Illinois Soybean Association Mobile Breakthrough

Case Study

Illinois Soybean Association: iOS App

Giving Soybean Farmers an Edge – and an App – Against the Elements

BT created an iOS app based on the ISA’s “Yield Challenge” program. The app included a data collection feature to empower soybean growers to monitor and record the results of challenging conditions on a control test plot directly from the field location.

With this app, the Illinois Soybean Association provides a practical and reliable way for farmers to further develop yield-enhancing practices.

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ISA Promotes Improved Farming Methods with Interactive Mobile App

Agricultural producers such as soybean growers face a multitude of obstacles. For instance, in a 2012 withering heat and prolonged drought dealt Midwest farmers a crippling blow. Each year brings its own climate challenges. To help its membership deal with the complexity and risks that come with soybean farming, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) hired Breakthrough Technologies (BT) to help them develop a mobile app. And the app had to be mobile to work where growers work—out in the fields.
 
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It’s good to learn and see what we can do to make our soybean yield better, what we can learn from other people. We’re trying to optimize all we can and get the most from our acreage.
Chad Kuenstler, ISA Yield Challenge Participant

iOS App Takes Data Collection to the Farmers’ Fields

BT developed an iOS app based on the “Yield Challenge” program created by the ISA. It encouraged soybean growers to try new yield-enhancing practices. It also facilitated sharing the results of those methods with other farmers. The iOS app included a data collection feature to empower soybean growers to monitor and record the results of challenging conditions on a control test plot from the field location.

BT found a method to make the mobile app work for farmers out in the field where there is no Internet access. Users of the app can enter data right at the source with or without Internet connectivity. The Yield Challenge iOS app then syncs later with the same database as the ISA’s web app.

App features:
  • Users can enter and update data in multiple categories, such as History & Fertility and Harvest Data;
  • Safeguards prevent data loss that come with multiple users altering the same database;
  • Swipe-able content;
  • Login and registration for multiple user types; and,
  • Integration with ISA’s website.
With an eye to the future modifications and improvements, BT’s mobile team designed the app using Sencha – a robust collection of frameworks that streamline the process of developing this same app for HTML5, iOS and Android.

About the Illinois Soybean Association

More than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois are represented by the non-profit Illinois Soybean Association. Since the 1960s, this statewide organization has worked to make Illinois soybean producers more knowledgeable and more profitable. Their efforts include funding market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues analysis and management, communications, education, and advocacy.