Despite their seeming infiltration everywhere else, there’s one place where new technologies, such as smartphones and iPads, are not being used enough: the farm. In particular, Iowa State University research shows that just 25 percent of farmers are using them to receive crop production information. ISU Extension Entomologist Erin Hodgson says there are some reason why the technology is so under-used. “I think there are some misconceptions out there about what smartphones and other mobile devices could be used for,” she explains. “Sometimes, I think they get a bad rap that they are just for celebrities or kids, so some of the people I talk to are hesitant because they don’t feel it’s useful for them.”
Hodgson says some producers aren’t aware how the technologies could help in their management decisions. That’s why she has her own blog and podcasts to educate producers on the benefits. “We have a weekly podcast throughout the summer, which is a free subscription through iTunes,” and through ISU’s Soybean Aphids website she says. And her blog “It’s a bug’s life” gives producers “a heads up on scouting and management recommendations. You can also check out Hodgson’s twitter account @erinwhodgson for real-time updates.