Alberta Farm Fertilizer Information and Recommendation Manager: information page


Description | Introduction | Disclaimer | What's new in this version | What can AFFIRM do for me? | AFFIRM features | System requirements | Getting started | Frequently asked questions | AFFIRM tutorial | Acknowledgements | Feedback and questions | Download AFFIRM

Version 2.0 for Windows
Copyright (C) 2005
All Rights Reserved
Revised July 2005

Description

The Alberta Farm Fertilizer Information and Recommendation Manager (AFFIRM) is an interactive user friendly system that allows the user to select a crop to be grown, identify the field's agro-climatic region, input soil and crop management practices and enter soil test results from a laboratory report into the model. In addition, the model requires values for fertilizer costs and an expected crop value. The model is designed to access a series of databases to retrieve various coefficients based on the information entered by the user.

Periodic updates of these database files will be available from this page.

Introduction

Optimizing fertilizer requirements for crop production is influenced by many soil, crop, climatic and management factors. The interaction of these factors can be complex. The Alberta Farm Fertilizer Information and Recommendation Manager (AFFIRM) software will allow the user to evaluate fertilizer nutrient requirements for crop production based on Alberta research and production economics. Information specific to the user's situation is entered into this decision support system to obtain a fertilizer recommendation and/or to test various cropping scenarios. Based on the results of these scenarios, the user can make a final decision on fertilizer requirements.

AFFIRM is an interactive user friendly system that allows the user to select a crop to be grown, identify the field's agro-climatic region, input soil and crop management practices and enter soil test results from a laboratory report into the model. In addition, the model requires values for fertilizer costs and an expected grain value. The model is designed to access a series of small databases to retrieve various coefficients based on the information entered by the user. These coefficients are then used in a series of calculations designed to generate N, P205, K20, S and micronutrient fertilizer requirements and crop yield response to incremental rates of fertilizer nitrogen for the major crops and agro-climatic zones in Alberta. The yield response model uses a set of empirical equations for dryland and irrigated crops. These equations utilize soil test nitrogen, incremental fertilizer nitrogen rates, spring soil moisture and expected growing season precipitation based on long-term normals for the region. The predicted crop yield response plus fertilizer cost and expected crop value are used to estimate the economic return from fertilizer use.

AFFIRM is a full spectrum fertilizer recommendation system for N, P, K, S plus micronutrients. It will accept soil test results from a variety of laboratories that use various soil test procedures. AFFIRM uses unique calibration functions for each soil test method. AFFIRM provides an economic analysis based on marginal revenue vs. marginal cost for each 10 pound/acre increment of fertilizer nitrogen. It demonstrates the economic relationship that marginal revenue product must be greater than marginal factor cost for an input to remain economic at a given use level. The producer is told how much he is expected to make from each dollar he spends on fertilizer and how this will change if he spends an extra dollar on nitrogen fertilizer (or cuts back by a dollar).

This software is designed to be used by a wide range of users, including crop specialists, farm consultants, industry agents, producers and students to assist in the selection of optimum fertilizer rates.

It is based on:

  1. Current field and laboratory research
  2. Soil test analyses
  3. Irrigation level (if applicable)
  4. Crop to be grown
  5. Soil and moisture conditions
  6. Cost per pound of nutrients
  7. Economic factors influencing the sale of crops
Disclaimer

Alberta Agriculture Food & Rural Development, having no control over individual soil tests, lab evaluations and environmental conditions makes no representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the predicted yield responses to fertilizer use generated by this system and assumes no responsibility or liability for use of the program.

What's New in this Version
  • Able to use soil test results from numerous laboratories
  • Estimated Nitrogen Release (ENR) calculator
  • Individual field agronomic recommendations and economic analysis.
  • Whole farm optimization to allocate fertilizer budget based nutrient requirements, crop response to applied nitrogen fertilizer, fertilizer costs and crop prices.
  • Historic fertilizer cost information.
  • Help function with links to background and interpretation information.
  • Tutorial guide for user instructions.
What can AFFIRM do for me?
  • Designed to assist with making fertilizer decisions for your farming operation and budget limitations.
  • Calculate economic marginal returns for fertilizer application for making fertilizer decisions
  • Allows the user to consider various crop choices, and economic scenarios of crop prices and fertilizer costs.
  • Provides the impact of various spring soil and growing season moisture conditions.
  • Diagnosis of soil and crop problems.
  • Maintain historic records of soil test information, fertilizer costs and crop prices.
  • Record field specific user notes.
AFFIRM Features
  • Uses dry, medium and wet moisture conditions based on soil regions, precipitation probabilities, and soil texture.
  • Presents fertilizer recommendations, economic analysis and farm optimization in easy to understand statements, tables and graphs
  • Evaluates the effects of different management strategies, such as crop selection,
  • AFFIRM is based on field and laboratory research from real Alberta and/or western Canada. AFFIRM is designed for Alberta conditions and should not be used outside of the province of Alberta.
System Requirements
  • Pentium with Intel, Celeron, AMD Processor.
  • Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP and Vista.
  • Video Display: minimum resolution of 600 x 800 dpi.
  • A minimum of 2.0 Megabytes free hard disk space is required.
Getting Started
  1. Download file AFFIRM.exe (approx. 2 MB) to a directory on your hard drive.
  2. The AFFIRM software does not have an installation routine.
  3. The AFFIRM.exe can be copied onto the Windows Desktop or kept in a directory of your choice.
  4. On the Windows Desktop double click the AFFIRM icon to start the AFFIRM software.
  5. In the directory containing AFFIRM.exe, double click on the AFFIRM.exe file to start the AFFIRM software.
Frequently Asked Questions

The AFFIRM FAQ.pdf file provides answers to many frequently asked questions.

AFFIRM Tutorial

The AFFIRM Tutorial.pdf file provides a tutorial guide to help users.

If you are having problems installing or using AFFIRM, you can obtain help by from one of the following people.
  • Len Kryzanowski: Section Lead, Land Use Section (780) 422-1252
  • Guangzhi Liu: Research Analyst / Programmer (780) 422-4430
Acknowledgements

Development Team
  • Len Kryzanowski, P.Ag., Section Lead, Land Use Section
  • Guangzhi Liu, Research Analyst / Programmer
  • Alana Kelbert, P.Ag., Research Agrologist
  • Renn Breitkreuz, Production Economist, Crops
  • Roger Andreiuk, Reduced Tillage LINKAGES
AFFIRM is maintained by the Agri-Environmental Management Branch, in cooperation with Economic and Competitiveness Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. The development of AFFIRM was a collaboration of the Crop Diversification Centre – North and the Economic and Competitiveness Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development along with the Industry Development New Initiative Fund, AESA – Soil Quality, WESTCO, Norwest Labs and Reduced Tillage LINKAGES.

Feedback and Questions

To provide feedback or if you have any questions please contact:

Len Kryzanowski, P. Ag.
Section Lead, Land Use Section
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Environmental Stewardship Division
306 J.G. O’Donoghue Building
7000 –113 street
Edmonton, AB T6H 5T6
Phone: (780) 422-1252 Fax: (780) 422-9745
Len.Kryzanowski@gov.ab.ca

This information is maintained by Len Kryzanowski

Last Revised/Reviewed January 04, 2008

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