App Helps Farmers Know When to Spray or Spread

— Written By

Ohio State University | Morning Ag Clips | 10/26/2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new app from The Ohio State University will help farmers save both money and the environment.

The Field Application Resource Monitor uses advanced weather forecasting to advise farmers on when to apply fertilizers and pesticides so that they aren’t washed away by rain.

According to Aaron Wilson, a climate specialist for Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and project manager of FARM, it is much more than just a fancy weather app.

“The app allows you to specify the location of your field in high resolution,” said Wilson. This means that the app can actually give specific forecasts for an area as small as 1.5 miles wide — allowing for incredibly accurate and detailed forecasts.

“It then provides guidance on the best time to apply fertilizers and manures based on the precipitation forecast” Wilson continued.

Beyond the high-resolution forecasts, FARM has another unique feature: historic forecasts. According to Elizabeth Hawkins, an OSU Extension agronomist based in Clinton County, FARM’s database of forecasts for specific locations is “its most unique feature.”

“This feature gives farmers the ability to look back at the forecasts that were available when they applied the fertilizer,” said Hawkins. “That information is usually quite hard to find.”

In the event that a forecast is wrong, historical forecasts may provide documentation that farmers were operating under proper procedures and working in accordance with forecasts that were accurate at the time.

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