A recent survey of arable farmers, conducted by the Kleffmann Group, reports that 46% of farmers in the UK and 32% of farmers in Germany owned a Smartphone. This survey involved 1100 German farmers and 400 British farmers, all of whom grow oilseed rape.
The Kleffmann Group, partnered in the UK by Independent Business Resource Limited (IBR-Ltd), conducts on-going comprehensive surveys of European farmers, collecting quantitative and qualitative information related to crops and inputs. This most recent survey asked farmers about their attitude towards Smartphones and professional apps for farm businesses.
“The survey established that a higher percentage of arable farmers in the UK have a Smartphone (46%), but the adoption of professional apps on these Smartphones is much higher in Germany than in the UK. The survey reports that 86% of German farmers with a Smartphone have apps for professional use on their mobile, compared to 46% of British farmers,” says Roger Pratchett, Director of IBR-Ltd.
In the UK there was some regional variation with both Smartphone ownership and the use of business related apps. In Scotland and the West Midlands 54% of arable farmers had a Smartphone, where just 39% of farmers in the East Midlands and 42% of farmers in Yorkshire and Humberside owned one. When asked if they used their smartphone for professional purposes on their farm, 62% of Scottish farmers, 60% of Eastern region farmers and 59% of those in Yorkshire and Humberside said that they did use professional apps, whereas just 41% of farmers in the South West and 42% in the South East used professional apps.
“The most popular app in both countries was, unsurprisingly, concerned with the weather, with 67% of German and 55% of UK farmers downloading weather Apps on their Smartphone. In the UK the next most popular downloads are were those concerned with grain
trading (12%) and the Hutchinson Fieldwise app which covers agronomy news (10%). Both BASF and Bayer were mentioned next with 9% of farmers having apps from these two manufacturers,” says Roger.
BASF have a suite of apps in the UK including those measuring Green Area Index (GAI), the CAT (Canopy Assessment Tool), Total Oilseed Care app as well as Weed and Pest ID apps. Bayer has their product manual as an app plus Pest Spotter and Weed Spotters.
In Germany after the weather apps, farmers had downloaded Bayer apps (17%), followed by disease identification apps (14%). In total 21 different apps were mentioned by UK farmers and 32 by German farmers.