Technology editor Ben Potter brings you the latest in technology news, and how you can apply it to farming.
Two New Apps Boost Planting and Harvest Analysis
Nov 15, 2012
To some extent, smartphones are only as smart as the apps they contain. Ag PhD is attempting an IQ boost through the release of two new apps to help farmers more easily analyze planting populations and losses at harvest. The apps, Planting Population Calculator and Harvest Loss Calculator, were created thanks to a Case IH sponsorship and are available for iPhone and Android devices.
"I’m using both of these apps already on my farm, and we feel many other farmers will benefit from them, too," says Brian Hefty, co-host of Ag PhD.
The calculators are pretty straightforward and simple to use. The Harvest Loss Calculator lets you select from soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum, barley or oats. From there, you count the number of seeds or kernels left on the ground in a square foot. Then, you enter in that number, along with seeds per pound and current crop price, and the app calculates the value of the crop that didn’t quite make it into the combine.
"With commodity prices for so many crops at record levels, even the loss of a single bushel per acre over an entire farm can translate to thousands of dollars of lost revenue," Hefty says.
The Planting Population Calculator is another easy-to-use tool. Before planting, farmers can determine optimum in-row spacing between seeds based on row width and desired plant population. After planting, farmers can "ground truth" their results by selecting a row length, counting the number of plants within that distance and entering in their row spacing.
The apps are free and ready for download from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.
A screenshot of the Harvest Loss Calculator mobile app.