Producers can use the app to determine application windows and estimate manure nutrient values
By Diego Flammini
Several Alberta ag organizations have brought a manure management app to local farmers.
Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Pork, Alberta Milk and the Intensive Livestock Working Group worked with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to develop ManureTracker.
The app includes recordkeeping capabilities and opens communication lines, said Trevor Wallace, a nutrient management specialist with Alberta Agriculture.
“We have paper forms of the manure records, but we wanted to develop something to make it easier for farmers and custom applicators to manage,” he told Farms.com. “You can have several people using the same account and can enter information separately. Once the app reconnects to the Internet, that information will be uploaded so everyone can see the same information.”
Users can also visit an online portal to access their information, Wallace said.
The app is integrated with weather stations located throughout the province.
Farmers and applicators can use the weather data to determine optimal application windows or as a reference later in the year, Wallace said.
“We have a few hundred weather stations in Alberta we can link to,” he said. “You can identify weather stations close to you and, once you’ve spread the manure, you can go back and get information up to three days prior and after the application. If the crop didn’t perform well, you can look back at what happened environmentally to determine what might be causing low yields.”
ManureTracker can also provide producers with basic manure analysis estimates.
Entering the livestock type and number of head within the herd will give farmers manure nutrient values, said Wallace.
“If you have 300 dairy cows and you collect manure for 360 days of the year, (the app) will give you our book values of the volume of manure you should have and the nutrient contents,” he said. “So, if you don’t have a manure sample, you’ll know that for 1,000 gallons of manure you should have about 40 pounds of nitrogen.”
ManureTracker is available for Apple and Android smartphones, as well as desktop computers. The developers hope to bring the app to tablets too, Wallace said.
Visit the Farms.com apps directory for more apps to help manage your farm.