10 High-tech Tools on the Typical Farm

The Irrigation App
The SmartIrrigation app helps farmers manage irrigation, while considering local rainfall patterns. Jose Debastiani Andreis/SmartIrrigation

One of the most important jobs of a farmer is to make sure that he uses the water he has judiciously (especially if rain is not in the forecast). A new set of smartphone apps called SmartIrrigation are aimed at helping cotton, strawberry and citrus farmers manage the water they use on their crops by taking into account local weather conditions.

Developed by a University of Georgia agricultural scientist, the apps use GPS technology already available in smartphones to determine when users should water their crops by estimating how much H2O the plants are using each day and factoring in area rainfall totals, via connection with the closest weather station. It's not just for farmers: A home user version lets lawn jockeys determine when to break out the sprinklers [sources: Beckham, SmartIrrigation].