The smartphone app is becoming an important way to add value to what once was just a tool for simply making phone calls. When it comes to agriculture more apps are appearing every day - just like weeds in your fields. And speaking of weeds - we have a new Ag Weed ID app for your smartphone that can help you scout.
This gallery-based application is a scouting aid. Find an unfamiliar weed in your field? You can search by month, location, crop you're in and weed type (grass or broadleaf). That will give you a range of choices. Simply eliminate the ones you know the week isn't, and view the gallery of weeds left to find what may be the new culprit in your field.
Or, you can use your smartphone camera to shoot an image of the weed. Then do the same search and select unknowns. Compare your image to the choices provided in the app and you'll be able to narrow down the suspect. You can also use the tool to share that image - or an image from the app - with a consultant to verify your choice.
“This app is geared to producers who already know what their problem weeds are, but might need help identifying a new species or recalling the name of a weed they don’t see all the time,” said Greg Frey, vice president for Penton Farm Progress. “Growers know that applying the right herbicide for the right weed is critical, and this can help meet that challenge.”
Early identification of new weeds is key to maximizing control. The rise of resistant weeds in new locations is a growing concern.
When you first visit the app you get two options - either view the gallery or take an image of the weeds yourself. There are 75 key weeds for five major crops - corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice - in this first version of the application. By using the built in season/crop/location sorting tools you can narrow your search. However, in peak season you'll still get a lot of images to view.
Or you can choose the shoot an image/compare tool which allows you to use the smartphone camera to shoot an image, then browse the gallery with your image in place. If you see something similar you can use the "compare" tool to bring the two images up together for a closer look.
Each weed in the app database is shown in three life stages - seedling, mid-season and mature. The aim is to identify weeds in earlier stages, when it's tougher, to help with control strategies.
Once you identify a weed, you'll find information about its resistance profile, control timing recommendations and other information about the plant's life-cycle.
This is the first version of the app, and it will be updated as the season progresses. More weeds could be added, and more crop types for matching are in the works. Like that old weed identification notebook that used to be in a lot of farmers' pockets, the Ag Weed ID app helps you identify trouble quickly and easily.
You can check out a gallery of images from the app at our sister publication Corn+Soybean Digest