NH3 Rigs Go High-Tech

NH3 application

In the face of escalating fertilizer prices, anhydrous ammonia (NH3) continues to be an affordable workhorse product. “We’re going to continue to see strong demand for anhydrous — at least in this area — because it is the cheapest use of nitrogen for direct application,” says Dave Coppess of Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA.

Lauren Kiest, head of aNH3, would go further: “Anhydrous use is cost-driven … it’s gaining market share.” In fact at Thurston Manufacturing/BLU-JET, Nick Jensen, vice president of manufacturing, reports record demand for NH3 application products. “Due to the cost of alternatives and our recent advances in NH3 technology, orders have soared,” he says. Companies are not only heeding customers’ calls for larger applicators but they’re bringing in an assortment of helpful tools to make each pound of this nitrogen form count.

Going Wide

Jensen says users really like the longer widths of toolbars that manufacturers are turning out — at BLU-JET, 60-foot on anhydrous units and 90-foot on liquid applicators. In addition, they like mainframes and row units that require less maintenance and are strip-till capable, he says. Earlier this year, BLU-JET’s Strip Till Systems products — a line that includes mainframes as well as highly adjustable, versatile components that can match a great variety of soil types and residue conditions — were honored by no-till farmers. “The implements can deliver NH3, liquid, dry, or dual placement fertilizer solutions in a one-pass application,” describes Jensen.

Wako Inc. offers the XT anhydrous toolbars in five lengths, up to 51 feet. It’s a low maintenance applicator that’s built to handle the abuse of today’s high horsepower tractors, says Wayne Bland, sales director. Wako’s Big Country Wagon quad toolbar is available in lengths up to 59 feet and can do triple duty as a chisel, fertilizer applicator, and field finisher. Its self-leveling system does “near perfect sealing” of anhydrous ammonia, Bland adds.

New from Ag Systems, Inc. is the monster 62-foot Nitromaster 8500 Series pull-type applicator. Paul Lenz says the unit is big, strong, and flexible and can do fall application, preplant NH3 work, and strip-till or zone banding. The Nitromaster 8500’s super heavy-duty wall tubing is designed to carry the heavy loads of coulters, spring bundles, and disc sealers.

Last year, Jenner Sales of Harristown, IL, sold out of Case IH’s “big bars” — the 52½-foot Nutri Placr NTX5310, says James Fehr, sales director. He credits the popularity of these rigs, in part, to the rise of strip-till practices.

“We account much of our recent growth, particularly in our strip-till product line, to the increase of input costs,” says Jensen. “As more growers realize the savings in fuel through a one-pass tillage system and see the benefits of maximizing their fertilizers’ efficiencies through root zone application, they have called upon our products as part of their solution.”

Growers are buying their own bars, says Fehr, to be ready to do their own application. Kiest adds that new farmer wealth is a factor, too. “Now it is apparently time to catch up in buying,” he says.

Toolbar users also appreciate being able to choose a size that fits their needs. Companies such as Dalton Ag Products, Wako Inc., and Agri-Products, Inc. offer a range of bar widths — and some do custom construction. And Thurston, WAKO, and Case IH give dealers and growers the chance to build their own systems, adding only the components needed for their particular field work.

Under Control

Kiest says aNH3 has released a number of updates and new components for its Equaply system to aid anhydrous application, including an injector called the N-Saver that injects N-Serve (anhydrous stabilizer) into the anhydrous stream as it runs to the manifolds. It allows a ratio of the stabilizer to anhydrous — and makes possible variable-rate N-Serve, explains Kiest, “It saves users money when they buy N-Serve in bulk.

“We also have a new electronic in-cab pressure monitoring system which alarms when a row has the wrong amount of anhydrous,” he adds. Plus, because aNH3 switched from hydraulic to electric operated manifold valves, the Equaply system can now interface with variable-rate controllers, such as Ag Leader Insight and John Deere GreenStar.

Controllers will be playing a larger role as dealers help growers maximize nitrogen sources. Heartland’s Coppess says his company will be investing in more variable-rate equipment — “in particular controllers for the toolbars are going to be needed.”

Leave a Reply

Equipment Stories

Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying Concerns
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision AgGrowing Demand For High Tech Agriculture Sparking Discussion
March 3, 2017
How can information technology be best harnessed to solve challenges in food and agriculture? That’s a question being asked more Read More
Junge Innovation Center
EquipmentAg Retail Plants Adapt Designs, Software
March 2, 2017
A host of factors could be cited for “the rise of the machines” in ag retail plants — and the Read More
Trending Articles
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Latest News
Soybean Closeup
FungicidesNew CROSSOVER PRO Formulation Offers Insect and Disease…
March 29, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has launched CROSSOVER PRO as a first of its kind formulation combining propiconazole and lambda-cyhalothrin for Read More
Trade Summit
Crop Inputs3 Compelling Reasons to Attend the AgriBusiness Global …
March 29, 2017
The AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit is the world’s premier sourcing event for crop protection and plant health products. Its core Read More
ManagementStudy: Farming Becoming Riskier Under Climate Change
March 28, 2017
Scientists the world over are working to predict how climate change will affect our planet. It is an extremely complex Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionProtecting Nitrogen Provides Economic, Environmental RO…
March 28, 2017
Every business looks to improve its return on investment and reduce its risk of loss. Farmers are no different, yet Read More
Water Drainage
Eric SfiligojDMWW Lawsuit Dismissal Good News for Ag
March 27, 2017
On March 17 while most of the nation was toasting St. Patrick’s Day, agriculture was likely lifting a glass (or Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Launches ADVANTIGRO Plant Growth Regulator…
March 27, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness, a recognized leader in the marketing and distribution of crop protection, seed and nutritional products, as well as Read More
Yara West Sacramento Ribbon Cutting
Crop InputsYara West Sacramento Is Newest Addition
March 27, 2017
Yara’s West Sacramento Terminal was officially welcomed March 21 as the newest Yara North America facility in the U.S. While continually Read More
UncategorizedPrecision Ag, Iowa Water, and GM Corn Updates
March 24, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the state of precision agriculture, the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market Wit…
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teach…
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More