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Great Plains Introduces Technology That Doles Out Fertilizer in the Furrow

One of the biggest advances in starter fertilizer application was introduced by Great Plains today at the National Farm Machinery Show. Four years ago, Great Plains approached Capstan Ag Systems to team up in the development of an innovation that places liquid fertilizer in the row and in metered amounts. Fertilizer can be placed with the seed or, more commonly, separate from the seed, points out Tom Evans of Great Plains. After further testing, insecticide and fungicide may be added to the list of products that can be applied with the Great Plains’ AccuShot system.

Physically, liquid is doled out from a nozzle situated between a planter’s double disc openers and located just ahead of the seed tube. The process of shooting liquid from that nozzle starts when seed passes the seed tube sensor. This sends a message to the solenoid controller. That controller calculates the precise delay between each seed drop and then triggers a value to open injecting a predetermined and metered amount of liquid into a pressured tube feeding the nozzle. Liquid fertilizer can be injected in the row at rates from 2.5 up to 15 gallons per minute. The system uses a simple centrifugal pump and wet boom plumbing.

The timing of that injection can be varied by the farmer so that fertilizer is injected either ahead of the seed or in the furrow, Evans explains. “That means 100% of the fertilizer is immediately available to growing feeder roots,” he adds.

Field research by Great Plains shows the technology can reduce fertilizer costs with precision application in addition to boosting yields.

The AccuShot system is currently only being offered on Great Plains planters. However, Evans speculated that the company is considering making it available as an aftermarket product in the future.

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