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Corn Advisor app turns smartphones, tablets into 24/7 corn experts


ADVICE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS—The new Corn Advisor app, developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is available for smartphones and tablets. (U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture images.)

An app developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture can turn a producer's smartphone or tablet into an anytime, any place corn expert.

The Corn Advisor app is just in time. Corn is one of the most rapidly expanding crops in Arkansas, with growers setting a new state average yield record in 2012 and harvesting nearly 700,000 acres.

Corn Advisor consists of six different interactive features that give producers quick access to production information. It's available at no cost through Google's Play store, or by clicking http://alturl.com/buh5d. Once installed on the Android smartphone or tablet powered by Android 2.2 operating system or higher, the app does not require user to be connected to the Internet in order to access any of the features.

The app allows users to search for:

--Recommendations on application of lime, plus nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and sulfur; and

--Symptoms of nutrient deficiency, plus information about corn diseases, pests and their control practices.

App users will also be able to access the "Corn Production Handbook," MP437, a mainstay for corn growers published by the Cooperative Extension Service.

"Increased usage of smartphones and tablet devices, in general, has provided another avenue for the Cooperative Extension Service to provide science based information to stakeholders on round-the-clock basis," said Dharmendra Saraswat, an associate professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, and an extension engineer for geospatial technologies. He led the development of the app. "Mobile devices not only allow us to provide intended information to those who need it, but also right there in the field where it is needed the most."

Saraswat said the app would benefit producers, consultants, county Extension agents and others in the agriculture industry.

"The app allows for the quick and consistent dissemination of updates to the users," he said, adding that users should also accept all notices for updates as new features and other information will be frequently shared through app upgrades.

"With the number of cellphones and tablets we see out in the fields, this app was really a natural progression of how the Division of Agriculture serves its clients, said Jason Kelley, an associate professor and Extension specialist for wheat and feed grains, and another specialist who collaborated in the development of app. "With the growth in corn acreage in Arkansas over the last few years, we believe our clients will find this useful."

The app allows sending feedback by pressing "Disclaimer & Credits" button on the main screen followed by pressing "Contact Us" button.

The funding for the app development was provided through Arkansas Corn Grower check-off funds through the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board and the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Date: 2/18/2013



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