When Eugenie “Oogie” McGuire needed a better way to keep track of her 146 Black Welsh Mountain sheep, the former software developer did what farmers have been doing since time immemorial: She designed what she needed. Here, her LambTracker program, plus four other apps that target highly specific farm problems.
Compatible with Android devices, this open-source program allows small sheep operations to collect data and record info about their flocks, from drugs administered and lambing histories. (free; github.com/OogieM)
Most farmers either have hay or need it. As there’s no commodities market for the crop, this Android app helps growers negotiate sales by estimating a field’s value using current and historic price data. (free; play.google.com)
Unwelcome interlopers can wreak havoc on fields. This app provides photos of more than 400 plant pests, along with descriptions of leaves, flowers, and roots, so farmers can ID the pesky invaders—then eliminate them. (free; itunes.apple.com/play.google.com)
Heat stress in cattle can lead to diminished milk production, lower weight gain in steers, even death. This app uses weather data and animal respiration to identify at-risk cows, then offers tips for keeping the herd cool and healthy. (free; itunes.apple.com/play.google.com)
This app gives small farmers tech chops like the big boys, turning an Android device and antennae into a GPS tractor guidance system that lets anyone plow straighter and fertilize smarter. ($545; machineryguideapp.com)