Phone for field-specific N advice
FIELD-SPECIFIC nitrogen advice can now be had in minutes using a new telephone service.
Based on Hydro Agris leaf chlorophyll checker, the N Tester, the service has been designed to be as quick and simple as possible, says the firms Rob Starkey. To use it farmers call a dedicated touch-phone number using a six digit security code.
Two digits then identify the crop variety, another two the growth stage, and a final three the N Tester reading averaged over 30 leaf samples across the field. All Recommended List wheats and barleys are catered for.
Once the figures are entered an N rate recommendation in kg/ha is given, the whole call usually taking less than a minute, according to John Martindale of service provider Interloq.
"A farmer could take readings while field walking, phone the service, and be applying fertiliser according to the recommendation received within hours," says Mr Starkey.
Cost, with annual rental of the hand-held meter which clips onto crop leaves, is £310. That includes credits for the first 20 recommendations – £20 buys a further 20 recommendations.
In trials last year N tester boosted gross margin by £6.70/ha (£2.71/acre). *