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Across the Editor's Desk: February 2008

Agriculture.com Staff 01/30/2008 @ 9:38am

My head is overfilled with numbers. Still, I can't seem, at times, to recall the most basic of useful numbers when I need them the most.

Here's what I mean. Every time I mix herbicides to apply around my Christmas trees with my backpack sprayer, I need to know the number of ounces in a gallon.

I never can remember. You would think that over the years I would have imprinted on my brain that 16 ounces equal a pint. But not deeply enough, however, to recall and to use the number with confidence. So I scramble around the shop to find a reference of some sort.

This spring I'll waste no time hunting for the number I need. I'll just reach for the perfect source: The handy Successful Farming Ag Reference Guide.

Compiled by Machinery Editor Dave Mowitz and Content Editor Paula Barbour, the guide contains the most comprehensive listing of weights and measures that Mowitz claims he has ever seen in one place.

The guide includes conversion charts; size, speed, and power equivalents; crop production formulas; material measurements; and construction tables. The reference guide can help you in your field and farming activities do the following:

  • Determine field speed
  • Calculate horsepower
  • Assess harvesting capacity
  • Calibrate your sprayer
  • Choose the right sprayer speed
  • Compare R (insulation) values
  • Forecast building material needs
  • Find row population per acre
  • Pick the right gauge electric wire
  • Make any metric conversion
  • Measure bushels in a pile

The compact 160-page guide easily fits in your pocket or a pickup glove box. "The guide provides everything you need to know about farm mathematics in the field and around the farm," Mowitz says. "You'll find it as indispensable as a pocketknife or the Vise-Grips in your back pocket."

You can purchase the Successful Farming Ag Reference Guide for $9.95 by calling toll free 800/678-5752 or by visiting our Web store.

For the guy who can't remember that a pint equals 16 ounces, I would never want to face you in any sort of farm mathematics quiz bowl. But perhaps you'd like to test yourself on a few advanced numbers, words or formulas I gleaned from the Ag Reference Guide. Find the answers at the end.

  1. What's the word for one trillion?
  2. What's the word for a trillionth?
  3. A 5.0-liter engine displaces how many cubic inches?
  4. To convert the price per bushel of wheat to price per hundredweight, multiply by what number?
  5. To convert bushels of corn to metric tons, multiply by what number?
  6. One gallon is equal to how many British imperial gallons?
  7. To determine bushels in a pile of shelled corn, multiply height × diameter of base × diameter of base (all in feet) × what number?
  8. Doubling the diameter of a pipe or cylindrical vessel increases its capacity how many times?
  9. Double-riveting is approximately how much stronger (by percentage) than single-riveting?
  10. How many ounces are in a pint?

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