A Quick And Useful Fertilizer Tool
The author provides step-by-step instructions for using the updated fertilizer calculator online.
May 25, 2010
If you have tried to use the fertilizer calculator (FertCALC) from North Carolina State University in the last couple years, you were probably disappointed it no longer worked.
The problem occurred when Microsoft updated Excel. FertCALC was no longer compatible with Excel. Fortunately, a solution has been developed with the support of the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation. And for those of you who’ve never used FertCALC, welcome to the newly redesigned application.
FertCALC is an application that easily calculates the amount of water-soluble fertilizer you need to add to water to supply your crops with a desired level of nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. The application will also calculate the amount of secondary and micronutrients, nutrients added by acid injection and the fertilizer cost.
Unlike the previous version of FertCALC, the application no longer needs to be downloaded from the Internet – it is embedded into a website. To use FertCALC, visit NHFloriculture.com. You will be directed to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Greenhouse and Floriculture homepage.
On the left-hand navigation bar, click “grower tools.” This will take you to the GroCALC page, which gives you the choice of three different calculators (AlkCALC, FertCALC and PGRCALC). Clicking on the FertCALC logo will start FertCALC.
FertCALC is easy to use. The first screen you’ll see after clicking on the FertCALC logo will ask you to input four pieces of information: your company’s name, your name, if you are using water-soluble fertilizers or water-soluble fertilizer with acid injection and how many stock tanks you are using. Once those fields are completed, click “submit” to go to the next screen.
You will then need to enter information like injector ratio, gallons of stock solution, cost of the fertilizer and desired parts per million (ppm) based on nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. These required items are all highlighted in red text. You can also enter in the name of the fertilizer, crop, location and date.
Next, enter the analysis of your fertilizer as listed on the bag; N, P and K are required but you can also enter in the secondary and micronutrients. If you choose, you can enter in the nitrogen breakdown (ammonia, nitrate and urea).
Below the area where the fertilizer analysis is entered, you will see that FertCALC calculates both the amount of fertilizer you need to add to your stock tank and the ppm of each element supplied by your fertilizer, as well as ppm and percent of ammonia, urea and nitrogen. FertCALC also calculates the cost of the fertilizer once diluted.
If you selected more than one stock tank on the first screen, you can move to the subsequent tanks by clicking on “go to next tank.” Once you’ve entered in all the information for your fertilizers, click on “submit values,” and a new screen will appear with a summary of fertilizer mixing instructions. You can obtain a printer-friendly copy by clicking “print report” at the bottom of the page. Again, a new window will appear, and you can print this window to your printer (Figure 1). If you want to save the results as a PDF file on your computer, you can also click on the “print PDF” button.
Brian A. Krug (email@example.com) is assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. FertCALC was updated by Krug and Brian E. Whipker, a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. Krug and Whipker would like to thank Mike Toepfer for his work in the conversion of calculators to Web-based applications. The update of FertCALC was made possible by the financial support from the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation.