Bunnaloo farmer Antony Vagg is finding there are many benefits in using smartphone technology on the farm.By Kathleen Tonini
Technology is making Bunnaloo farmer Antony Vagg more efficient.
After buying an iPad about four months ago, he now uses a number of different farming apps to help with everyday farming activities.
He has about 14 work-related apps, which cover soil quality, weed identification, chemicals and the grain market.
He also has a weather app which he relies heavily on and uses Twitter as a networking tool.
Having the internet at his fingertips helps him keep a close eye on the grain market, checking prices and demand.
‘‘If there’s a spike, you’re more likely to get a better price
He usually has his iPad, in a hardy, farm-proof cover, with him in his ute throughout the day, rather than having to be sit in an office.
‘‘It allows us to multi-task,’’ he said.
When he was looking to sell grain he would check his app three or four times a day and check his emails at lunchtime, Mr Vagg said.
‘‘It’s (technology) not like a magic fix, it’s just another tool,’’ he said.
The 25-year-old, who recently received a prestigious $30,000 Nuffield Scholarship, said while the available technology was amazing, it had to be worth the investment.
His purchase of an iPad has proved well worth it, he said.
The Nuffield Scholarship means Mr Vagg will travel to Canada in the new year to attend a conference and then spend four months travelling around the world looking at innovative farming practises.
He said while having new technology was useful, limited reception was frustrating.
There are certain points on his family’s farm where there is no reception at all.
But even with reception problems, just having a smartphone with a camera comes in handy — if a tractor part needs replacing, a photo can easily be sent to the next person who will be in town.
Mr Vagg said many other farmers were starting to embrace technology as well.
‘‘There’s so much technology and innovation out there that people aren’t aware of,’’ he said.
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