A Smarter Approach to Cotton Modules

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In January, attendees at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences heard about a multitude of smartphone apps designed to put more information at the fingertips of cotton producers. It seemed product manufacturers had discovered a surprising fact; farmers use their smartphones and tablets more than most.

Due to the nature of the job, most growers are rarely in front of a computer screen during the day. This makes mobile access to the Internet a necessity on many farms.

In yet another example of how tech savvy the farm set has become, developers at EWR, Inc., have found success with their MyModules app. Designed to simplify the process of recording modules between growers and gins, the MyModules app has gained widespread acceptance. Introduced three growing seasons ago, representatives from EWR, Inc., say MyModules has caught on across the Cotton Belt.

“MyModules replaces the need to call in newly-made cotton modules by voice to the gin,” says Shawn Lipscomb, general manager at EWR, Inc. “It can be used by cotton producers, field supervisors, or custom pickers. Modules can be recorded right in the field, automatically capturing the GPS coordinates, or recorded later.

“The data is then transmitted to the gin automatically,” Lipscomb says. “The app also allows a producer to see when his modules have been picked up, and when they have been ginned. There is a summary of bales that shows how many have been ginned, classed, sold, or put into loan or popped.”

The app works via the company’s “Cotton Host” servers, allowing data to be transmitted effortlessly between a grower’s smartphone and his gin. Lipscomb says ginners have become fans of the app, as well.

“They get more data, and more accurate data about each module,” Lipscomb says. “With the GPS data, a gin can view a regional map with all of the modules that are waiting for pickup, and dispatch module trucks in the most efficient manner.”

The app is available for iOS and Android, and is one of three cotton-specific smartphone apps offered by EWR, Inc. Company officials say part of the reason their software took off so quickly is that the company had already established a name for itself in the U.S. ginning industry.

“We have been publishing cotton gin, warehouse, and merchant software for over 25 years under our eCotton brand and other brand names in the earlier years,” Lipscomb says. “Most of the gins in the U.S. use our Cotton Gin System as their mission-critical software.”

Those interested are encouraged to search for MyModules in the App Store available on their smartphone or tablet.

Barnes is the senior editor for Cotton Grower magazine. In addition to writing for the magazine, he assists in online content production and in event production. He joined the Cotton Grower staff in May 2008.

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