Illinois Soybean Association Yield Challenge App Released


Keeping track of how often you should water your houseplants can be challenging for most people. Now imagine being responsible for hundreds of acres of crops susceptible to pests, government mandates, and unexpected weather conditions. Soybean farmers don’t have to imagine any of these difficulties – they’re living it.


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) understands the complexity and risks that come with being a soybean farmer. They’re response was to collaborate with Breakthrough Technologies and release the Yield Challenge app to the app store on September 4.


ISA wanted to address the challenge of collecting data in a timely and accurate way. Their existing web app made this difficult for farmers out in the field where they don’t typically have access to the Internet. The prevalence of mobile devices, specifically the iPad, led them to seek Breakthrough’s help to create an app that would overcome the lack of connectivity. 


Now, with the help of a persistent data function, farmers are able to enter data into the app at the source with or without an Internet connection and store if for sync at a later time. Checks for conflict resolution and specific instructions to users prevent the loss of data that can come with multiple users altering the same database.


By creating the Yield Challenge program ISA encourages “soybean growers to try new yield-enhancing practices and share the information learned through those methods” for the benefit of the whole industry. Pairing the YC program with data collection web and iOS apps empowers soybean farmers and team leaders to easily monitor and record the results of challenging conditions on a control and test plot.


The YC app’s features include:
  • An Information page with swipe-able content

  • Login and registration for multiple user types

  • Integration with ISA’s website in the form of links and RSS feeds

  • After logging in participants can enter / update data in several categories, such as History & Fertility and Harvest Data


Recognizing a future need for making the app available on other mobile platforms Breakthrough’s mobile team decided on developing the app using Sencha – a robust collection of frameworks which streamline the process of developing the same app for HTML5, iOS and Android.


ISA is excited about their new Yield Challenge app and continuing to work with Breakthrough Technologies to build its success and refine their technology strategy. Given the severe drought that has adversely affected farmers during the 2012 season in Illinois, the ISA and Breakthrough believe this app will be crucial to improving crop yields in the years to follow.


Want to check out the Yield Challenge app firsthand? It’s free in the app store or you can look it up in iTunes.

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