As if farming wasn’t tough enough, nothing is more frustrating than spending time and money applying the correct nitrogen rate in the fall and spring, just to see nitrogen-deficient plants in the growing season.
Leaching and nitrification come with several costs; environmental issues, wasted nutrients, over-application expense, and yield loss to name a few. To combat this, many growers are turning to multiple nitrogen applications, especially in-season.
In-season application has become popular for growers to ensure nitrogen is available when plants need it most, or even as a “rescue” for stressed crops. Although tissue or soil sampling can be a great guide for determining nitrogen rates, this isn’t the best option when pressed for time during the growing season. For in-season application without waiting on lab results, consider the pretty nifty crop-sensing, near-infrared (NIR) technology. These sensors are mounted on your sidedresser where they can read plants’ nutrient needs in real-time, and applies the corresponding rate; all on the go. Depending on your operation’s needs (or your brand preference) we currently offer two NIR crop sensors: AgLeader’s OptRx and Topcon’s CropSpec.
On top of choosing the right nitrogen rates, there are multiple sources, application methods, and equipment options to consider.
The mounted Dalton D series is our recommendation for anhydrous toolbars. It features widths up to 24 rows, and a transport width as narrow as 13’. You can add Raven Vortex coolers and variable rate technology for added efficiency. These toolbars are equipped with a 30″ rake for excellent trash flow. You can use either edge bent shanks or Yetter Magnum low disturbance openers with this toolbar.
For liquid applications, the Dalton DLQ and AgSpray LA series offer 1,000 – 2,000 gallon capacities, variable rate capabilities, and cover up to 24 rows. Both units also offer auto gull wings, completely drainable tanks, and adjustable gauge wheels.
The Dalton DLQ series has a superior wing down-flex for consistent depth on uneven ground. It also offers state-of-the-art powder coat paint in blue, green, red, or black.
Unlike the Dalton DLQ, the AgSpray LA offers constant wing down pressure that is adjustable with self-locking outer wings. Another feature that sets it apart from the rest of the pack is its size flexibility; 55’ folds up to 35’. These applicators are available in 12, 16, or 24 row.
For a dry fertilizer spreader that covers a lot of acres at a great price point, my recommendation is the Mobility Row Crop Spreader from Dalton Ag. The Mobility offers 3 hopper sizes (6, 8, or 10 tons) and an adjustable spread pattern up to 60’. Plus, you get scales, VRT control, and adjustable axle widths up to 120”.
If you are after precise, high-speed application, the BBI Sniper has the upper hand. The Sniper boasts application widths of 120’. It’s 12-section spread control pattern automatically adjusts on the fly; reducing overlap and keeping fertilizer out of where it shouldn’t be. The standard 9-ton capacity Sniper comes equipped with Digi-Star scales and an easy-to-run ISO controller.
To learn more about nitrogen application equipment options, I’m available at 563.320.0748, or call our equipment team at 319.679.2281. For some virtual tire kicking, check out what’s on our lot at stutsmansequipment.com