Remote Control Model of an Apache Sprayer

Nathan-Rowings-stands-next-to-his-remote-control-Apache-sprayerNathan Rowings, Apache AS710 owner, has a unique way of showing his appreciation for his sprayer. He started building an identical model of his Apache sprayer. After four years of intense detailed work, he brought his finished product to be placed on display at the National Toy Truck ‘N Construction Show in Indianapolis.

“When I was younger, I used to make other models for 4-H projects,” said the Greencastle, Ind. farmer. “But I got bored with them, and one day I decided I wanted to make a model of my Apache.”

Down to the small details, Rowings has created a nearly identical sprayer to the Apache. He even incorporated the same decals on his model AS710 that are found on the real sprayer. This little Apache not only looks impressive, but it is functional too.

Rowings spent approximately 400 hours making this model and even had to order parts from other countries. His mini-Apache is a 1:10 scale version of a real Apache sprayer and weighs 25 pounds. The AS710 model is hydraulically-powered by a remote control.

New Matrix Pro GS with Enhanced Swath Control

MatrixPro840GS_Right w-RAM_curved compassThe Matrix Pro GS Guidance System offers growers TeeJet exclusive RealView® guidance over video along with several new productivity enhancing features.

Matrix Pro GS is the only system available that displays guidance and live video simultaneously, improving accuracy and efficiency in field operations. Up to eight RealView cameras can be used to monitor multiple machine operations while at the same time viewing guidance information. Growers can choose Matrix Pro 570GS with 5.7″ (145 mm) display or Matrix Pro 840GS with 8.4″ (213 mm) display.

Matrix Pro GS builds upon the proven Matrix and Matrix Pro product lines and adds many new capabilities. Advanced swath control capabilities now allow for automatic boom section control (ABSC) on dry spreaders and sprayers with offset booms. Matrix Pro GS also supports droplet size monitoring capability. This exclusive feature provides real‐time display of the droplet size being produced at the sprayer boom allowing the operator to optimize their spraying application. The unique NextRow feature guides operators through turns in row crop environments, helping them find the correct rows to steer between for the next pass.

Matrix Pro GS is auto‐steer and ABSC ready. Adding FieldPilot® or UniPilot® assisted steering can greatly enhance operator productivity. Adding BoomPilot® ABSC is economical and easy as well.

AGCO Launching RG700

AGCOAGCO Application Equipment is introducing the newest addition to its RoGator lineup – the RG700 – a 700-gallon machine built with the same attention to detail and durability as its bigger RoGator brothers.

Launching in fall 2013, the RG700 self-propelled sprayer combines RoGator professional-grade quality and dependability with flexibility to meet spraying requirements well suited for a smaller tank size. Tier 4i-compliant, it is equipped with the latest technology systems, is easy to operate and, like larger RoGator models, features an application-specific cab design that maximizes operator comfort and safety.

The RG700 offers an industry-leading AWD Smart Drive System, even weight distribution and Parallel C-channel flex frame, all of which combine to provide consistent field speed without shifting and excellent traction with all four wheels remaining on the ground. The result is a smoother ride, less wear and tear on the booms, and more precise product application, even under varying field conditions.

New Application Controls in the Making at Raven

ris-13-032_editedStaying on the cutting edge of precision agricultural technology isn’t an easy thing to master, but the team at Raven Industries has done just that. During the 2013 Raven Inovation Summit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota numerous products were unveiled. Three of them fall into the category of application controls.

I asked Gary Esselink, product manager in application controls for Raven, to give more insight into these three new additions.

One of them includes the tank fill monitor. Gary said, “We have a flow meter running at the outlet filling the tank up. And we calculate those gallons as they go in it. We then display them either on the field computer or on an outside monitor.”

Another new product in application controls is the automatic pump flush system. “What happens is a lot of the chemicals we run in the direct injector pumps change their characteristics. What we’ve done is provide a little flush tank with a 3-way valve. When you push a button on the field computer the valve turns and takes the flushing agent, runs it through the pump at a pre-designed amount and then shuts itself off.”

The last but certainly not least addition is the ISO virtual terminal. “ISO means it’s interactive with other systems. Raven products can interact with other field computer of our competitors if they are also ISO compatible.”

Listen to my complete interview with Gary here: Interview with Gary Esselink

Check out photos from the event here: Raven Innovation Summit Photo Album

BASF & John Deere Team to Help Soybean Growers

BASF Crop Protection and John Deere have teamed up to help soybean farmers fight disease with an effective fungicide and a targeted way to apply it.

deere-nozzleSoybean growers who purchase $300 or more of Priaxor™ fungicide from BASF before March 15, 2013, may qualify to purchase John Deere spray nozzles between April 1 and May 31, 2013 with no payments and no-interest financing for 150 days. (See offer details here)

Priaxor fungicide provides continuous protection against a broad spectrum of plant diseases. More than 75 trials conducted by BASF in 2010 and 2011, in the U.S., reveal that soybean acres treated with Priaxor fungicide out-yielded untreated land 87 percent of the time.

John Deere nozzles offer precision sprayer performance and accuracy. With a variety of specialized sprayers, there is a solution for every grower and every soybean acre, including the Twin-Air nozzle for high-coverage applications with on-target spraying, providing uniform coverage – perfect for low crops with complex canopies.

This enhanced and targeted coverage maximizes applications of Priaxor fungicide by distributing it evenly on soybean leaves. Once applied, Priaxor fungicide continuously delivers its chemistry throughout each leaf. This brings more consistent disease protection and post-infection disease controls, providing Plant Health benefits that can result in greater yields.

New Products from TeeJet Technologies

TeeJet TechnologiesTeeJet Technologies will be introducing several new and innovative spray and precision farming products at AG CONNECT 2013.

Among the products being introduced are three AE50 award winners:

1. Sentry 6140 tip flow monitor is a unique, in-cab device that monitors the flow rate of individual spray tips to detect problems like clogging, lost tips and misalignment.
2. Sentry 6120 droplet size monitor provides real-time measurement and in-cab display of droplet size while spraying so operators can adjust the ground speed and pressure to ensure proper coverage and minimize drift.
3. QJS compact, configurable nozzle body allows the number of nozzle connections and the orientations of the connections to be easily configured based on sprayer design and application demands.

Other products being introduced at AG CONNECT include a new rate controller and precision farming field computer.

New Adjuvant Technology for Greater Drift Control

Aerial applicators now have an on-target solution when delivering timely and more precise applications of crop protection products. Precision Laboratories, a leading provider of specialized chemistries, recently introduced Volare DC™, a new adjuvant technology for aerial applicators.

Volare DC, briefly known as Avianis DC, delivers improved drift control, deposition and coverage when applied through aerial application equipment. Unlike ordinary drift retardants designed for ground application, Volare DC optimizes droplet size and deposition by “right-sizing” spray droplets to resist wind stream shear that ruptures oversized droplets formed from ordinary drift retardants.

Recent research shows a distinct difference between ground and aerial applications, where ordinary drift retardants can be ineffective for the aerial market. In 2011, Volare DC was validated through research performed at the USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS) Aerial Application Technology high speed wind tunnel. It reduced drift by over 30% compared to alternatives and provided superior compatibility at a low-use rate.

Mix Tank App Receives Award

Precision Laboratories is pleased to announce that their award-winning and patent-pending Mix Tank app was “highly commended” for “Best Stewardship Program” at the recent AGROW AWARDS gala in London, England.

Precision Laboratories’ smartphone app was recognized for its utility to applicators and was highly commended by the judging panel.

Mix Tank is designed to assist agricultural applicators and farmers with the proper tank mixing sequence to prevent tank mix problems. The available weather integration helps applicators maintain accurate spray logs and assist with documentation and compliance.

Mix Tank is available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play by searching for Mix Tank or Precision Laboratories. Click here for more information on Mix Tank or Precision Laboratories. Precision Laboratories can also be found on Facebook .

New Insecticide Spraying App

USDA scientists have released two mobile phone applications, or “apps,” to make things easier for anyone who needs to adjust insecticide spray equipment. The apps are designed to ensure that aerial and ground-based crews can hit targets and minimize pesticide drift by keying in specifics on the type of equipment and pesticide they are using.

The apps are designed to ensure that aerial and ground-based crews can hit targets and minimize pesticide drift by keying in specifics on the type of equipment and pesticide they are using.

With dozens of manufacturers producing dozens of different types of spray technology—each with its own nozzle type, flow rate, and pressure setting range—the equipment setup can get pretty complicated. Aerial sprayers also must factor in wind speed, air temperature, flight speed and humidity.

The apps incorporate the latest science of spray technology, including “spray nozzle atomization” models developed by ARS at College Station.

The apps are available online through the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Play Android Marketplace by searching for “Aerial Sprays” for the aerial application app and “Vector Sprays” for the ground-based sprayer app.

Equipment Technologies Sets New Assembly Record

It was a record-breaking month for the men and women working the assembly line at Equipment Technologies this past October. The team built its 70th Apache sprayer in one month, surpassing the previous record of 69 sprayers.

Equipment Technologies is the largest independently-owned manufacturer of self-propelled sprayers in North America. Operating from its 168,000 square foot headquarters in Mooresville, Ind., the company distributes its sprayers throughout North America, Ukraine and Australia through a network of independent dealers.

SPADE Project Seeks to Improve Data Exchange Processes

AgGateway’s Precision Ag Council has launched a new project that will improve the data exchange processes that drive the use of precision agriculture field equipment for such major operations as seeding, tillage, spraying, fertilizing and harvesting. The Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) project is intended to streamline and encourage adoption of precision ag practices.

Currently, costs for exchanging data in the world of precision agriculture are high due to the lack of common implementation guidelines, data transfer protocols, message standards and standard reference data. Producers report that it is difficult or nearly impossible to move data from one system to another.

The ultimate objective of the project is to make the benefits of precision ag available to all growers and ag retailers. This will be done by reducing the complexity of the process and lowering the cost of entry.

Companies interested in joining the SPADE project should contact Marilyn Hunter, AgGateway’s Enabling Services Director at Marilyn@aggateway.org.

TeeJet Technologies Launches 540 Series Boom Shutoff Manifold

TeeJet Technologies announces their new 540 series manifold for sprayer boom shutoff. This new gear driven, plunger-style design provides long-term reliability in a more compact size. The 540 can deliver improved wear-life when working with abrasive solutions and will generate strong closing force for positive shutoff.

Tim Stuenkel, Marketing Manager with TeeJet, said “With the introduction of the 540 series shutoff manifold TeeJet now gives our customers the choice of both plunger and ball-type boom shutoff valves. They can choose the manifold that best fits their machines and applications. We are pleased to continue to provide our customers with newer and better boom shutoff solutions.”

TeeJet manufactures a comprehensive line of products and continues to invest in research and development to advance precision application and control technology.

Find more information about TeeJet and their new 540 series boom shutoff manifold here.

TeeJet AI3070 Dual Pattern Flat Spray Tip Introduced

The new AI3070 spray tip from TeeJet Technologies provides thorough plant coverage with minimal spray drift. This spray tip utilizes a patent-pending design that provides two spray patterns at angles of 30º forward and 70º rearward. The leading pattern provides good penetration into the foliage while the trailing pattern provides thorough coverage of the upper crop canopy and grain head. The AI3070 incorporates air induction technology to minimize spray drift, while producing a large percentage of droplets in the medium to coarse category to maximize surface coverage.

The AI3070 was designed specifically for fungicide application in cereal crops making it ideal for controlling fungal diseases. The prevalence of fusarium in wheat and other cereal crops makes this an ideal nozzle for small grain producers. The AI3070 is designed to maximize the efficacy of a grower’s fungicide application which contributes to higher yields and a higher quality grain sample.

The AI3070 is offered in six VisiFlo® color-coded sizes from -015 to -05 capacities. It is constructed of acetal (polymer) with a recommended operating range of 20-90 psi. The AI3070 tips are easily installed on Quick TeeJet® nozzle bodies. The tips are currently available at local TeeJet Authorized Distributors.

Applicator Training Promoted at Commodity Classic

During the 2012 Commodity Classic, BASF Crop Protection introduced the On Target Application Academy, a partnership with application technology specialist Dr. Bob Wolf, retired Professor Emeritus of Kansas State University, to help growers get the most out of their pesticides by using best application practices.

Dr. Wolf says the program focuses on research and education of applicators to “maximize control of weeds and minimize spray drift.”

One of the educational tools he uses is a spray table that is designed to allow applicators to actually see the differences between spray nozzles, the droplet size and drift produced. “I encourage them to put water in their sprayer on a day when they’re not busy, turn the sprayer on, get out and walk along and do some comparisons,” he said.

On Target Application Academies will be held throughout 2012 at industry and state events. Sessions will be about two hours long and cover a number of topics including best practices for self applications, nozzle selection, adjuvants, calibration, sprayer set up, equipment clean out, and more. More information on dates and locations will be available from BASF representatives and on the BASF website.

Listen to or download an interview with Bob Wolf here: Dr. Bob Wolf

Watch Dr. Wolf’s demonstration of the spray table during the BASF “Science Behind” event held in conjunction with Commodity Classic in Nashville:

2012 Commodity Classic Photo Album
2012 BASF Science Behind Photo Album

Coverage of the 2012 Commodity Classic Show is sponsored by John Deere

Precision Potato Farming Aims at Sustainability

Precision agriculture is playing a much larger role in helping potato growers become more sustainable, according to a recent story in Spudman.

Bruce Crapo, a grower of 6,000 acres of commercial potatoes and 2,000 acres of seed potatoes in Idaho, is a good example of how the average potato farmer looks at precision agriculture – he uses technology to reduce costs, increase output and improve profits.

Crapo isn’t thrilled at the cost of high-tech equipment such as GPS-guided tractors, but he knows it’s saving him money and there’s no way he can turn back now.

“There is a substantial initial cost involved,” Crapo said. “But I also know it is saving me money. What do you do? Go back to what you were doing before? That’s not an option.”

Crapo, who uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology on all his planters and harvesters, said the latest precision ag technology has taken farming to a different level.

“It’s light years ahead of what it was when we were doing it by hand,” he said. “We’re not going to go back to not using it, but we are wincing a little at the cost.”

Precision agriculture can loosely be defined as using new technologies such as GPS, sensors, variable rate application equipment and aerial or satellite images to make farming easier and more profitable.

Simply put, precision agriculture can help farmers improve their margins by decreasing their operating costs.

Idaho farmer Robert Blair, owner of PineCreek Precision, says the biggest benefit of precision farming is that it gives producers the ability to manage their farm on a production zone basis rather than a whole field basis. This shift, he said, allows farmers to save time and money and helps them offset the rising cost of chemicals, nutrients, fuel and fertilizer.

Blair uses a wide array of precision agriculture techniques on his 1,500-acre farm and said the technology is saving him tens of thousands of dollars every year.

Read on to learn more…