All day, every day we are bombarded with information, most of which can be critical to our operations. Many days it’s difficult to absorb all of these tidbits of gold, let alone recall them on demand.
Monsanto has released a weed ID app that can ease your mental strain. Not only is it a weed identifier but it can also help you map your weed intensity by species and population pressure. Having this information available at your fingertips gives you one more resource to reduce the amount of weed guidebooks or maps you have to carry around.
We all know the look of our major weeds but occasionally we find a plant that is difficult to identify. Improper weed identification, especially those that show up in small amounts, can lead to improper spray choices which can cause an outbreak of the unwanted species. Half of this app is a weed identifier index that can help more accurately identify weeds by their physiological aspects.
The weed identifier is denoted in the app by a small single leaf icon. You can go through the selection process based on the plants’ features to narrow down what species it might be based on the apps’ library of over 48 weeds. As you work through the plant physiology, at the bottom of the screen there is an area that states potential weed species with a number. The more attributes you select the smaller the number of potential weeds will get. The number will go to zero if no weeds in the index match your selections. Once you’ve reached a reasonable number of potential candidates you can look at the narrowed down list.
When you select a weed from the list a small popup will appear. This popup gives a detailed description of the weed species and pictures of the species at different stages to help you ID the plant. It also shows common names for the species, so even if you are unaware of the common scientific name you can still figure out what type of plant you are looking at. Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the physiology the app asks about — there’s a glossary in the information section explaining the terms. It’s like carrying a mini weed encyclopedia around on your phone.
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The app also has a “map it” function to help you mark weed outbreaks of different pressure over your fields and over the years. A very helpful tool when coupled with spray records in assessing the weed control and pressure.
When you use this part of the app, you can bring up your current location on the map, using an animated map, a satellite map, or a hybrid of both maps. By pressing a weed icon, you can drop a pin in your map to denote a weed outbreak. There is a menu for weed selection and a slider bar under you can use to select the infestation level. There is also a comment box for each pin, making it easier to remember what caused this pressure or the steps you’ve taken to get the situation under control.
Each pin is numbered. When you select a particular pin, it shows the name of the weed as well a number corresponding to the severity of the pressure.
You can email your marked map in .csv format — a very handy feature for agronomists tracking infestations in a given area.
This app also includes a feature that allows you to use your postal code to find contact information for your local Monsanto agronomist and an option to switch between French and English.
I really think this is going to become an app I use quite often. It is simple to use with easy navigation and helpful magnified pictures for identifying weeds. The developers seemed to think about what options could be used to make the program flow well.
Most of all, I am glad to have a resource to use when I’m asked about certain areas that seem to be problem spots. The information about when the weed pressure started to occur and if it is spreading will be only a few clicks away.