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The Beet Guru app

Words and images supplied by Agricom

12 April 2017

May 2015 saw the release of Agricom’s first mobile app, the ‘Beet Guru’. Built to assist farmers and retailers with the calculation and interpretation of fodder beet yield, Agricom are excited to have released new updates to the app that further enhance its usability.

As farmers and retailers alike understand, accurate measurement of fodder beet yield is technically difficult. This is predominantly because as a precision-sown crop, gaps are inevitable and lead to increased yield variation across the paddock.

Glenn Judson, Agricom’s Animal Nutritionist devised the concept of the app to make calculating drymatter yields of fodder beet easier. As well as that, Judson was very keen to educate users about reporting yields within a range, rather than a single figure, in order to understand the variability of the crop and allow for the safest transition feeding.

Introducing the app Judson explains how the Beet Guru calculates a mean drymatter yield from fresh weights entered, providing a statistically valid upper and lower range of yields and simplifying the storage and reporting of this information. All grower and paddock details are stored within each assessment and users are provided with a detailed report via email at the end of the process.

“Beet Guru is a tool which allows individual estimates of yield from a paddock assessment to be combined into a mean and range,” explains Judson. “Whilst you still have to do the physical measuring of the fodder beet, the Beet Guru is an in-paddock tool that you can use to get your results quicker, and store data. No more pieces of paper with weights going through the wash!”

The app describes the accuracy with which yield is being stated (i.e. with an estimated 24 tonne average yield, and 95% confidence that the true mean lies between 20 and 28 tonne). This helps put estimated yield into statistical context.

Allowing users to make decisions in the field about how many samples to take, Beet Guru provides a graphical preview of the mean and yield range with every measurement taken. It will also provide a predicted mean and range should another five samples be taken.

“This year we have released an update that allows users to download their own data. We have had some users measuring a lot of paddocks using the Beet Guru, and now they can analyse their own data, find any trends, and benchmark over different years as the data is provided in a spreadsheet,” says Judson.

For farmers who want to share their results, the Beet Guru has an email function. Reports can be sent via email as a named PDF direct to clients.

“We had some great feedback surrounding our first launch and a number of our updates released came from suggestions from our users. We have added an optional field for plant number to calculate plant population per m2, as well as some tweaks to button and number size, and the way the reporting function flows to make the app even more user friendly,” explains Judson.

The Beet Guru is available for free on Apple, Android and Windows devices and can be found in the associated app store. More information can be found at www.beetguru.com or the Ruralco Seed team on 0800 RURALNZ (787 256).

Quick snapshot:

Why use Beet Guru?

  • Simple to use
  • No need for pen and paper in the field
  • Preview yield with every measurement entered
  • Assessment reports sent via email as a PDF
  • Assessments stored within the app
  • Download your assessments to do your own data analysis
  • Available on Apple, Windows and Android
  • Free to download