University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP), in collaboration with other Midwest land-grant universities, developed a new tool to help farmers calculate the optimum nitrogen rate for corn.
The Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator finds the Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) farmers will receive from nitrogen applications to corn, based on prices of nitrogen and corn derived from research data. The calculator is available at http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/soilfertility/nrate.aspx.
The developers took the calculator a step further by creating a smartphone app. Users can select various sources of nitrogen; split applications between fall, preplant and postapplied; add stabilizers; and calculate the cost. They can also save the results for future reference.
"Making the MRTN accessible and adding the flexibility to account for split applications is critical to maximize nutrient investment and reduce nutrient losses," says Dan Schaefer, director of nutrient stewardship for CBMP.
Through funding provided by CBMP, the app is free for both Apple and Android devices. While the app is a helpful cost-analysis tool, farmers need to consider agronomic practices and conduct soil tests to determine exact nitrogen rates needed.
New Quick-Connect Couplers
Flow-Rite Controls is launching a new line of quickconnect couplers for use in agricultural, industrial, chemical and medical/life science applications. The design permits for the highest flow rate of comparable couplers. Disconnecting is hassle-free with an ergonomic push-in button.
"It was a natural evolution for our couplers to become available for outside distribution, given our core capabilities and our American-made approach to quality," says Todd Hart, sales director of Flow-Rite Controls. "We have the team to support orders large and small and the flexibility to offer private labeling and custom colors."
The couplers are American-made and include highgrade, UV-resistant polypropylene, nonswell Viton O-rings and 305 stainless-steel springs to minimize corrosion and acidic degradation. The pressure range is 0 to 100 psi, with a temperature range of freezing to 160°F (71°C).
Other features and options include:
- Exclusive keyed connection options to prevent errors in pairings
- Valved and straight-through versions
- Multiple barbed and threaded terminations
- Private labeling and custom colors
Better Boom Height Control
Sprayer manufacturer Bestway introduces AutoGlide, an automated boom height system, for its lineup of pull-type sprayers. The system uses rugged ultrasonic sensors mounted on the spray boom to continually monitor the boom’s height and maintain the desired distance above the ground or crop canopy. Bestway officials cite more consistent spray patterns, better coverage and reduced operator fatigue as potential benefits.
- December 2012