from both operations and financial perspective.

Smart farm technology is changing the farm of yesterday into an interconnected entity that is able to increase yields and productivity. With the Internet of Things (IoT), everything from crop rotation to livestock can now be monitored with a range of connected smart devices. This is critical as the UN Food and Agricultural Organization says the world will need to produce 70% more food in 2050 than it did in 2006.

Technology brings efficiencies to agri-business in multiple ways. For example:

  • With a Tablet, farmers can now monitor cows that are being milked by robotic milking machines.
  • AutoProbe is a soil sampler that takes instant readings from the soil of your farm and is able to compare with previous samples, giving you an accurate running account of any patterns that may develop.
  • Cloud computing generates data on equipment maintenance plans, inventory levels, crop yields and weather trends.
  • Drones can provide aerial photos that report on irrigation schemes.
  • Smartphones allow for the sharing of data and voice communication.

Be Smart About Smartphones

Instant communications are at the center of farm life and your first task is making sure your most critical workers have the right Smartphone, network and accessories. Whether receiving texts informing on the status of a grain cart that is delivering its content, keeping abreast of the latest weather developments in real time or estimating the next dosage of pesticides through a calculator app, Smartphones bring about efficiencies in agri-business.

Accessories assist you in optimizing your Smartphones, whether they are intended for protection and security or ensuring enough energy is generated to keep it functioning.

The list of accessories below are some of the best initial investments:

  • Smartphone Case. The rough and tumble existence of farmers means that mobile devices are at risk without a solid cover. Smartphones are a key investment to your agri-businesses operation so you do not want to leave them to exposed to the hazards of farming. Make sure all phones are protected with rugged cases that stand up to being dropped on concrete floors or dropped in water.

  • Screen Protectors. An unclean screen can inhibit the ability to see properly during the course of the farm workday. Glass screens that are as thin as .3mm serve the dual purpose of protecting the screen while allowing you to keep using its functions. Given the high-paced usage by farm workers, opt for a screen protector that does not permit scrapes, scratches, cracks or other mishaps to occur.

  • Chargers. Portable chargers allow you to move during your daily duties without fear of being disconnected from the outside world. Chargers run from small portable accessories for Smartphone to larger, more enduring chargers that are great for chores that require sustained remote activities away from the main workstation.

  • Bluetooth hands-free devices. Physical dexterity and mobility are essential for farm workers. The current versions of Bluetooth® headsets have microphones. It's important that these devices be comfortable, especially since your farm workers are likely to be wearing them for long stretches at a time. With the wind and other noises as fairly prominent, you'll want to have headsets that have more than one microphone to maximize the device's capability.

  • Car/vehicle mount. For tractors and all-terrain vehicles that are characteristic of the modern agri-business. A secure resting place for the Smartphone while making the rounds is crucial because it means that farm workers can visually assess information while carrying out their tasks. Key features to satisfaction are easy installation, secure holding of the Smartphone itself and flexibility.

  • Farm Apps. A wide range of apps are available for iOS/Android, running the gamut from the Great Lakes Early Detection Network that focuses on reports dealing with invasive species to Agrivi, an all-inclusive app dealing with crop management, or TractorPal, which is focused to catalogue and oversee the state of farm's machinery inventory. These apps contribute to a smarter, more efficient farm.

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