There are times when a latex milking glove only holds so much information, or a pen can only take being used like a pry bar so many times before it doesn’t write. Pretty much around the clock, though, having a smart phone on your person is normal. As being such, I’ve put together a list of applications I find useful in the ag world — ones that I use pretty regularly. I do use an Android, so some of these apps may not work in an Apple system. Feel free to contact me about other apps you use that should be recognized.

Cattle Market Mobile

This free app has a few great features, including USDA auction reports, USDA commodity reports, and market submitted reports, as well as futures markets. You can also mark your “favorite” auction reports, and the app will send you a notification when there is a new report available. The app posts some news and resources, and has other useful tools such as a gestation calculator and calf calculator.

Cattle Breeding Calculator

This is a free app for calculating forward or backward dates. You can save the dates by animal name or number and view them later, as well as email the calculated dates. It’s a very simple app, and useful for making quick notes or determining predicted calving dates when counting back three months just doesn’t work.

Breeding Wheel App

This app is based on the real breeding wheels everyone used to use but for which they can no longer find pins. You can identify animals, define a service schedule, and distribution of calves, dry dates and more. This app also lets you send a file with your animal’s data to another device so that technicians can provide assistance from a distance. This app is also free, and best used with dairy herds.

Dairy News and Markets

This app offers the latest dairy news and advice from experts on markets and other topics in one easy to use, free app.

Merck Vet Manual

This is the same Merck Vet Manual that has been used as an animal health reference for more than 60 years and covers all species and disorders of veterinary interest worldwide.

Calf Health Scorer

This app is only available on the iTunes App Store. This app utilizes the University of Wisconsin’s calf health scoring chart to evaluate calf health based on scoring clinical parameters developed by Sheila McGuirk. After scoring calves, the report button will show the data you choose — list to treat, list today or today treat.

Geo Area Calculator

Do you ever wonder how big a field is? Need help determining the size of a pasture that needs to be split up into paddocks? This app was my best friend when determining both those items. It’s super simple to use and the satellite images are fairly up to date, so looking for landmarks from a birds-eye view is pretty easy to do.

Bull Search

This is Genex’s app for searching bulls. The app store description says: “search and sort dairy bulls industry-wide from your device. The Bull Search app includes genetic evaluations on approximately 40,000 bulls, including Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Milking Shorthorn bulls. Users can look up bulls by their short name, NAAB code or registration number to view their genetic details and pedigree information. Active bulls can be sorted or filtered by a main genetic index or individual traits.

Ideal Commercial Cow index values are available on Genex Holstein and Jersey bulls. The app includes file export options. Export a list of bulls with their genetic trait details to an Excel or CSV file. The file can be saved to the user’s device, emailed or sent via text message. After the initial download of data, an internet connection is not needed for searching or sorting bulls. Users will be notified when new genetic data is available for download.”

BCS Cowdition

This is Bayer’s app for simplifying and standardizing dairy cow body condition. This app allows you to save cows and track changes in BCS over time. It will sync with herd management software on farm as well. It utilizes your phone’s camera to line up the cow you’re measuring with a cow silhouette to determine BCS.

Livestocked

This is another free app to track herd performance with a business mindset. This app can be accessed via smart phone or computer, and can track herd information, semen, and embryo inventory, sales and financials, as well as pasture. This app is also multi-species and can be used for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas and llamas.

ID Weeds

This app is from the University of Missouri’s College of Ag, Food and Natural Resources’ Plant Science Division. You can search for weeds by common or Latin name, or identify weeds based on different characteristics.

Calf Book

This app is more for beef producers and is not free, although it comes with a free one-month trial period. This is the app that I use with my herd. You can track calving data, weaning and yearling performance and generate reports by sire or calf crop. It also can generate individual cow productivity by keeping annual calf performance.

Editor’s note: Betsy Hicks is a dairy specialist with the South Central New York Dairy and Field Crops Team. She can be reached at 607-391-2660 x415.