Take an inside look at how the Apache sprayer is made by touring Equipment Technologies’ assembly facility in Mooresville, Indiana
This is the second of a series of short, educational and irreverent videos Tom and Jason made with Real Agriculture to bring a little levity to sprayer education. Let’s face it – ironically, nozzles can be pretty dry.
Here we enjoy an early morning soy bean scout and a light breakfast of toast as we demonstrate how pressure, droplet size and canopy penetration interact.
Ohio Valley Ag named Apache Sprayers Dealer of the Year
MOORESVILLE, Indiana, June 25, 2015 – Ohio Valley Ag, a farm machinery and products business with locations in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, was recognized for sales excellence as an Apache self-propelled sprayer dealer by Equipment Technologies, the manufacturer of Apache sprayers.
Ohio Valley Ag received the Dealer of the Year award during the Equipment Technologies annual Dealer Sales Meeting June 15 at the company’s Indiana headquarters.
Three OVA sales people also were honored. J.R. Mullinax attained the Master Salesman Level in Apache’s Top Performer Club Award for Sales Excellence. Kyle Robbins reached the Top Performer Club’s Triple Diamond Level, while Don Gowler ascended to the club’s Diamond Level.
“Ohio Valley Ag had an outstanding year, and these awards are well deserved,” said Matt Hays, Chief Executive Officer of Equipment Technologies. “I congratulate them on their sales achievements.”
OVA operates dealerships at 3909 N. Brush College Road, Decatur, Ill.; 920 Commerce Drive, Fairfield, Ill.; 1328 N. Liberty Circle West, Greensburg, Ind.; 2610 West 2nd St., Owensboro, Ky.; and 202 N. Thurston Drive, Russellville, Ky. For more information call 800-254-7514 (Decatur, Ill.), 618-847-0283 (Fairfield, Ill.), 855-450-4510 (Greensburg, Ind.), 866-561-7772 (Owensboro, Ky.), 866-940-2038 (Russellville, Ky.), or visit www.ohiovalleyag.com.
Founded in 1997, Equipment Technologies manufactures the Apache AS730, AS1030, AS1230 and AS1230 XP model sprayers at its Mooresville, Ind., assembly plant. The privately owned company markets its sprayers through a vast dealership network in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Ukraine. Visit www.etsprayers.com for more information.
All sprayers experience a drop in pressure as the solution moves further away from the pump. Here’s why that’s important, and how to measure it.
Optimal nozzle operation in terms of spray quality and fan angle is closely tied to spray pressure. As we try to maximize travel speed range with a modern sprayer, we often push spray pressure to its limits on the low and high side. For many air-induced nozzles, spray quality and fan angle become critical at about 30 psi. We need to be sure about the exact nozzle spray pressure to prevent problems.
Pressure drop is caused by the friction that the spray solution experiences as it moves from the pump to the spray nozzles. It’s caused by a number of factors, including length of tubing, elbows, valves, screens, and other flow obstructions.
The pressure transducer that reports pressure to the cab is usually located between the pump and the manifold that divides the spray into the various boom sections. At this point, the spray liquid hasn’t experienced any significant flow restrictions. The transducer basically reports pump pressure.
Once the spray mixture starts moving through boom sections towards the nozzles, it encounters those restrictions, and pressure at the nozzle will therefore be lower than the cab reading indicates. The higher the liquid flow, the greater the friction, and therefore, pressure loss.
Even older sprayers with only two boom sections (left and right) and few elbows and reducers, will see pressure losses due to the narrow and long boom pipe that feeds up to 60′ on each side.
The nozzle pressure can be measured with a gauge placed on a nozzle body. Simply purchase a quality gauge and a threaded nozzle cap, combine the two and install in place of a nozzle.
Operate the sprayer at your expected spray pressure (say, 60 psi) with all boom sections on. Install the portable pressure gauge on an open turret position and turn into place, noting its reading. If both gauges are accurate, the boom pressure will likely be below 60 psi.
The difference between the cab gauge pressure and the boom gauge pressure two is the pressure drop. Repeat the measurement for each boom section. Also repeat at your lowest, as well as your highest expected flow rates. Higher flow rates cause greater pressure drops.
Now, use this information to adjust your interpretation of the cab pressure reading. For example, if you want to spray at 60 psi and your pressure drop is 10 psi, then the cab pressure should read 70 psi.
If your boom pressure is higher than your cab pressure, and you’ve checked the accuracy of your new boom gauge, then don’t be too mystified. Your pressure transducer is malfunctioning.
This exercise is important if you’re trying to compare your nozzle flow to the expected nominal flow of the nozzle – perhaps you’re trying to determine nozzle wear. The nominal flow of agricultural nozzles is determined at 40 psi, so it will be important to measure the flow at exactly that pressure.
By measuring pressure drop on all your boom sections, you also get a good sense of the variability in pressure across your boom. Your measurements might reveal an obstruction or a hose kink somewhere along the line.
Note that the pulse-width modulated systems offered by Capstan, Case, and Raven use a solenoid at each valve. This solenoid adds a known, and significant, pressure drop to the spray system as can be seen here.
BLU-JET’s newest All Terrain Liquid Injection Side Dress Applicator, AT4020, provides a unique user experience based upon maximizing efficiencies in fertilizer and labor, while minimizing costs in maintenance and downtime.
With working widths up to 66’, tank sizes up to 2,000 gallons, and a fully integrated Plug and Apply ISOBUS control system, the AT4020 meets the demands of today’s top producers. Add in the narrowest transport width in the industry, narrowest transport height in the industry, superior ease-of-use, and our industry renowned 5-year frame warranty, and the AT4020 transcends current competitive models to bring growers an unparalleled operating experience.
For more than forty years, BLU-JET has been an innovative leader in Fertilizer Injection and Tillage Equipment. Our products are known for their durability, low maintenance, and return on investment in large acre farming operations.
Each new BLU-JET product is analytically designed, piece by piece, ensuring successful field durability prior to the first prototype being produced. This stringent process makes certain that each BLU-JET product released for commercial sale meets our high standards for quality and reliability.
FMC Agricultural Solutions announced the introduction of a new at-plant crop protection delivery platform for row crops. The patent-pending 3RIVE 3D technology integrates formulation technology, application technology and active ingredients to increase the number of acres planted in a day, in-furrow protection and early season success.
FMC scientists used their formulation expertise to reduce the amount of water needed to deliver crop protection products to the furrow. Just 40 ounces of solution is applied per acre. The 3RIVE 3D manifold precisely mixes the right amount of product with a very low volume of water and expands the mixture up to 50 times into a three-dimensional continuous Zone of Protection delivered directly into the furrow. The 3RIVE 3D applicator includes a compact 130-gallon water tank, a 30-gallon product tank, and all moving parts, compactly skid-mounted for easy installation on all major planter brands.
“We developed the 3RIVE 3D technology to optimize 3D seed coverage for unmatched seed and seedling protection while simultaneously helping growers improve their efficiency. It creates an entirely new way to deliver crop protection products for seedling defense and yield enhancement,” said Aaron Locker, marketing director for FMC. “The system is designed to help plants and farmers thrive.”
This technology sets growers free to easily and efficiently cover more acres in less time while saving water, fuel and labor. “Growers can plant up to 500 acres between refills,” said Matt Hancock, FMC North American corn segment manager. “With tight planting windows and more variable weather, growers are demanding technology that allows them to cover more ground faster. 3RIVE 3D helps growers get more done in a day.”
Capture 3RIVE 3D is the first product formulated to integrate with this game-changing delivery platform that brings a whole new dimension in precision and performance to in-furrow application. Capture LFR and Capture 3RIVE 3D are restricted use pesticides. Capture 3RIVE 3D offers all of the agronomic benefits of Capture LFR, the leading liquid at-plant insecticide brand, controlling corn rootworm as well as seed and seedling pests such as wireworm, cutworm, grubs, armyworm, seed corn maggot and common stalk borer. By overcoming issues like handling, convenience, water usage and weight, Capture 3RIVE 3D opens opportunities for more growers to take advantage of an at-plant solution that won’t slow them down and fits the way they farm.
The introduction of 3RIVE 3D is the first of many new product introductions expected from FMC as it increases its pace of new product launches. “The 3RIVE 3D system is part of a broader technology play of bringing innovative solutions that will help growers be more productive on every acre. We see this as an innovative platform that provides the opportunity to combine multiple active ingredients including insecticides, fungicides and biostimulants,” Hancock said. “Our pipeline is packed with potential new offerings.” With the purchase of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions, a strategic collaboration with Chr. Hansen and the acquisition of Cheminova that is expected to close in early 2015, FMC has invested billions to create an expanded pipeline of active ingredients and a biological platform to deliver effective and sustainable crop solutions.
Capture 3RIVE 3D was tested in 27 research trials across eight states and with six universities in 2014. Research trials will be expanded to 11 states in 2015. The technology will be deployed on 100 farms in 2015, with a full-scale launch in 2016. 3RIVE 3D formulated products will be sold to growers through the FMC network of qualified Star Retailers.
3RIVE 3D is a novel technology that combines molecule and machine into a precision platform for solutions and use patterns that will enhance productivity through seedling defense, plant health and farming efficiency.
By Lisa Heacox |
At presstime, dealers were using a host of glowing terms to describe this year’s crops, some of which included “tremendous,” “explosive,” and “utopia.” Indeed, one Indiana retailer cited his region’s “perfect” weather for a harvest that’s “the best we’ve ever had.”
While such banner crops are good news, they’re also expected to impact this fall’s fertilizer season.
For one thing, before too long, transporting near-record harvests will tie up barge and rail traffic at a time when fertilizer shipments need to be making their way to terminals. Then too, the question arises of whether there are “going to be enough trucks and time to get products in place,” says Ron Milby, executive director of agronomy marketing with GROWMARK.
If fields stay green longer than usual, dry-down, harvest — and ultimately fall fertilizer application — in some areas may be delayed, putting “a lot more pressure” on the system as well. “We’re going to try and move as much product as we can and hopefully members will take product as quick as they can, just to get prepared for fall,” says Milby.
At presstime, dealers were looking to stock warehouses, with delivery of product two to three weeks behind. “We had a really good spring, and everybody was dry, empty. Trying to get this stuff back in has been kind of tough because of logistics,” says Milby.
“For us to feel secure, we want to go ahead and get what we can, get a large portion of what we’re going to use,” anotherCropLife 100 retailer added. Because refill tonnage may be more difficult to find, he will be glad to find 75% to 80% of full volumes.
Such a great corn crop could also lower commodity prices and — mean fewer acres planted next year. Growers may be wavering in their fertilizer buying. “Depending on the crop and where growers are at, if they have money to spend, you’ll get a lot of them waiting until the last minute to make some fertilizer decisions,” he adds.
It’s still too early to tell if many growers will be shifting corn acres to other crops, say our dealer contacts. Growers often wait until late in the game to make those decisions as well.
“They can react very quickly, they have very good equipment, and they’re very good at what they do,” notes Michael Johnson, CHS Inc.’s director of marketing for crop nutrients. “But that almost can bring a false sense of security.” He suggests a last-minute approach may especially not work this year — and that growers plan ahead, due to what CHS sees as unprecedented logistical challenges.
A few retailers noted that USDA crop projections were off over the last few years, and those inaccuracies “really shocked the market one way or the other. It’s too hard to trust USDA’s numbers.”
September futures for corn closed in early August at $3.58 per bushel, down from approximately $4.22 per bushel in January. Looking at pricing, growers may be conserving some cash going into the next season.
“Farmers in general are probably going to be a little conservative. I think they’d want to be a little guarded with their fertilizer, in contrast to where they’ve been — sinking some good money into getting their fertility programs up to par,” one Midwest dealer says. “Since they’ve built programs that have gotten the fertility up, they may be able to coast a little bit, reduce usage.”
On the other hand, if farmers are going to take off such tremendous yield, it’s “going to significantly draw down soil nutrient availability,” says Cheryl Schmura, CHS vice president, crop nutrients sales and marketing. “They’re going to replenish nutrients, so the question is just how does that play out?”
And while nitrogen (N) will need to go down for sure, Jeff Greseth, CHS vice president, crop nutrients supply and trading, believes growers will be taking an especially close look at phospruus (P) and potash (K) programs. He sees farmers putting greater reliance on soil testing and then considering site-specific applications.
“They still value P and K, but the question is going to be the amount they’ll apply based on crop commodity prices. Dealers are going to need to clearly position the agronomic and economic returns of P and K this next crop season perhaps now more than ever,” says Greseth.
Supplier shortages of N, P and K materials don’t seem to be a problem, but companies are controlling pricing somewhat by controlling inventory, and in some cases delaying releasing product.
A Closer Look At Transport
“It’s not that there isn’t ample supply,” says Greseth. “It’s getting it positioned in the right geography in a timely manner.”
The U.S. rail situation has gotten a lot of press over the last year, particularly as spring approached, and rail companies prioritized shipping other commodities, especially crude oil, over fertilizer. The Surface Transportation Board, which works closely with the U.S. Department of Transportation, stepped in to encourage the railroad industry to make sure fertilizer got where it needed to be in time for spring planting.
The rail companies’ decisions may be understandable. In the past few years, the upper Midwest has been the site of an unprecedented increase in oil and gas production — with limited pipeline access. (The Keystone Pipeline is in part designed to alleviate this bottleneck.) The need to transport that crude oil to refineries has rested on the rails, and so limited rail carriers and capacity have produced “a big mess,” says Andy O’Hare, vice president of public policy at The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).
Heading into fall, CHS’ Greseth believes that large international demand for potash will also especially impact the industry. Companies will bring as much product as quickly as they can out of Canada via rail, then need to haul the large crop back. “We’re going to be at their mercy,” says Greseth. “We’ll have to see how that plays out. I think we’re going to see some of the potash demand is going to be shipped a little slower, and we could see delays of two to four weeks.”
In fact, the rail situation is one of the hottest topics that TFI is addressing as U.S. agriculture moves into the fall, says O’Hare. TFI is working with a coalition of other industries with rail transport concerns, exploring legislative options that would modernize the Surface Transportation Board — a big step in aiding the system. “Since fertilizer shipments are so time sensitive, we’re trying to get ahead of this before there is potential for concern next spring,” he explains.
The problem has been years in the making, O’Hare points out. In 1980, Congress passed the Staggers Rail Act, a law aimed at modernizing rail transportation. Since then, “we’ve gone from 26 Class 1 railroads — those that transport products interstate — to only seven,” he explains. “It’s even worse than that, because those railroads are very isolated geographically.”
For instance, in the Southeast — which includes many big ag states — there are only two or three Class 1 railroads operating.
“It limits competition significantly, and we’ve seen a combination of shipping constraints coupled with large increases in shipping costs, all of which has been coincident with this reduction in the number of rail companies over the past 25 or so years,” O’Hare explains.
Bottom line, says Greseth: “Dealers and growers need to plan ahead to manage through potential shortages and bottlenecks. We’ve seen the impact of what a big crop will do on the rail system. If you couple that with a big fertilizer fall, you’re probably going to see some logistical bottlenecks and challenges.”
Beyond railways, perhaps lesser-known shipping problems lie on the U.S. river system as well — and many growers may not realize how big an impact these issues will have on fertilizer.
Barge availability, dubbed “empty steel,” out of the Gulf is somewhat short, Greseth reports. He’s also noticed that freight rates coming out of New Orleans headed north have been elevated for fall. And it may get worse. “You’re going to see some changes coming on the delivery prices as more and more people need materials,” he says.
For more than four decades, BLU-JET® has been an innovative leader in Fertilizer Injection and Tillage Equipment for the Agricultural Industry. Our products are known for their durability, low maintenance, and return on investment in large acre farming operations. We attribute our success to a combination of:
Innovation in meeting market demands
Utilization of in-house, highly qualified Engineering staff
State-of-the art 3-D design software with Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Each new BLU-JET® product is analytically designed, piece by piece, ensuring successful field durability prior to the first prototype being produced. This stringent process makes certain that each BLU-JET® product released for commercial sale meets our high standards for quality and reliability.
Today, BLU-JET® products can be found in all major agricultural areas within the United States and Canada. Additionally, our products can be seen working in the fields of Africa, Ukraine, Australia, and Russia, just to name a few. Please explore our product line and ask us how we can help you run a more successful cropping operation through the use of BLU-JET® products.
Call Ohio Valley Ag today for more information on our Blue-Jet equipment line. 866-.561-7772
AgWeb’s Crop Comments allows farmers across the country to share their planting progress, crop conditions, farming issues and more. Recently, an east-central Iowa farmer submitted a picture of what he calls “ugly stage corn.” Another farmer suggested that perhaps his corn isn’t getting the full benefits of the nitrogen that he applied.
Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist explains that nitrogen-deficient corn in the beginning of the growing season gives up yield potential, whereas, corn that’s nitrogen-deficient late in reproductive stages gives up actual yield.
“You want to keep enough nitrogen available during all corn growth stages so crop growth never slows down,” Ferrie says.
1. Assess the environment for every field; that is crucial in building a nitrogen program. Know your risk of nitrogen loss from leaching, denitrification and/or volatility.
2. Pick the right nitrogen sources, timing and placement. Doing those three things is much more important than trying to pick the right rate.
3. Assess the carbon penalty potential based on the amount and type of carbon left from your previous crop. Don’t forget to assess a carbon penalty for grass cover crops.
4. Consider that split applications and nitrogen inhibitors might be part of the balance of your nitrogen plan.
5. If corn greens up right after a sidedress application, it is telling you that the crop was waiting for the nitrogen and it was giving up yield potential during the process.
6. Season-long scouting is the only way to get a handle on nitrogen needs and management. Knowing when you run short is more important than knowing how much you ran short. As Ferrie emphasizes, “Scout, scout, scout and then make a plan.”
Shop Agrimart for all of your Nitrogen Application Needs.
Perhaps no segment of farming is benefitting more from the ubiquitous power of mobile technology than precision agriculture. Just think about it — complete mobility to be able to monitor, store and share information at anytime, anywhere in the world via a smartphone or tablet has taken precision agriculture to another level.
In fact, the mobile device was ranked the No. 1 technology to watch in the Fall 2013 PrecisionAg Special Report (PASR), ahead of other top trends like variable-rate seeding and unmanned aerial systems. “I do feel smart devices will continue to be adapted by agriculture,” said Tim Norris, manager of Ag Info Tech, in the PASR article. “It’s technology that people seem to have already, so telemetry and data transfer with those devices makes sense to me.”
The evolution of mobile technology in precision agriculture should only continue upward over the next several years, too. Consider the next generation of farmers has grown up with this technology and feels completely comfortable using it. Their familiarity with iPhones and iPads should make it seamless for them to integrate mobile technology into their farming strategy.
But exactly how are today’s growers and retailers using mobile technology in precision agriculture? We set out to answer this question in our 2013 Precision Ag Mobile Internet Usage Survey. Nearly 200 respondents were comprised mostly of growers (35%), retail agronomists/consultants (25%) and manufacturers (17%), and about 90% said they were “very involved” to “always involved” with their organization’s precision ag activities. These highly engaged participants certainly helped in the credibility of the study’s results. Thus, here are six mobile use trends to watch for in precision ag in 2014 and beyond:
1. iOS dominates mobile devices. As of October 2013, Apple has sold more than 170 million iPads since its release in April 2010, according to AppleInsider.com. So not surprisingly, iPads (63%) were the most commonly used mobile device among precision ag practitioners. It was followed closely by the iPhone (54%) and Android smartphone (36%). Other mobile devices being used in precision ag to a lesser degree are the Android tablet (10%), Windows tablet (8%) and Windows smartphone (6%).
2. Internet quality and availability improving. It wasn’t too long ago that Internet service in rural areas was a crapshoot. While you may have had good access, your neighbor may have been out of luck. But with vast improvements in connectivity — particularly with wireless broadband and cloud computing — Internet quality and availability is better than ever. Consider 83% of respondents rated the availability of high-speed Internet access in their area as “good” to “very good,” while 76% rated the quality of high-speed Internet as “good” to “very good.”
3. Mobile slowly phasing out desktop computing. Are mobile devices making desktop computers obsolete? Perhaps they are in some industries, but not quite yet in precision agriculture. In fact, slightly more than half of respondents (52%) said they use their mobile device(s) “about the same as” or “more than” their laptop/desktop computer for precision ag work. Meanwhile, 48% use their smartphones and tablets less than their personal computers for precision ag-related jobs.
4. Mobile devices increase … mobility. Without question, the ability to work anywhere is one of the biggest advantages of mobile technology. When asked what locations they are using their mobile devices for precision ag-related work, most respondents said “in the field” (83%) and “in the cab” (62%). Interestingly, respondents are using them slightly more “at home” (51%) than they are “in the office” (49%).
5. Data collection No. 1 task performed. As the industry continues to emphasize the need to provide better data to growers to help them make better farming decisions, mobile technology will help immensely in this regard. So when asked how they use their mobile device(s) for precision ag purposes, it was not surprising that data collection was the most common answer to this open-ended question. Also mentioned several times by respondents was mapping, scouting and soil sampling/testing.
6. Mobile app is a key component. One of the main tools that enable a wide variety of precision ag work to be conducted on a mobile device is the app. And precision ag specialists are using lots of them. Connected Farm (Trimble) was the most used precision ag-related mobile app (31%), according to respondents. It was followed by John Deere’s JD Link (28%), Precision Planting’s FieldView (24%) and John Deere’s Mobile Farm Manager (16%). In addition, the overall attitude toward these apps is positive. More than 70% said they “agree” to “strongly agree” that most precision ag apps improve the quality of work they do.
Shop Agrimart.net for all of your precision agriculture needs.