Crop of high-tech farmers sows results with apps

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WESTFORD, Vt. (AP) — Farmers across the country are relying on new cyber tools to help them monitor the weather and their irrigation systems and even map crops.

Longtime dairy farmers in Vermont are now keeping records on their smartphones of their fields and crops — from manure and fertilizer applications to corn and hay harvests, thanks to a savvy University of Vermont researcher.

Agronomist Heather Darby of UVM Extension got the idea as she was working with farmers to develop plans to manage their fields and crops and protect the environment. She said the farmers weren't very good at keeping records, but they had grown accustomed to using cellphones.

Her goCrop app received about $400,000 more from the federal government this spring to expand for use around the Northeast and in California.

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