These tools will get you from planting to harvest
By now, "there’s an app for that" has become somewhat of a cliché, but it remains true nonetheless. As of 2014, farmers can deploy a suite of applications to help make farming a bit easier from before they plant all the way past harvest.
"There are more and more tools constantly coming out," says Brian Arnall, Oklahoma State University assistant professor of nutrient management.
To help sift through the numerous options, Arnall uses what he calls the three-second rule—that is, an app usually reveals how easy or difficult it is to use in a matter of seconds. Don’t like what you just downloaded? Delete, and move on—no hard feelings.
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Of course, word-of-mouth recommendations are usually a great way to find new farming apps, Arnall adds. In that spirit, here are three apps that can help farmers at different times of the season.
"Planting Population Calculator,"
from Ag PhD, is an easy-to-use tool for corn and soybean farmers. Simply select the crop, enter in the values for seeds per acre and row width, and the calculator determines proper plant spacing. A second calculator on the app allows you to quickly get a stand count estimate.
developed by the University of Wisconsin, offers several in-season calculatorapps that are useful to farmers, whether they reside in the Badger State or not. In particular, the maturity date predictor allows farmers to select a tassel date and expected frost date to calculate when they could expect to see 50% kernel milk and black layer.
"Harvest Test Weight Converter," a brand-new app from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, hands farmers some novel pre- and post-harvest calculators, including the ability to quickly determine total yield and crop shrink estimates, along with bin volumes.
Each of these three apps is free to download and available for both Android and Apple devices. Visit the Apple Store or Google Play for details.
Cut through the clutter and go directly to apps built just for farmers by downloading the AgWeb App Finder at www.agwebappfinder.com
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