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Essential farming apps for 2014

Bayer Weed Spotter

What does it do?

“It does exactly as it says it does and it’s an extremely comprehensive and concise encyclopedia of weeds,”James Price, OxfordshireBased on the popular Bayer CropScience weed guide, this app allows users to make accurate identification of weeds using a unique interactive filtering system.The app has colour photos of nearly 100 common grass and broad-leaved weeds found in commercial crops.

Grass-weeds can be identified by following a simple question and answer menu. Similarly, broad-leaved weeds can be identified by pinpointing one or more features on the plant and cross referencing it.

Alternatively, users can browse by growth stage, comparing weeds just after emergence or at flowering, or by searching for weeds in the A-Z menu.

For each weed, extensive further information describes; general look of the weed, ligule shape and size, whether auricles are present, the leaf blade characteristics?and the weed’s importance.

Best for: The winner of “Crops” magazine arable apps test, it proved great for identifying all types of weeds.

Who makes it: Bayer

Price: Free

Available on: iOS and Android

Yara CheckIT

What does it do?

“Assessing nutrient deficiency actually in the field is very difficult, but this app is great at making it much easier,”Andrew Martin, NorfolkUsing an extensive image library this app helps visually identify nutrient deficiencies in crops. It is specially designed to allow a simple and fast identification during in-field crop assessments.Each image describes the symptoms of the deficiency and the reasons for it. Users will be given information on the importance of the deficiencies and possible scenarios, which can increase the likelihood of it occurring.

It also contains a search facility for identifying observed symptoms and provides solutions that the farmer can then implement on his crop.

Best for: Identifying nutrient deficiencies in cereals

Who makes it: Yara

Price: Free

Available on: iOS, Android and Windows Mobile


What does it do?

“It contains some great information. I think most farmers know the basic about their soil types but this gives you a bit extra. It’s also just very good for looking at neighboring soils or any land you might be looking at investing in”Alistair Fox, DevonSoil is key to every arable farmer so understanding as much as possible about the soil on your farm is vital. This app allows growers to map soil across the UK including their on their own farm.Users are able to retrieve descriptions of soil depth, texture, pH, soil temperature, organic matter content and dominant habitats across the UK by navigating around a detailed map.

This aids growers and advisors in assessing the fertility potential and physical qualities of the land. Any information retrieved may also be saved as a new record for future reference.

Best for: Identifying soils types in your area

Who makes it: British Geological Survey

Price: Free

Available on: iOS devices


What does it do?

“Amazing device – makes my life so much easier to manage from where ever using the app on my phone. The peace of mind and tank security is simple yet effective. Genius”Paul Rix, CambridgeshireiLevel is a remote monitoring system that uses telemetry to allow farmers to keep a check on the contents of any bulk storage tank in “real time”, from any location.It can act as a management tool for keeping control on stocks of all liquids on farms while also providing security benefits.

Once any liquid is delivered into the tank, users are able to keep track of how much has been delivered and then if the contents change at any point.

This will not only will alert owners to unauthorised removal, but also if there is a leak, which will help protect precious stocks and quickly prevent a pollution incident.

Best for: Increasing security on tanks across the farm

Who makes it: iLevel

Price: Free

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry

BASF Cereal Disease ID App

What does it do?

“With disease pressure looking to be high this Spring the App and it’s extensive library of very specific symptoms and quality pictures will come in particularly handy helping to identify some of the more tricky to differentiate stem and root diseases in the field.”Ed Brooks – Agronomist, OxfordshireThe app is based the popular HGCA and BASF Encyclopedia of Cereal Diseases allowing farmers quick and easy mobile access to information on 36 key cereal diseases to aid identification.Recognition of the disease, and an understanding of the pathogen(s) responsible, is the first step in successful disease control. Users are able to search by pathogen, common name or a text search.

Symptoms of both common and less frequently found diseases are illustrated and described, together with an outline of the disease cycle of the pathogen and an indication of the importance of the disease.

Any information is then available to email to and address of the users choice. New updates have also made a weather function and a messaging service available on iPhone and android platforms.

Best for: Helping to identify cereal diseases while in the field

Who makes it: BASF

Price: Free

Available on:iOS, Android, Blackberry

(Source – http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/05/03/2014/143377/16-essential-farming-apps-for-2014.htm)

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