Linda Benedict, Haggard, Beatrix J | 3/8/2014 2:27:34 AM
News Release Distributed 03/07/14
WINNSBORO, La. – To help farmers sort through the hundreds of apps available to aid with agricultural production, an LSU AgCenter soil scientist has begun posting online reviews.
Beatrix Haggard, who is based at the LSU AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station, has written a review of SoilWeb, an app developed to help farmers learn the soil series in their fields and assess major soil features that could be problematic on their farms.
“We have reached a point in society where most of the population is talking about information overload. For some relief, this fact sheet provides information and background on the SoilWeb phone application,” Haggard writes in her review, adding that the smartphone she used to test the app was an iPhone.
SoilWeb was developed at the Soil Resource Laboratory at the University of California-Davis and is free. The data source is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey.
Haggard cautions that the app should not be used to determine soil pH or organic matter percentage and may not be accurate for determining soil textures on precision-leveled fields.
Because management practices can change soil properties, farmers may find other inaccuracies in the data revealed on the app, Haggard said.
Despite the disadvantages, SoilWeb is a useful tool “when you start trying to figure out what might be happening at deeper depths in the field, which could cause problems or be beneficial,” Haggard said.
Haggard is selecting apps to review that she has previously used or she thinks would be of benefit to Louisiana producers. She expects to post another app review in March.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture