Farmers Use iPad Apps to Track Planting


Planting season is quickly approaching. For many, like the Greving brothers of Chapman, precision's the name of the game.

"As you go through the field, you're making a high resolution map on your iPad," Jeremy said, pointing to the gadget he keeps with him on the tractor. Taking the guesswork out of farming, Jeremy and Shane Greving turn to technology. Shane said, "We got iPads for all our tractors for all our operators, run an app on there for record keeping - keep track of fuel on each field, what we did." Farmers are small business people, and the data from the iPads syncs in the cloud, generating reports that could save fuel and money for a farm burning through thousands of gallons a year. "Few gallons here and there at $3.50 fuel, it'll add up," Shane said. Another app helps them get the crop planted with precision. Shane said planting is important, so the app is very useful.
"That sets the bar for the whole year, so if you don't get that right, you're already going to hurt yield somewhat," he said.
They found that out last year, when they a misalignment on the planter meant they were throwing out too much seed in some areas and not enough in others. Jeremy said, "You wouldn't have seen it until the corn came up and been kicking yourself. It finds your mistakes before they become a problem. Fix the day of the problem instead of next year." The planting app works along with a monitor made by a company called Precision Planting, which Jeremy and Shane are dealers for.
They say the benefits extend beyond planting. Shane said, "When you go back in the summertime scouting, and see problems, you can take the iPad out in the field and it'll pinpoint location with GPS and see if what you're seeing is planter error or something else happening." Shane says it can cost a lot of money to get all the equipment, but says it pays off. "It'll tell you how much you're losing if you're planters messing up," he said.
For more, watch NTV's Grow on Sunday night at 10:35 p.m.