How spreadsheets are helping farmers

When you think about farming tools, what comes to mind? Shovels, fertilizers, tractors and a rooster to provide a wake-up call?

What about a sophisticated spreadsheet solution that can help farmers get the most out of their resources? It may not seem like it, but its happening.

A recent article from the profiled a new spreadsheet solution created by Oregon State University Extension Service that helps small-scale organic farmers operate more precisely.

“The calculator lets you estimate how much nitrogen and other nutrients your cover crops and fertilizers will provide for your next cash crop,” Nick Andrews, an instructor at OSU, told the news source. “That could help you cut back on fertilizer use and benefit from your soil building practices.”

The free tool allows farmers to save money on fertilizer, while also reducing the risk of nutrient runoff into waterways. This happened by estimating the amount of nitrogen needed in pounds per 1,000 square feet, while taking into account the amount added by cover crops and other soil additives like compost. It can also help show if farmers are not using enough fertilizer, which can affect the output of the crops. Those that do not use cover crops can also determine which type and amount of organic and synthetic fertilizers to use.

With the help of an Excel programming consulting firm, any company will be able to use these systems to improve the efficiency of their business.