WHEREVER there is adequate cell phone coverage, CropTrak software allows multiple users to simultaneously enter real-time crop data into one database. Data may also be collected on PDAs or handheld tablet PCs, then downloaded at the end of the day. The database can be on a farm office computer or on a fee-hosted database accessible via a password-protected Web site.

Farm managers in California already use CropTrak. Harvesting teams, crop scouts, ranchers and custom applicators might be some of the first to use this software to streamline their data collection processes in the Midwest.

CropTrak software sells for $350 and can be easily loaded onto a variety of handheld devices. Although a monthly subscription fee is not necessary for operation, ScanControl makes data hosting and management services available for around $75/month. Contact ScanControl, Dept. FIN, Box 5074, Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925/249-9463, visit www.scancontrol.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 188.