An Excel spreadsheet tool to assist growers in formulating feed recipes
The strawberry feed calculator has been constructed to allow growers and consultants to enter quantities of different feed products to achieve target recipes. The quantities can be adjusted as necessary until the target recipe is achieved. It has been designed for use in soil grown crops as well as soil-less substrates, using either a one stock tank or two stock tank system.
Research scientists and consultants often provide recommendations to growers to follow specific feed recipes, which are quoted in figures of mg per litre of dilute feed. Growers are also advised to alter the conductivity of their feed at certain times of year. However, achieving such recipes or changes in conductivity can be difficult for growers unless they have some knowledge of chemistry and molecular weights.
The calculator allows them to calculate the correct quantities to achieve such recipes or changes in conductivity, as it has been constructed on an excel spreadsheet with empirical formulas and molecular weights built in.
It can be used in conjunction with factsheet 06/07 ‘Principles of strawberry nutrition in soil-less substrates’ which recommends a range of feed recipes for different types of strawberry crops and satisfactory ranges of nutrients in strawberry leaves.
Installation and use
You will require Microsoft Excel on your computer to be able to install and use the calculator. To download the calculator please click here. Once the programme has downloaded at the bottom of your screen click and open the excel document.
Once the programme is open in the top left hand of the spreadsheet it will say protected view, you will need to click enable editing.
Next again in the top left had corner you will have a messgae about security warnings, you need to click enable content. By agreeing to this you won’t alter the security level of your own computer.
You are now able to start using the programme.
How to use the strawberry feed calculator
Having installed it and agreed to the HDC copyright terms and conditions, it is essential that you read the instructions on how to use the calculator. You can use one of three spreadsheets set up for soil grown crops or substrate grown crops (using either a one stock tank or two stock tank system). The instructions for each can be found by clicking on the appropriate tab at the foot of the calculator. It is recommended that you print these and read and refer to them until you get used to using the calculator. The tabs for each spreadsheet are located alongside these.
There are also tabs with further useful information including guidelines on satisfactory nutrient ranges in leaf analysis samples, feed recipe suggestions for soil-less substrates, fertigation programmes for soil grown crops and deficiency/toxicity symptoms.