A new app, which could cut fertiliser bills, has been designed to show how valuable organic manures can be to arable growers.
The award-winning app allows growers to calculate what nutrients are being provided from different manures and gives an estimate of potential savings in manufactured fertilisers.
- Calculator – determines the amount of crop available nutrients that are found within manures spread at different rates.
- Image library – provides a visual reference guide to estimate the spreading rate of manure applied to the field and calculate the amount of crop-available nutrients that have been applied.
- Record sheets – to keep records of field spreading events, which can be emailed to the office computer and used in farm records.
Developed by the south-west agricultural resource management (Swarm) knowledge hub and Rothamsted Research, the Farm Crap App helps with decisions on how much to spread in order to meet crop requirements and provides an opportunity to visually assess rates using an image library.
Developer Claire Reigate says the app, which can be used by arable and grassland farmers, can save growers money by helping them use their own manure and reduce the need to invest in artificial fertilisers.
“What we found is farmers are undervaluing their manure – calculating the amount of NPK in your manure is quite laborious. This is very simple to use and helps growers manage their applications,” she adds.
Based on data from Defra’s RB209 fertiliser manual, the app allows growers to select different seasons, types of manures and crops to see what the manure will provide in terms of fertiliser.
This can be then used in conjunction with the image library and record sheets to allow farmers to visually assess rates and record applications.
The app recently picked up the innovation award at the Soil Association annual conference.
It is free to download on Android and Apple devices from iTunes or Google Play.