A new mobile app designed to help farmers and growers value the nutrients found in manures to save waste and money has been launched.
The FarmCrapApp was developed by the SWARM Knowledge Hub, an online information service dedicated to south west farmers and growers, in collaboration with Rothamsted Research's North Wyke Farm Platform, a BBSRC National Capability.
It allows the farming community to appreciate the nutritive and economic value of livestock manures. The app provides farmers with an opportunity to visually assess manure and slurry application rates and to calculate what is being provided in terms of available nutrients, as well as giving an estimate of potential savings in purchased artificial fertilisers.
Dr Stephen Roderick, manager of the SWARM Hub project said: "This is a great new development from the SWARM team, providing farmers with a very practical and easy-to-use tool that could have real benefits, and also continuing our core work of converting research and development into practical advice and information for the farming community."
The FarmCrapApp has been created using nutrient values found in Defra's RB209 Fertiliser Manual along with the Industry produced publication Think Manures. The app contains three features: a calculator, an image library and record sheets. The calculator determines the amount of crop available nutrients that are found within manures spread at different rates, helping with decisions on how much to spread in order to meet the crop requirements and also what this looks like.
The image library can be used as a visual reference guide to estimate the spreading rate of manure applied to the field and calculating the amount of crop available nutrients that have been applied. The app will also keep records of field spreading events which can be emailed to the office computer for inclusion in farm records.
Liz Murray, National Project Coordinator of Tried & Tested Nutrient Management, said: "It seems a really great pocket estimator of the nutrient and monetary value of farm manure. Easy and quick to use, this rough guide is reassuringly based on RB209 (Fertiliser Manual) and brings home the information in our 'Think Manures' booklet."
The app is available on Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded from www.swarmhub.co.uk/fca or from iTunes or Google play stores.
Notes to editors
- The SWARM Knowledge Hub is a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) funded web-based knowledge exchange project aimed at helping farmers and growers across the south west manage their resources sustainably. It provides information on latest research, best practices and innovative technologies that can help make farm businesses more environmentally and financially efficient and resilient
- The android version of the FarmCrapApp was developed by FoAM Kernow, and the iOS version was developed by Plymouth University
- The SWARM Knowledge Hub ( www.swarmhub.co.uk) was developed by the PPRE Partnership comprising Duchy College Rural Business School, Rothamsted Research North Wyke, the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth