For many people, the smartphone has become the most important item they carry – an indispensable tool that is never far from our reach. More than a simple communication device, the smartphone connects business owners to their customers through apps, the internet, and social media, while allowing them to run mobile business management software. Some growers even use their smartphones to remotely operate their irrigation systems.

However, the personal computer in your pocket can’t handle the dirt, dust, rain and mud that are unavoidable parts of the nursery grower’s life.

Luckily, several manufacturers have developed rugged cases to protect our favorite asset from harm.

Ballistic Hard Core Tactical

For a case that will survive just about anything, you could choose the Hard Core Tactical from Ballistic. This case has plenty of advocates and should stand up to most work environments.

Phone: iPhone 6/6s

Features:

  • 12 feet of certified drop protection on concrete
  • IP-54 protection against debris, dirt, dust, and water
  • 200-lb pull strength holster, assembled with aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel components
  • Integrated springs for shock absorption
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Price: $100

For more: www.goballisticcase.com

OtterBox Defender

The most common tough case around, the OtterBox Defender, is available for just about every phone you can buy. OtterBox has been making phone cases since 1998, and although the Defender isn’t IP-certified, the company has a system of 24 tests it runs on its cases to ensure they live up to their reputation.

Phone: iPhone, iPad, most Android handsets and tablets including Samsung Galaxy family, HTC One, LG G3 and G4

Features:

  • Drop, dust, screen, and scratch protection
  • Two-piece polycarbonate shell and a rubber slipcover to defend against shocks
  • Wireless charging works through the Defender case
  • One-year warranty

Price: varies by phone type and color

For more: www.otterbox.com

Dog & Bone Wetsuit

According to a Good Mobile Phones survey of nearly 2,000 adults, 31 percent have damaged their handset with water or another liquid. That’s why Dog & Bone made the Wetsuit case.

Phone: iPhone 6/6s

Features:

  • Military certified rating for impact resistance (MIL STD 810G)
  • IP-68 Ingress Protection Rating for the highest level of protection from water and dirt.
  • Rubber bumper for added grip and style, allows complete access to ports and controls.
  • Triple layer of shock protection
  • Only 12 mm thin

Price: $79.95

For more: www.dogandbonecases.com