In-season scouting and data collection with APPs

By John Fulton, Trey Colley, and Jenna Lee

Collecting in-season data including scouting intel and imagery can be useful on the farm. For those conducting on-farm studies, collecting data beyond yield can provide valuable context when evaluating yield results post-harvest. There are several mobile applications (APPs) available today that can assist with scouting and collecting data. The value with many of these APPs is having:

  1. Information at your fingertips
  2. Efficient collection and storage of data, images, notes, etc.
  3. The ability to share collected information with others quickly
  4. Access to collected information later in the season, post-harvest or next year
  5. The capability to geo-tag while collecting data and images
  6. Data and information available when evaluating post-harvest results.

One app that allows you to have all of benefits in one is the Ohio State PLOTS App. This is an on-farm research app provided by The Ohio State University free of charge. PLOTS allows the user to set-up replicated field studies, capture geo-tagged notes/images during the growing season, and performs statistical analyses on collected crop data. PLOTS is a safe, secure, and is backed up to cloud storage. We also suggest having a good weather APP that you can reference throughout the growing season.

Many other apps allow for in-season data management and recording, here are a few that we currently use:


  • Planting Population Calculator by AgPhD — planting population and stand counts
  • Ohio State PLOTS — generate plots and statistics for on-farm research
  • Climate Fieldview by the Climate Corporation — collect and store field data
  • Soil Test Pro — lab results, fertilizer recommendations and controller files
  • Encirca View — field location via satellite imagery and notes/photos
  • AirScout — aerial imagery based scouting application
  • Trimble AgMobile — record keeping, crop scouting, mapping, grid sampling
  • Weather Underground — hyperlocal forecasts, interactive radar, severe weather alerts
  • Field Pest by AgPhD — identify pests by name or image.

This list does not represent all APPs that can be used for in-season data collection. Make sure to review the functionality of each APP to determine if it will meet your needs. If interested, use the URL to learn about APPs to support Crop Nutrition on-farm:

Learn more by following the OSU Precision Ag research on Twitter and Facebook at @OhioStatePA.


Dr. Fulton, Associate Professor, can be reached at This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Trey Colley is a graduate student in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Jenna Lee is an undergraduate student and research assistant in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

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