All across agriculture, there is an increasingly strong push towards sustainability; a drive for management practices that put fewer impacts on the environment while still increasing a farmer’s harvestable yields. In order to facilitate sustainability and decrease environmental impact, it’s necessary to look carefully at crop management practices such as fertilizer applications, pest treatments, and weed control strategies. These management practices almost always entail some sort of chemical application, whether it is synthetic or organic solutions. Because of this reliance on chemicals, it’s important that they are applied in a careful, safe manner to minimize their effects on the surrounding environment, the soil, and both fresh and ground water sources. In the quest for increased sustainability, these 10 companies are creating technological advances that are guiding the future of chemical application.
Per the company,“The MagGrow technology comprises a patented and proprietary system of rare earth permanent magnets, the action of which is predicated upon the interaction of the static magnetic fields they provide with electrically charged entities present in the spray fluid and the consequential influence of this interaction upon fluid properties and ultimately upon spray droplet formation, droplet dynamics and droplet adhesion.” In simpler terms, the MagGrow System uses a pioneering, patented magnetic spraying system that creates an electromagnetic charge which makes it easier for spray droplets to stick to the crop.
Again, in the words of MagGrow's leadership: “This (system) accounts for the superior spray drift and coverage performance of the technology supported by customer and research center field trials. MagGrow’s commitment to a scientific approach is reflected through a collaborative research involvement with one of the world’s leading authorities on magnets and magnetism, and on-going industrial research targeted at product innovation, product improvement, benchmarking and Intellectual Property generation.”
At TeeJet Technologies, their single focus is on chemical application technology. With years of proven success and useful innovations, they are known as a leader in agricultural application technology. But years in the industry doesn’t mean their product line is stale.
TeeJet Technologies is constantly addressing industry needs and developing new products for farmers. As chemical drift increasingly becomes more of a concern, TeeJet is focusing the evolution of their new products on this key issue. For the upcoming season they have introduced several new nozzles, tips, and control systems, as well as a new TTI TwinJet tip for the application of systemic, post emergent herbicides.
Equipment Technologies unveiled a new series of hydrostatic sprayers in the fall of 2017. Bruin Sprayers were known as a leading self-propelled hydraulic sprayer in Europe and now they have reengineered to provide the durability needed by North American farmers and custom applicators.
Their two new products, the HS700 and HS1100, boast a boom package that is strong and flexible allowing operators to spray more acres per hour, and the boom height on the HS1100 can adjust automatically from 60 to 70 inches of clearance. Additional features include a relaxing ride, four wheel steer, a wireless joystick, crab steer mode, narrow transport, and more power control options.
Driven 100% by Brazilian capital, NCB fills a gap in the country’s agricultural market with a focus on promoting more environmentally sustainable processes. Their company offers two products to automate aerial pesticide application: the FLuXI a digital flow reader, and the FLuXII a flow sensor and digital flow controller.
NCB’s system is proven to reduce agrochemical consumption by 10% and fuel costs by 5%, and helps the Brazilian aviation chain compete more efficiently in global markets.
A leader in agricultural technology, Strider specializes in pest scouting, and monitoring the day to day activities of hundreds of farms across Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, and Australia. Using georeferenced monitoring, their Protector system generates a heat map with exact locations of pest infestations.
A quick identification of outbreaks makes it possible to react quickly, spraying the same day if warranted, and then measuring to see if the treatment is efficient and effective. Data generated provides support to the farmer to help them better understand trends, product performance, and pest behavior.
Advanced sensor technology and highly accurate solenoid spray nozzles combine together in the intelligent spot spraying system known as WEEDit. It offers farmers a smart, responsible advantage in precision farming practices, making weed control easy, precise, and cost-effective. Linked sensors on the spray boom scan the soil, emitting red light.
Chlorophyll in plants absorbs the red light, and reflects near infrared (NIR) back to the sensors. Any speck of NIR picked up by the sensors activates corresponding nozzles on the boom, spraying the targeted weed. WEEDit can be retrofitted to any spray system; Agritech America is the American distributor of the WEEDit product.
Idaho-based GenZ Technology is striving to change the way crops are sprayed, making advances in the chemical application field that has been fairly inefficient and unchanging for 50 years. Their unusual looking product puts sprayers under a series of white hoods to dispense pesticides and herbicides in a concentrated fashion.
The machine’s air system creates a tornado effect under the hoods, allowing the chemicals to be blown onto all sides of the plants. GenZ’s tunnel design shields sprayers from the wind, significantly reducing chemical drift.
Last fall, Salford – a respected manufacturer of tillage equipment – launched the world’s largest capacity pull-type, pneumatic boom applicator. The Valmar 9620 is the newest addition to Salford’s Valmar Air boom Line, a line of equipment known to be accurate, reliable, and technologically sound.
Adding precision technology and targeted application innovations to the company’s existing technology results in applicators with fast, accurate delivery systems, saving farmers significant amounts of chemical products, and in turn, money.
As corn crops quickly reach towards the sky, it becomes a challenge to meet the in-season nitrogen needs of plants. Nitrogen needs to be applied near the time of plant absorption to prevent leaching into groundwater. Tall crops often mean that farmers skip adding this essential nutrient once plants reach a height too towering for standard field equipment.
Rowbot has redefined what’s possible in terms of nitrogen management. Their first robot is a small, self-driving, multi-use platform that navigates between the corn rows removing height constraints. Working in teams, the automation system applies nitrogen in sync with plant needs, and can be programmed to interseed cover crops into the tall corn.