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Ohio State app helps farmers design plot layouts

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Ohio growers can now plot it out from farm to faucet, thanks to a new app from The Ohio State University.

Called Ohio State PLOTS, the free app allows growers, as well as consultants and others who support growers, to design replicated plot layouts by creating on-farm trials that can compare hybrids, seeding populations, fertilizer rates and nutrient management systems, among other practices and inputs, said John Fulton, precision agriculture specialist for Ohio State University Extension, in a recent release.

The app allows users to digitally compare various treatments within their fields to determine the best management plan for their fields, before extending financial or labor resources, he said.

Fulton, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, said the app was designed as a tool to help improve water quality in Ohio by allowing users to fine-tune nutrient management more accurately and reliably for a farm operation and by encouraging on-farm studies.

“The app is a means where growers can set up trials specific to nutrient management to allow them to see what management decisions best impact their farm and offer the best financial and fertility decisions,” he said. “Users can fine-tune their nutrient management and maximize profits, all while minimizing environmental concerns.

The app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, includes a random number generator that removes human error when developing plot layouts. Ohio State PLOTS was created with funding from Field to Faucet, an Ohio State initiative dedicated to research, education and outreach activities designed to deliver solutions to harmful algal blooms and other water quality issues.

 

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