The Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) has released the Kansas Wheat Yield Calculator app for Android and Apple devices.
The app uses the number of tillers on the plant, row spacing and several other factors when making a yield prediction. The user can choose from three different formulas used by KWA, Kansas State University, and crop insurance adjusters -- or choose to have the products averaged.
The app was developed by Ray Asebedo, K-State graduate student in agronomy, and Trevor Rife, graduate student in plant pathology, with the support of the Kansas Wheat Alliance. Asebedo and Rife set out to develop an app that was intuitive and diverse in its potential use.
“We designed this app to be used throughout the growing season. In the fall, you can use it to assess whether you have enough fall tillering to meet your yield goals and determine if adjustments in your spring management are needed to ensure yield goals are met efficiently,” Asebedo said.
“Throughout the spring, from early spring greenup to flag leaf and through heading, you can use this app to assess how your winter wheat crop is developing and how the yield potential might be changing under different environmental conditions. This information can have a direct impact on your agronomic and economic management decisions.”
The app can average yields across fields, Rife added. “You can take multiple samples in a single field. And you can have multiple fields where you can store each of those samples and get complete field averages across different fields and locations,” he said.
Asebedo and Rife said they may make the app variety-specific in the future. But for now, variety is not a factor in the calculations used to estimate yields.
The app is currently available in its more basic form, said Asebedo.
“We have significant updates planned on the horizon, the first being yield estimations by taking a photo rather than counting tillers. This will significantly speed up the yield estimation process and allow producers to assess more fields in less time. Next, we will be incorporating nutrient management algorithms to help producers optimize their nutrient management practices for more profit per acre,” he explained.
“This is an exciting process and we are just starting to scratch the surface of the possibilities,” he said.
The app has several practical uses for producers, added Daryl Strouts, president of KWA.
“I think the calculator can be a comparative thing so that a farmer can use this tool over time and make management changes in between,” said Strouts. “If the farmer’s irrigating, maybe turn the water on, or if he needs a bit more fertilizer, he can do that. Then, he can go back and see later if the changes he made have made any difference.”
The app is available now at no charge. For more information on the app and links to download it, see: www.kswheatalliance.org/
Steve Watson, Agronomy eUpdate Editor
Marsha Boswell, Kansas Wheat Communications Director