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NDSU Develops Farm Fuel Budget App

North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural machine systems specialist, John Nowatzki developed the Android cell phone app for crop producers to compare projected fuel costs and use for their farming operation based on alternate crop acreages, tillage systems and crop rotations.

Farmers can use a new Farm Fuel Budget cell phone app to plan their farm fuel budget and use for the next year or more. This app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, which is accessible from the market app on Android cell phones.

Users select the number of acres they intend to plant each year and acreage for each crop, after that select the field operations they will use for each crop. The app estimates the fuel cost by year. Users can select the number of acres allocated to each crop to compare total farm fuel use based on the same number of acres.

The amount of fuel budgeted for each field operation is based on the machinery cost estimates published annually by the University of Minnesota Extension. These fuel consumption estimates are based on the assumption of 0.044 gallon of diesel fuel per power take-off horsepower-hour, on average, for each implement type.

Nowatzki says “This feature is intended to help crop producers quickly see the difference in fuel consumption on their farm by changing the number of acres allocated to each crop. Because field operations vary significantly for each type of crop, changing the number of acres of each crop grown impacts the total fuel cost for the farm.”

By choosing the field operations on each crop, users can use the Farm Fuel Budget app to evaluate the effects of various tillage systems on fuel use. Because each field operation requires a different amount of fuel per acre, users quickly can see the impact on fuel costs by eliminating or adding specific field operations for each crop.

The last user input for the app is to enter the projected fuel cost per gallon. Crop producers can use this feature to see the effect of projected fuel prices on their total fuel budget.