That smartphone you carry on your hip now can deliver real-time weather reports direct from your farm, no matter where you are.

You also can view instantaneous in-field wind, temperature and humidity reports as you spray, thanks to a tiny mobile weather station mounted on the sprayer cowling.

Although automated weather stations have been around for years, the latest editions can automatically upload weather data to secure Web sites, ready for viewing from your cell phone or computer. Versions with built-in wireless or cellular communications make it possible to set up remote stations across a far-flung operation. This allows you to keep abreast of site-specific conditions to maximize the efficiency of weather-dependent field operations.

Meanwhile, mobile weather stations for use on vehicles have replaced fragile, twirling anemometers with durable ultrasonic wind speed sensors with no moving parts. Originally designed for yachts, these weather stations include GPS and an on-board computer to calculate actual wind speed as you drive.