Products to better place, monitor, and secure anhydrous have recently been introduced. Some include:
Mole knife. Strip tillers across the country have switched to the B-33 Mole Knife since it was introduced by Hi-Pro Manufacturing, Watseka, IL.
According to Jim Kinsella, researcher and strip-till farmer from Lexington, IL, the Mole Knife is shaped to seal the soil better and pulls 10 to 15% easier than do conventional anhydrous knives. "Strip tillers like it because it fluffs the soil straight up instead of shoving it aside against other soil. As it vertically raises the soil, it adds air to the ground, giving a better mound for strip till," he says.
The "mole hole" that the B-33 creates is covered by a layer of soil that traps anhydrous, keeping it in place and more concentrated than the slit created by a conventional knife, which, as it closes, tends to spew NH3 out the top. Using the Mole Knife, anhydrous applied with stabilizers tends not to nitrify as quickly as NH3 applied in conventionally knifed soils.
The 151/2-in.-long B-33 features a 11/2-in.-wide horizontal foot on the bottom that lifts the soil and breaks it up over an area 4 to 5 in. wide. The foot forms the hole into which anhydrous is applied. A vertical splitter quickly forces soil to cover and trap the ammonia. The knife can accommodate as many as three tubes for combination application of dry and liquid fertilizer simultaneously into varying soil layers.
Retail price: $30. For more information, contact Hi-Pro Mfg., Dept. FIN, Rt. 24 West, Watseka, IL 60970, 815/432-5271 or circle 229.
Land manager. Land Manager and Land Manager II, from the Dickey-john Corporation, is a single- or double-product controller for liquid, granular and anhydrous fertilizer applications that also records all the field data required by the EPA. Both consoles, fully compatible with any GPS system, can store as many as 10 formal reports.
While controlling liquid flow and pressure, Land Manager records information such as the applicator's name, product, registration numbers, location, date, starting and finishing times, and wind speed and direction.
Both units, fully adapted for GPS anhydrous application, list for about $3,000. For more information, contact Dickey-john Corp., Dept. FIN, Box 10, Auburn, IL 62615, 217/ 438-3371 or circle 230.
Rate adjust. This single-, dual- and triple-drive monitor from Orthman is a fully GPS-compatible console that can adapt to any size planter. Ideal for strip-till, variable-rate fertilizer applications, the Adjust-A-Rate II works with Deere Max-Emerge, Case IH 800 and 900 series, Kinze and White 5,000 and 6,000 series planters.
The monitor can be equipped with either a ground-speed sensor or a radar interface. Pressure and return hose packages for mounted or pull-type anhydrous rigs also are available.
Prices: single-drive Adjust-A-Rate II, $3,660. For more information, contact Orthman Mfg. Inc., Dept. FIN, Box B, Lexington, NE 68850-5636, 800/658-3270 or circle 231.
Nurse tank hitch. Originally engineered for use on the Blu-Jet high-performance AT5000, Thurston's new hitch provides heavy-duty performance and easy hookup. It is now available as a bolt-on retrofit kit for Blu-Jet LandRunner and LandWalker fertilizer injection toolbars.
The Auto-Lok hitch retracts for transport or storage and extends nearly 15 in. and pivots nearly 20 in. during hookup to eliminate the jockeying that's usually associated with backing up large equipment. With a nurse tank hooked up, pulling away extends the hitch fully and locks it securely into operating position. For more information, contact Thurston Mfg. Co., Dept. FIN, Box 218, Thurston, NE 68062, 800/ 658-3127 or circle 232.