Innovations in engineering and technology for agricultural, food and biological systems recently were recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The winners of the society’s 2021 AE50 award program were new to the marketplace in 2020 and have the potential for a broad impact in their area of industry, according to the organization. Winners of the 2021 AE50 awards have been featured in the past few editions of Agri-View. This week’s edition features innovations in fertilizer-application equipment, spraying equipment and irrigation technologies.
Intelligent Agricultural Solutions has upgraded its Engage SpreadControl quarter-boom section control for dry-fertilizer applicators. The company has increased swath-control resolution from 35 feet to 17.5 feet per section for TerraGator AirMax Precision – A and B series – applicators. The section control is designed to reduce the amount of overlap per field by 3 percent to 5 percent or more.
Air pack system for Case IH applicators, air carts
Case IH Agriculture’s new 24-Row Air Pack System is designed to accurately deliver dry-fertilizer products from a Case IH Precision Air 5-Series cart to a 60-foot 940 Nutri-Placer or 955 Nutri-Tiller fertilizer applicator. With its series of three-way splitters, the system is designed to equally deliver product to 24 row units on 30-inch row spacing. That enables growers to make use of a 60-foot toolbar to cover acres quickly and efficiently, according to company.
ExactRate liquid-fertilizer system
John Deere’s ExactRate liquid-fertilizer system uses ExactApply sprayer technology as a planter-applied fertilizer solution. The system uses pulse-width modulation to enable features such as in-cab rate adjustments, variable-rate prescriptions, individual row-section control, and curve compensation. ExactRate has many features found in electric-drive planters and delivers them to liquid-fertilizer application. The system provides an integrated solution for on-planter fertilizer delivery using familiar components and user interfaces, mitigating the need for growers to design and build their own system, according to John Deere.
InjectorSentry fertigation monitor
InjectorS`entry is a fertigation-monitoring solution for use with center pivot and other irrigation systems. Farmation designed it to monitor fertilizer injection-line flow and pressure. If a problem is detected, an alarm alerts the operator.
Autonomous Pivot is made to turn center-pivot irrigation systems into robotic platforms for autonomous irrigation, fertigation and crop protection application. The platform uses on-pivot ground-penetrating radar for continuous sensing of soil water content. It features two cameras, which provide a wide field of view and a narrow field of view. It also features global-positioning-system technology and a rain gauge.
Sensor data are uploaded to the cloud for analysis by an artificial-intelligence engine, namely the “AI-Agronomist.” With that technology, the platform enables automatic symptom detection and autonomous treatment actions through Autonomous-Pivot’s app. Real-time data from the app enable farmers to optimize use of resources to maximize yield, as well as to reduce input costs.
Electronic swing-arm corner
Reinke Manufacturing Company’s electronic swing-arm corner is designed to increase water uniformity and eliminate under- and over-watering throughout the corners of a field. An increase in uniformity brings the swing-arm corner to a higher standard in water-use efficiency, according to Reinke. The innovation is in the application of sequential zones, global positioning system, electronic controls, and a patent-pending water-application method to provide the proper amount of water-based system parameters, such as the field’s coverage area.
NetBow is an irrigation multi-outlet dripper arc with clogging resistance and superior water distribution, according to the manufacturer Netafim. Placed on the substrate surface, NetBow ensures uniform coverage of the substrate from top to bottom with no blind spots, according to the company. NetBow is designed to help growers maximize “nutrigation” efficiency in containers.
Dura-ABV-B auto-batch meter
Dura Products has designed the Dura-ABV-B auto-batch meter to connect with the BANJO EVX 100B electric valve. The system automates a venturi-driven chemical-handling system. Operators can join factory-installed electric connectors, plumb the valve to auto-batch and select volume desired. The valve automatically opens and closes upon completion. Dura-ABV and the Banjo EVX valve remove the need for sophisticated wiring, programmable logic controllers or plumbing. Operator error and herbicide exposure are eliminated, according to the company.
Hawkeye 2 nozzle-control system
Hawkeye 2 Nozzle Control is a pressure-based product-control system. It allows for precise sprayer application by dynamically controlling the rate and pressure in a variety of conditions, according to Raven, its manufacturer. The nozzle control valve builds upon the previous system – individual nozzle control reduces skips and overlaps. A consistent rate and droplet size reduce drift and increase application quality and turn compensation minimizes over- and under-application to achieve the ideal application rate across the boom.
Each nozzle is controlled by its own pulsing nozzle control valve to provide a consistent spray pattern across the boom as speed and conditions change. Hawkeye 2 is built to close flow by sections or individual nozzles. The technology saves on chemicals, reduces overlap and unnecessary application, according to Raven.
AccuPulse TwinJet flat-spray tip
TeeJet designed the AccuPulse TwinJet flat-spray tip for use on sprayers equipped with pulse width-modulation spray-tip controls. The nozzle design offers drift control without air induction, a method traditionally used to increase spray-droplet size. Patent-pending pre-orifice and nozzle geometry recirculates and slows flow before atomization. The wide-angle, twin-spray design provides excellent leaf coverage and canopy penetration in broadcast spraying, according to TeeJet. The flat-spray tip is suitable for the application of systemic, post-emerge herbicides in terms of coverage and drift control near sensitive areas.