Purdue offers inexpensive phone apps for farmers, gardeners, landscapers

Jeff Burbrink

Mobile phones have become much more than phones. These phones allow us to access lots of information at our fingertips. I have heard it said that our current cellphones have more computing power than the computers that took our men to the moon!

There are apps of all kinds to help people who are interested in plants. Some are good, some are very poor. I am proud to say Purdue Extension has some excellent quality apps for farmers, vegetable growers, backyard hobbyists, landscapers and just about anyone with an interest in the outdoors.

All of these apps are available for both iOS and Android devices. They could make an excellent Christmas present for your plant enthusiast, whether amateur or professional.

For field crops, Purdue has the Corn Field Scout and Soybean Field Scout. They each have sections for insects, diseases, weeds, soils and fertility, diagnosing herbicide injury, and plant growth and development. If you have ever had a copy of the field scout pocket guides, these are the electronic version. These apps have hundreds of useful, high quality images to help you diagnose problems in the field, as well as information to help you plan your 2020 planting. Each of these apps is $5.99, and can be purchased at the App Store or Google Play.

If you have an interest in cover crops, Purdue and its partners in the Midwest Cover Crops Council offer an app on that subject, and it is free of charge! Subject matter includes choosing cover crops, when to plant, what to plant, soil fertility, killing a cover crop ahead of planting, and manure management.

For both the professional and amateur growers of landscaping plants, vegetables, turf and trees, Purdue has five Plant Doctor apps. Turf, Trees, Perennial Flower, Annual Flower and Tomato Doctor apps are only $1.99 each and are loaded with great information and useful pictures to assist you with diagnosis and treatment of various ailments. 

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or  jburbrink@purdue.edu.

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