More farmers will likely be carrying pad-type computers into the field in 2012.
One indication: the number of people accessing our main web site on pads made a rather dramatic jump during the week after Christmas. A portion of that sudden jump probably can be attributed to folks either received pads as Christmas presents or cases where they bought them late in the year so they could write them off on their 2011 taxes.
We track this number by seeing the number of people accessing our site at various screen resolutions. Sitemeter, a commercial tracking system, generates a real-time report on our visitor traffic. Among other things, it shows us the top 35 monitor resolutions that our most recent 4,000 visitors used when visiting our site.
The screen resolution of 768 by 1024 pixels covers iPads and a number of Android-based pads. Between December 20 and December 30, it jumped from around 12th to 15th place to 5th to 6th place. As I write this, itâ€™s at number 5 with a 5.9% share of viewing.
The share of pad viewing will likely increase as the weather warms and more farmers move into the field. As more ag apps roll out, farmers and their advisors will have additional reasons to carry and use pads.
Which brings me to this questionâ€¦
How are farmers who already have pads using them now?
A friend, Adrian Morrell, told me recently that he used a spreadsheet in Google Docs to keep up with cotton modules during harvest in 2011.
His pad: a Motorola Xoom.
â€œI could enter modules in the field rather than writing them down on paper and inputting them later in the office,â€ said Adrian, who lives in Camilla, Georgia, in the southwest part of the state. â€œI have AgSense remote pivot monitors on two pivots, and will have more soon, so I can monitor them on the Xoom.â€
Beyond that, he looks up and orders parts online.
â€œI love my Xoom,â€ he added. â€œI was a little skeptical at first, and I can’t type on it quite as fast as on a real keyboard, but it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it might be at first.â€
Adrian bought his pad in mid 2011 and quickly found ways that it could streamline his life. â€œI really feel like I’d be lost without it.â€
If, like Adrian, you already have a pad, how are you using it?
Please leave a comment below about your pad usage for other folks to see.