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Arm Your Farm: The Must-Have Apps for Weather Warnings

Farming is big business in the prairies and even if there's snow on the ground, there's work to be done. Get the digital resources for weather advice, yield reports and business directories you need year-round. 

John Morriss has a handle on Western Canadian agriculture that very few of us do.

As the Associate Publisher and Editorial Director of the Winnipeg-based Farm Business Communications (FBC), Morriss immerses himself in Manitoba’s agricultural world every single day looking for and assigning stories on producers, crops, trends, analysis and futures among other items.

According to Morriss, there is no doubt that Manitoba’s agricultural community is a well-connected and well-informed bunch. In thanks, he says, to the smartphone boom.

“Pretty well every farmer has a smartphone,” explains Morriss. “And they get great mileage out of their usage.”

As we all know, with smartphones comes the ability for the user to download apps. Manitoba’s producers are no exception. Morriss singles out three main areas that farmers are utilizing technology to monitor their areas of interest with.

“First is the weather,” says Morriss, “That’s a really big one." There's no denying that the weather factors into every situation, and there are a multitude of apps to help. Plus social media has started to take off in a big way, as farmers can report conditions and send out early weather warnings to help others prepare for what's about to roll in. Read our previous article showing how Manitoban farms are doing just that.

"Then there are apps that provide market info. A lot of farmers are following futures markets via apps. And finally are the general news areas where they can select apps that will provide the news of the day right to their smartphones.”

Morriss says that the explosion of apps and technology on the farm has caused an embracement of technology by FBC. He says that FBC has created a free app called “WeatherFarm Mobile App” that provides real-time weather data such as temperature, precipitation and wind speed.

See Related: Farmers Use Twitter as Early Weather Warning System

Morriss says that there are also other competitors on the Manitoba weather app front, all looking to bring the most current information to the producers. With a quick Google search, farmers can find an app for anything of interest including weeds, insects, plant disease, machinery, fertility and soils.

Farms.com is one such website that offers farmers one-stop browsing on all agricultural matters and business, including a directory of apps that farmers can download right off the site. And as a requirement for every farmer on-the-go, you can also take the experience mobile…

5 Popular Farm & Agriculture Apps:

WeatherFarm Mobile: "Canada’s largest farm weather network, with more than 1,000 stations across Western Canada. Beside offering near real-time time temperature, wind and rainfall data and forecasts, WeatherFarm also provides farmers with management information such as spraying forecasts."

Farms.com Classifieds: North America’s #1 free buy and sell farm and agriculture classifieds mobile app.

Ag Weather Tools: Introducing the agricultural industry’s first weather application, which delivers exclusive GPS-based roaming alerts, as well as top-rated forecasts, touch screen interactive weather.

Ag Weed ID: This is a tool for farmers to help identify weeds during their scouting season.

eFarmer: This simple app is available on desktop and mobile devices, and is designed for the agricultural industry and allows users to construct an electronic map of fields to create.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Every Manitoba Farm Publication?

For most Manitobans, the flagship publication of Farm Business Communications is the Manitoba Cooperator. According to their website:

“With roots going back to 1925, the Co-operator is an institution in Manitoba, received by most farmers in the province. Each weekly issue contains production, marketing and policy news selected for relevance to crops and livestock producers in Manitoba. “ 

However, there are multiple FBC publications that are filled with valuable resources for every prairie farmer and agricultural business person:

Country Guide: "As Canada’s oldest farm publication, with roots back to 1886, Country Guide is about the business of farming, providing farmers with strategic business thinking."

Grainews: "…putting theory into practice on the farm, whether it’s choosing the right herbicide, finding the latest in farm machinery or navigating the accounting intricacies of the latest farm program."

Canadian Cattlemen: The place to learn all about the cattle business. Period.

Seed Manitoba: "The place where Manitoba farmers start when selecting a variety as the guide includes the latest, unbiased information on new & established cereal, oilseed and special crop varieties from across Manitoba."

Yield Manitoba: "A Planning Tool for Manitoba Farmers." They include variety yield tables, agroclimatic maps and more.

Wheel and Deal: From AgDealer.com this is a prairie-wide publication. "Whether it's machinery, herbicides, fertilizer or the myriad of other products they need to produce crops and livestock, farmers are always in the market for something."

Product Guide: An agricultural product, business and services directory. Search from their database of listings.

Did we miss any great resources for the agriculture industry? Let us know below in the comments and we may feature it in the next article.

Duncan Morrison

Duncan is a Winnipeg-based writer and communications consultant that specializes in freelance writing, strategic communications and marketing plans for clients from a wide range of organizations and businesses. His work has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines.

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