Potato Grower

November 2021

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Getting more done with mobile communications By Ann Behling Wolf Photos courtesy Valley Irrigation 18 POTATO GROWER | NOVEMBER 2021 Like so many of his colleagues, Grant Morris, a producer in Pasco, Wash., relies daily on mobile communications to talk, text, email and manage equipment, crops and employees. But it's about more than convenience. The gains he makes by using his smartphone and tablet add to his annual bottom line. "Without mobile communications, it would take longer and cost more to perform the tasks I do on the farm. There would be more face- to-face interactions, which create inefficiencies," says Morris, who owns and manages Schneider Farms. He farms a total of 2,000 acres and produces grass seed, potatoes, sweet corn and peas for processing. Morris uses apps for any number of tasks today: to view satellite imagery that helps detect crop problems, look up invoices, monitor equipment operations, check fuel levels, buy inputs, transfer data, manage application rates, peruse agronomic recommendations, review sampling and scouting information, and much more. "The apps help eliminate a ton of paperwork and trips to the office to grab files," he says. Morris equips each of his employees with a smartphone or tablet and trains them on those devices. The operation relies heavily on a notes app and Dropbox to maintain to-do lists, communicate and transfer data. "I can see on the notes app when they've completed their work, so I don't have to call and check up on them," says Morris. KANSAS FARMER ADDS ACRES, CUTS WINDSHIELD TIME Producer Matt Moreland of South Haven, Kan., says mobile communications have helped him reduce driving time between the different sections of Moreland Farms. With 10,000 acres of corn, cotton, soybeans and winter wheat spread over 40 miles, that's significant. "So much of our business is based on spreading the cost of our equipment over many acres, and the more acres we can spread those costs over, the more profitable we can be," says Moreland, who farms with his wife and three sons. "By using mobile apps and other tools, we can manage a greater number of acres." He uses a multitude of apps to help his operation run smoothly, and he's a big fan of the Syngenta AgriEdge whole-farm management program. The program's record- keeping platform enables him to simply and quickly access all of his farm information via mobile communications. "I have all of my fields mapped, so at any given time, I can use my phone to see the exact acres on a field and what's been applied to them, check planting dates, and much more," Moreland says. He also uses apps to monitor rainfall and irrigation, an efficiency that saves money and can reduce water usage. "We've installed monitors on the center pivots, so I can use my phone to check water pressure and the speed

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