To ensure spray technologies are used at the correct volume to control insects and weed growth in a cost efficient manner, many farmers and ranchers use calculator tools on their iPhone device to make certain they are using products at the correct volume and in the most cost effective manner. Some of these apps help determine in what order to mix products and can also store data like the amount and date it was used.

There are also apps for record keeping of labor and supply costs. Spreadsheets can be generated indicating the history of seeding and applications and feeding schedules on the farm or ranch.

There are apps for finance and banking and for purchasing and marketing. Keeping up with market prices is another popular application and there are dozens of apps specific to your crop or livestock operation.

There are also other applications and programs that can allow a farmer or rancher in the field to connect to his personal computer in the office, so sharing or moving information to and from one machine or device to another can be done by the push or click of a single button.

On top of all the other popular applications available for your device, it also serves as a great way to keep up with workers, family, associates and friends and is a valuable tool for organizing personal schedules and keeping those easy-to-forget appointments.

With all the press about new phone and device technology development and with so many farmers and ranchers already using one form or another of electronic devices to manage their operations, even the hardest of us to convince are beginning to realize the benefits the technology can provide on the farm.

But knowing something is good for you and acquiring it and, more importantly, learning to use it remains a major hurdle that many are having trouble overcoming. After all. change doesn't come easy -- or does it?

Thanks to agriculture extension service programs like the one scheduled in Colorado County this week (Oct. 23), becoming familiar with new phone and device technologies and understanding how they can help your agriculture operation, and specifically how they work, is getting a lot easier, even for those of us that still have' post it notes' hanging around their desks with phone numbers on them from many years past.

While Texas AgriLife Extension service has staged many such workshops in recent times all across the state, as the technology evolves and more apps related to farm and ranch expand, workshops like the one scheduled in Columbus are not just convenient, but downright necessary if you are going to use the best tools on the job.