From the Farm: New app helps prevent liability issues during spray season


TOLONO, Ill. (WCIA) — The widespread use of dicamba has resulted in many damaged fields from sudden winds or other volatility.

However, there’s a new app that farmers can add to their smartphones to help prevent those gut-wrenching occasions.

A mobile app called ‘Ditch Drift’ was developed by United Prairie Agronomist Kyle Meece and colleagues and is designed to prevent accidental dicamba oversprays and potential volatility from drift.

“We came up with an app platform that allows farmers to log in, submit their fields into a database, they can invite their neighbors who are surrounding their own crops, their own farms, identify what trait package they are using on a given year, as well as inviting their neighbors and invite them to share what trait package they are planting and without all the phone calls and the paper maps and all the tracking and forms,” Meece says. “This is just an easy, user-friendly app where they can get in and look at this information all in one place so just to help them make better decisions and spray on an everyday basis and stay efficient.”

WCIA: Does this keeps farmers from dinging their neighbors’ crops?

“Yeah, of course common sense has to come into play and knowing what’s right, but we have a spray ability index in there that really looks at the weather conditions around that you are dealing with that day, even a 3-4 day forecast out as well as what those crops are around those fields,” Meece says.

“So it’s going to list your farms in order of what is the best to spray on and what is the worst, and there may be days that you don’t need to be out there doing anything, but at least this will help you organize which days that you do need to be out there spraying and can take full efficiency every day of it. If you look at the last week, the wind just will not stop, so we have to maximize mornings or late afternoons or what makes sense and this is another way that is going to help us do that.”

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