Calculating sowing rates for wheat in the field has been made easier, thanks to a new mobile phone app. RAGT Seeds has launched a Seed Rate Calculator App for use on iPhone and Android handsets.
“We wanted to develop a really handy app that would allow farmers and agronomists to calculate sowing rates for wheat,” explains RAGT’s technical manager, Cathy Hooper.
The app has been designed to quickly and automatically calculate seed rates in seeds/sq m, kg/ha and kg/acre.
“It saves you the headache of working rates out yourself,” says Dr Hooper.
Once the app has been downloaded to your handset, it will ask you to enter four bits of information relevant to your field situation and seed batch.
“First you will be prompted to enter your target spring plant population, allowing for non-germination and establishment losses,” Dr Hooper explains.
“You’ll then need to refer to your seed bag to enter the thousand grain weight (TGW), which will be printed on the seedbag label, or if you are using your own seed, it can be measured by an official seed testing station.”
“The other bits of information you’ll need to enter are the official germination figure for the seed lot, which is also indicated on the seedbag and the percentage of seed you expect to establish into viable plants.”
The establishment percentage will be influenced by factors like the local soil and seed-bed conditions, weather, drilling date, rotation and any pest damage, says Dr Hooper.