From FCC Express by Neil Billinger
Farmers can use two smart phone apps to calculate potential yields and harvest losses.
The yield estimator and harvest loos apps were among seven apps developed for the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association in partnership with University of Saskatchewan computer graduate students.
Spraying specialist Tom Wolf with AgriMetrix Research and Training served as an advisor. He says ease of use was a priority.
“We made things as big and easy as possible,” Wolf says. “The apps are usually just one screen per input and then another screen for output, so there is little navigation required. Another farmer-friendly feature is a larger keyboard.”
The yield estimator app is designed to give growers a rough idea on what the crop will yield so they can make appropriate storage and marketing decisions.
“You count the number of stems or plants per length of seed row. It would break it down to various yield components – heads, pods and that kind of thing.”
Wolfe says a statistically-reasonably sized sample is required. He suggests several row lengths of about one to two metres each.
The harvest loss app requires data gathered by using a collecting vessel underneath the combine.
“Clean the seed sample and then do a count. You will count the seeds in some crops and weigh it or make a volume measurement in others.”
The other five smart phone apps are used to calculate fertilizer blends, tank mixes, spray quality and spraying buffer zones. All seven free apps are on the Apple app store by searching for SSCA.
The University of Saskatchewan team is in the process of developing new apps for the Grain Farmers of Ontario, which will have more of a spraying focus. Wolf believes they will fill an important gap and hopes they will be ready sometime this winter.