New spray tips

In a partnership with Wilger Industries, Case IH dealers are now offering Wilger's Combo-Rate nozzle body system and its Combo-Jet DR (drift reduction) series nozzles.

Wilger has increased its nozzle flow capacity by 400%, says Steve Willey, product manager for Case. These nozzle bodies can keep up with high-clearance sprayers that travel 5 to 18 mph. Old-style nozzle bodies were designed to match rates with 5 to 6 mph. But they are not just for self-propelled sprayers.

The Combo-Rate nozzle body is modular; any number can be easily assembled (without tools) and locked in place with a spring clip in the same nozzle location with each tip in a ready-to-spray position.

With conventional nozzle bodies, you rotate them until you get the one you need to face downwards. Then you are limited to the application rate of that one, says Mark Bartel of Wilger. With this system, you stack as many nozzles as you need and spray with however many you want. Each body has a manual shutoff on top. By stepping between nozzles and combining flow rates with a three-nozzle system, you can get up to seven different application rates, Bartel adds.

The bodies fit Combo-Jet ER and DR combined tip/caps, or caps are available to use with other tips and screens. The bodies have approximately one-fifth of the pressure drop of current bodies a major advantage for high application rates. Due out next summer, the Combo-Rate on/off air control system will allow you to change flow rates from the cab with just a flip of a switch. Prices: Three-nozzle Combo-Rate body, $24.35; Combo-Jet DR nozzle, $8.80. See your local Case dealer or contact Wilger Industries, Dept. FIN, 16540 Hwy. 104N, Lexington, TN 38351, 877/968-7695, www.wilger.net or circle 198. Roxanne Furlong

Are your planters ready?

Inspecting and tuning your machinery and implements may be two of the most important jobs you have. This attention to detail keeps your equipment running efficiently and helps you gain high yields. Here is a checklist for your planter inspection.

Frame, planter unit and attachments: Check all hardware for tightness and proper torque settings; make sure all drive components turn freely (all drive chains must turn smoothly); lubricate and set tire pressure according to the operator's manual; look for unusual wear or looseness in all bearings and ground-engaging components; check row attachments for wear.

Hydraulics: Inspect all oil lines for cuts, scrapes, etc.; cycle all cylinders and valves, noting any leaks or strange movements that could suggest internal leaks.

Meters: Check meters for obstructions or excessive wear and adjust; make sure brushes, belts, seals, wear plates and seed discs are functional and not warped; pull manifold end caps and clean out dust and debris; operate blower and check for air leaks; calibrate meters.

Electrical system: Inspect all electrical wiring harnesses for pinched or frayed wires; make sure warning lamps work; check that the console control for folding planters works.

Fertilizer system: Inspect fertilizer pumps, valves and plumbing for leaks and operation; make sure fertilizer spouts, augers and pumps are free of obstruction; check fertilizer openers for wear. Precision Planting Systems

Turbo coulters

The Great Plains Turbo Coulter now can be retrofitted to your existing Deere, Kinze, Great Plains, Yetter, Ausherman or Vantage planters. Available in diameters of 16, 17, 18 and 20 in., the coulters are available in 4-, 5- and 6-bolt hub patterns, depending on your planting system. List price range: $28 to $42, depending on diameters and hub patterns. Contact Great Plains Mfg. Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 5060, Salina, KS 67402, 785/823-3276 or circle 197.

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Fertilizer buys

Ag Services of America has 12 common fertilizer blends available for purchase from its Web site, www.powerfarm.com. The site also offers seed, crop protection and discounted products.

8 steps to spring-cleaning sprayers

  1. Clean equipment on a pad or impermeable surface so you can recover the rinsate.

  2. Clean sprayers where runoff will not enter a waterway or well.

  3. Use protective clothing and equipment.

  4. Partially fill tank with water and a commercial tank cleaner (or household ammonia) at the rate of 1 gal. of cleaner/100 gal. of water. Complete filling the tank with water, then flush the cleaning solution through the boom, hoses and nozzles.

  5. Completely fill the tank with water again and agitate it at least 15 min. before flushing the boom, hoses and nozzles and draining the tank.

  6. Use a small brush on nozzle tips.

  7. Completely fill the tank with water again and flush the tank, boom and hoses for 5 min.

  8. Clean nozzles and screens separately. Ohio State University

High-tech nozzle

Greenleaf Technologies claims its new ceramic version of its TurboDrop XL nozzle can withstand use on up to 80,000 acres.

The TDCXL can be operated at 30 to 120 psi for use with insecticides, fungicides, contact herbicides and conventional drift products. The company claims it gives better canopy, penetration and coverage with 45 to 100 or more psi. You can spray Roundup at 5 to 10 gal./acre, says Will Smart, company spokesperson. And you can cover twice as many acres before you have to fill the sprayer again.

Price: $14.50/nozzle. Contact Greenleaf Technologies, Dept. FIN, Box 1767, Covington, LA 70434, 800/881-4832 or circle 199.

Sensing potential disaster

By mating silicon computer chips with biological proteins, scientists at Purdue University have created the first protein biochips. A university spokesperson says that if tests of the sensors are successful, farmers could place the protein-encrusted silicon chips in fields to signal crop diseases. Purdue News

Big nurse

Spray more acreage with Wylie Manufacturing's new 1,600-gal. nurse trailer, available with a pin or gooseneck hitch.

Model LT-600-P-NTS features a 1,600-gal. elliptical poly leg tank. Wylie positioned the fill well on the side of the tank instead of the top for easier access. The company welded a front platform for mounting bulk chemical containers. Options include either the company's 15- or 30-gal. Mix n Fill system, a Quick-Fill valve and coupling, Grip Strut walkway fenders and more. Price range: $5,200 to $5,895 depending on hitch. Contact Wylie Mfg. Co., Dept. FIN, Box 100, Petersburg, TX 79250, 800/722-4001, www.wyliesprayers.com or circle 196.

Tracking Micro-Trak products

Wylie Manufacturing is now a distributor of all Micro-Trak products, including its automatic controllers for sprayers. For a dealer near you, call 800/722-4001 or go to www.wyliesprayers.com.

Francis wins again,/p>

Manchester, IA, farmer Francis Childs reclaims his first-place title in the National Corn Growers Association's 2000 National Corn Yield Contest with 357.3 bu./acre in the AA Non-Irrigated Class. This yield is well under his 1999 record yield of 393.7 bu./acre because this year a hailstorm reduced some of his plant population. Childs used Pioneer brand seed 34B24. In fact, all but two of the first-, second- and third-place winners in each of the nine categories used Pioneer seed.