Range and Pasture Smartphone Apps!

Those of you who know me might smile when you see this post – given I’ve had a smartphone for one month!  However, when I first searched for phone applications, the top listed were mostly games (not that I’m anti-fun, but I don’t have any desire to “run” around a “temple”)…so began my search to figure out how to make my phone useful.

**I’d like to put out a disclaimer: This list is not comprehensive and is not meant to promote certain companies.  I’d love for you to leave comments below with other applications that you have found useful or reviews of the ones listed here so we can all benefit!

My Go-To Range and Pasture Apps:

1.  SoilWeb – This app was developed by the California Soil Resources Lab at UC Davis and uses USDA-NRCS’s soil survey information (what you would find on Web Soil Survey).  It uses your phone’s built-in GPS to get your current location, gives a summary of the soils and links to more details, including a list of plants that could be found on that soil type.  This app is free from the iPhone app store or you can download it to your computer to use in conjunction with Google Earth! (Free)

2.  BRIT Guide to Texas Range and Pasture Plants – This app was developed by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.  I believe there are 129 plants with pictures and characteristics.  Admittedly, I like to use the quiz feature to test my skills when I have downtime (my nerdy form of games I guess).  You cannot ‘zoom’ in on the plant pictures, which is a little frustrating, but maybe they’ll work this feature into newer versions.  The information must be correct – our own Dr. Barron Rector is acknowledged for the large part he had in providing information for the app!! ($1.99)

Herbicide-Related Apps:

3.  Tank Mix Calculator Apps – There’s a bunch of these and they all seem pretty good.  Some, like Mix Tank 2.0 will  allow you to take field notes on what you put out for record keeping purposes.

  • Tank Mix 2.0 – Precision Laboratories, Inc. (Free)
  • TankMix –  Dupont Crop Protection (Free)
  • TankCalc US – Syngenta Agro AG (Free)

4.  iConverter – There are a million measurement converters available.  I’ve tried a few and settled on this one for now. (Free)  It’s a bit too much for me since I really only use mass and volume – anyone have a better app to share?

5.  Agrian Mobile – Search chemical trade names to view the product label in an easy format.  This seems to be designed more for crops, so be sure to select ‘rangeland’ as your crop (if that is the case) and be careful when searching by chemical (active ingredient) names – make sure to enter the state and rangeland/pasture as the crop to ensure you’re viewing the correct label, as the chemical is probably used in several different markets. (Free)

6.  Weather Underground – There are so many weather apps to choose from, but this one seems very popular.  It has radar images of storms or fronts and uses GPS to find your position on the map.  Remember, your weather at head level may differ so it’s best to use a Kestral or other reliable weather device to gather data for herbicide applications or prescribed fires. (Free)

Grazing Apps:

7.  SDCES Grazing Records – South Dakota Cooperative Extension put out this app with the ability to record and calculate pasture information, forage availability, and how many animal units this will support.  Neat idea! (Free)

8.  Crystalyx BCS – Snap a picture of your cow and this app will compare it to reference photos to assign it a body condition score from 1 to 9.  You can save the pictures with tags numbers and keep a reference log to monitor BCS over time.  I haven’t had the opportunity to try this on a cow yet, but in case you were wondering…my office door is “1-Severely Emaciated”. (Free)

 What apps do you frequently use?  Feel free to add comments below!

Thanks to Mark Matocha, Will Hatler, Tony Falk, and Keith Pawelek for contributing ideas to this post.

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