What is in this article?:
• As Emporia, Va., cotton ginner Mark Hodges and his wife Karan found out last year, an app for tracking cotton modules can make life a little easier around the gin come fall picking time.
KARAN Hodges checks Cotton Host data at the Mid-Atlantic gin in Emporia, Va.
These days it seems there is an app for most everything and modern day agriculture is no different. For sure with cotton: There’s an app for that!
As Emporia, Va., cotton ginner Mark Hodges and his wife Karan found out last year, an app for tracking cotton modules can make life a little easier around the gin come fall picking time.
During the fall of the year things get so busy at Mid-Atlantic cotton gin that Mark and Karan stay on-site at the gin in a travel trailer, rather than making the 25 mile trip each way to and from their home.
Karan, who is office manager for the gin, says as she was paying bills last year a flyer for a new cell phone app caught her eye. The bill was from EWR, the company that provides Mid-Atlantic’s eCotton-brand gin software and a service called CottonHost, a website that provides reporting of gin data to farmers.
“Normally that kind of paper goes straight to the trash can, but something about it caught my eye — just serendipity, I guess. After reading it, I knew I had the perfect candidate to give the smart phone-based program a test,” she recalls.
The guinea pig for the smart phone app for cotton is Mark and Karan’s son, Jason, who now farms nearly 1,000 acres of cotton in nearby Drewryville, Va. Jason, who worked at the gin prior to starting his own farming operation a few years back, took the new app and put it to use tracking his modules.
“We have a number of younger farmers, who grew up with computers and Internet technology who use the app and really like it. In fact, all our growers who have taken the time to figure out how to use it, really like it,” Karan says.
“The App can now be used on Android devices and IPhones, which most of our farmers have. The MyModules app only costs $10, and we will help our growers buy it and set it up on their phone,” she adds.
There is no doubt the coming of cotton modules and more recently cotton pickers that pick and bale cotton on the same machine have made cotton harvest much less labor intensive and more efficient. Compressing cotton picking and ginning into a tighter time span has also created many challenges for both growers and ginners.
“There is now an app for most anything you want to do in life,” says Raleigh-based computer programmer Shawn Lipscomb, who helped build the MyModules app.