Agronomy made easy PC
Interest in the Internet is
sweeping the nation. Not to
be left out ADAS launched
an on-line agronomy service
earlier this year. John Tearle
visited two growers to find
out how helpful it is
ADASS Agronomy On-line service uses the Internet to supply detailed technical and business information direct to farm computer screens. It aims to help growers devise their own agronomy plans and refine farm business planning.
"Many growers today can competently carry out their own crop walking," says Peter Griffith, Wolverhampton-based ADAS consultant responsible for developing the service. "But to make the most effective decisions they require rapid access to independent advice and information."
That is just what Agronomy On-Line offers. It includes strategic advice to help long-term crop management planning and tactical advice to guide daily husbandry decisions. It also offers forecasts, business management information and an interactive flow of information between local growers and ADAS consultants.
Recent strategic advice included interpreted results from variety trials, with further detailed information available using key point links. All the information can be read on screen, down-loaded onto the farm computer or printed off.
Tactical advice this autumn includes herbicide choice, with examples of mixes and rates available this year, and the factors affecting their selection. Linked to isoproturon, for example, are details of its strengths and weaknesses, its weed spectrum and environmental considerations.
"We have taken Agronomy On-line beyond solely supplying information. We provide management tools such as a seed rate calculator and a diflufenican calculator, which helps the farmer find the cheapest product, or mix, to give the desired combination of DFF and IPU at the right level of active ingredient per hectare," says Mr Griffiths.
The service costs £1200 a year.
• Strategic: In-depth interpreted R&D results to aid crop planning.
• Tactical: Agrochemical and fertiliser product information to achieve appropriate responses at reduced cost.
• Forecasts: Advanced warning of potential problems.
• Business management: Reports and financial bulletins to help strategic planning.
• Interactive: E-mail for contact with ADAS consultant and other farmers.