In a world of information technology, apps make it possible to remain in the field when muddled by a unfamiliar disease or insect infestation.
And in a world of information technology, there is no need to leave the field when muddled by a unfamiliar disease or insect infestation. Nor do you, these days, need a tablet and pencil to figure things like estimating corn yields or even calculating fertilizer rates.
Yes, there is an app for just about anything – even on the farm.
“We have seen a growing sector of farmers who are using apps,” said Ignacio Ciampitti, associate professor of agronomy at Kansas State University.
Maybe it is a weed or disease problem they want to identify, he said. Apps are being made by universities, commercial companies and organizations, giving farmers detailed information through a smartphone or tablet.
There are many useful apps in the farm world, he said, but he noted that if an app takes more than a few minutes to figure out, it isn’t worth keeping.
Here’s a list that Ciampitti finds useful, along with descriptions from the maker:
ID Weeds – The University of Missouri is a good one for weed ID purposes. This app allows farmers to search weeds by their common or Latin name, view a list of weeds, and identify weeds based upon a number of different characteristics. The app provides details along with photographs.
Weedalert.com - Weedalert features detailed color photos of more than 100 weeds, allowing users to search for and identify weeds by name, appearance or region. There is detailed information about each weed, including how to control it and the recommended control products.
Aphid Speed Scout – Speed scouting is a different way to determine if soybean aphids have reached the 250-aphids-per-plant threshold, according to the University of Nebraska, which developed the app. It relies on the number of “infested” plants. The app also recommends further scouting or treatment options based on the number of infested plants in a given area.
Ground Spray – Another University of Nebraska app, this one helps pesticide applicators making ground applications with decisions relating to droplet size and potential drift of pesticides.
Soy Diseases App – From South Dakota State University, this app provides easy-to-use and handy diagnostic information for a number of problematic soybean diseases.
Crop Diseases App – This provides information for wheat, barley, oats, triticale and canola, plus several other crops.
The IPM toolkit – This app developed by the University of Wisconsin is broader than disease ID alone. It also includes a list of Extension activities such as meetings, publications, videos and news, which Ciampitti highly recommends.
Extreme Beans – This University of Minnesota app allows farmers to calculate the number of soybeans to plant per acre in order to generate the highest yield.
Corn Advisor – From the University of Arkansas, this app has different features such as calculating lime and nutrient rates and identifying nutrient deficiencies, diseases and insects.
Pioneer Plantability – This app works as a planter settings calculator to give farmers precise planter settings for corn and sunflower seeds of all sizes and shapes.
Ag PhD Planting Population – The calculator has two functions. First, during planting season the app can determine optimum in-row spacing between seeds based upon row width and the desired planting population per acre. Second, after crop emergence, it allows farmers to determine a stand count by helping them count the number of plants that have emerged in a specific row length.
Ag PhD Harvest Loss Calculator – This app allows farmers to estimate yield loss before and during harvest by recording the number of individual corn, soybean, wheat, sorghum, barley or oat seeds found on the ground in a square foot. With this information, the app calculates the number of bushels farmers have lost per acre.
Growing Degree Days app – This app measures the maturity of crops by viewing current and past “growing degree days” data at a farm’s location. Growing degree days are a measure of heat accumulation used in agriculture to predict the date that crops will reach maturity.
TankMix App – By DuPont, this app lets you quickly and easily calculate how much product and water you need for effective applications based on your acreage or spray tank size.
The Manure Valuator – Developed by the University of Arkansas, this app provides assistance in valuing the nutrient content of manure.
Corn In Rate Calculator – Developed by the University of Wisconsin, this app is designed to help producers select a nitrogen rate that improves profitability when “N” and corn prices fluctuate.
SpraySelect App – From TeeJet Technologies, this app allows farmers to quickly and easily choose the proper tip or nozzle for your application.
ConnectedFarm Scout App – This is useful for preparing maps, scouting and geo-positioning points within your field.
eCropScout – This easy-to-use app allows farmers, agronomists and agricultural professionals to save all their information: field scouting, insect and disease scouting, chemical applications, fertilizer/manure applications, planting data and harvesting data.
YieldCheck – This provides growers with a simple way to calculate and store corn-yield estimates. Users can organize estimates based on client, farm and field, as well as see the location of all estimates on a map with satellite imagery. Also, growers can use the field-report feature to see just how much of a difference one additional ear per acre can mean to their operation.
©2014 The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kan.)