Best price for a tool? Free

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When you stop and think about it, the amount of data and tools available on the Internet is quite amazing. And for the most part, these tools are very reasonably priced or even free.

The challenge, of course, is wading through all the junk to find the information or services that are worth your time. Because what ultimately costs you the most is your time investment, andd we all know that “free” products almost always have strings.

So here’s a good piece of news: this article shows how a free service can actually be of a major benefit to agriculture.

Consultant Noel Anderson, whose firm Madison In­formation Systems and Analysis, “works with a range of businesses to pull to­gether a lot of different information, and he’s using an infrastructure anyone can download for free – Google Earth. It’s a great way to acquaint yourself with the program’s power. This is a program that goes far beyond the handy Google Maps application. Today, a lot of com­panies use Google Earth images as their base layer in programs,” according to the article.

The key nugget: “Learning how to pull information into Google Earth takes a little time, but once you get the hang of it and bring all those different data files into one place, you can start evaluating fields from a wide range of accumulated knowledge. Soil maps have been around for some time and are now all digitized.”

What free services do you use on your farm?


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