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Serving: United States

Crops department

Steep-incline conveyor

A new truck-unloading conveyor moves grain by gently squeezing it between two crescent-top, 16-in.-wide belts. The belts compress the grain to prevent rollback so that the grain can be moved up steeper inclines. Company representative John Bohnker says the new Squeeze Belt Conveyor will move grain at up to a 40° incline. Grain stops flowing in standard augers at 25° to 30° inclines.

Bohnker says the conveyor will move up to 10,000 bu./hr. and maintain constant capacity. He adds that the grain receives less damage because it does not touch the sides of an auger.

The conveyor is available in 36-, 46-, 56- and 76-ft. lengths. It features a galvanized tube with A-frame undercarriage. Suggested retail price for a 76-ft. model is $13,500. Contact Eagle Concepts, Dept. FIN, 102 Hannah Circle, Underwood, IA 51576, 712/566-2096, visit

planter factoids

Corn: $30
Soybeans: $20
Cotton: $21

NEW EPA REGULATIONS will discourage use of effective but toxic granular insecticides. Look for liquid formulations or new rootworm-resistant hybrids to fill the void.

THE EARLY 1990S saw a dramatic increase in narrow-row soybeans. Now, higher-cost genetically modified seed and availability of split-row planters have more farmers going back to lower populations and intermediate rows.

THE OPTIMUM CORN PLANTING DATE in the Midwest is somewhere between April 20 and May 4. On average, only six of those days have weather and field conditions suitable for planting.

Precision payback

How long is the payback time? That's the biggest question facing growers who consider buying precision farming equipment. Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) decided to help growers answer that question and discovered that a quick payback is possible.

The researchers studied six commercially available global positioning system (GPS) guidance systems with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) differential signal. They selected WAAS because the signal can be picked up throughout North America and it's free. Plus, WAAS uses the same signal frequency as the GPS signal, and many guidance systems operate with WAAS.

The guidance systems with WAAS proved to be accurate 95% of the time with 20 in. of error. The error level calculates to a 2% overlap on a 90-ft. boom. Foam markers traditionally result in a 5 to 6% overlap.

“That 3% advantage over foam markers when spraying a 2,000-acre operation, for example, means 60 acres less in overlap, potentially saving the farmer $900 in chemical applications at $15/acre/yr.,” reports researcher Matthew Sullivan, OSU program specialist. “Plus, take into consideration the time and fuel the farmer saves and the wear and tear on his tractor.”

The free source of differential GPS also saves the farmer about $800/yr. in subscription costs. Compared with a GPS receiver that receives more than one type of differential frequency, WAAS-only GPS receivers save the buyer up to $1,500. Guidance systems generally cost from $4,000 to $13,000.

Sullivan urges growers to shop around for a system that suits their operation best. Learn more about the project at

Ethanol efficiency

A new USDA study says ethanol produces more energy than it takes to produce it. According to the new data, ethanol made from corn grown with new farm technology and refined in modern facilities produces 34% more energy than it uses. Ethanol production reached a new high of 1.8 billion gallons last year. Read more at

Easy nozzle switch

It will be easier to switch spray nozzles with a new nozzle design developed by Spraying Systems. The company's extended range XR TeeJet and air induction AI TeeJet are now combined with the Quick TeeJet cap into one convenient part. The gasket is held in place with a ridge to prevent it from falling out when not installed. Prices for the nozzles with a stainless orifice insert are $6.04 for the XRC-VS and $10.98 for the AIC-VS. Contact Marty Heyen, Spraying Systems Co., Dept. FIN, Box 7900, Wheaton, IL 60189-7900, 630/665-5000, visit

New adjuvant

A new adjuvant called Liberate from Loveland Industries adheres to plant tissue without droplet bounce and shatter so a product uniformly covers plants. A 100% active and neutral formulation, Liberate works well with pH-sensitive chemistries, especially sulfonylurea herbicides. Contact Loveland Industries Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 1289, Greeley, CO 80632, 800/356-8920, visit or

New herbicide

Dow AgroSciences LLC announced that its Keystone herbicide has received EPA registration and will be available for field use next spring. Keystone is a preplant/preemerge formulation of acetochlor and atrazine that controls grasses and small-seeded broadleaves. A new surfactant/additive package improves handling and keeps the ingredients evenly dispersed.

Keystone is effective against foxtails, barnyard grass and crabgrass, but also offers control of waterhemp, lambsquarters, pigweed, nightshade and smartweed. Partial control is provided against woolly cupgrass and wild proso millet. A tankmix of Keystone and Hornet WDG herbicide provides one-pass, broad-spectrum control of weeds, including large-seeded broadleaf weeds. The mixture of Keystone plus Hornet, at standard rates, will be less than $30/acre. Call Dow AgroSciences at 800/208-4094, visit or

Updated pull-type sprayer

Brandt now markets a new suspended boom, pull-type sprayer. The company designed the sprayer to be as efficient as self-propelled models, but at a lower cost. The new sprayer features a four-stage, breakaway boom that prevents touchdowns on rolling terrain. A four-pin, self-leveling pendulum boom maintains constant tip-to-target height for uniform chemical coverage. It is available in boom spans of 80 or 90 ft., with a 100-ft. boom scheduled for production later this year. Boom heights range from 15 to 72 in. Tank capacity is 1,600 gal. Prices range from $28,000 to $32,000, depending on options. Contact Brandt, Dept. FIN, Box 317, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 3A1, U.S. sales 605/359-8043, visit

Large-acreage spraying

If you need to spray a large number of acres quickly, check out the new 1250 sprayer from Wylie Manufacturing. The trailer sprayer is equipped with a 1,250-gal. tank and may be fitted with a 60-, 80-, or 90-ft. Spray Wyng boom or a 60-ft. Row Wyng boom. These booms feature a dampened gimbal suspension to dampen or control movement of the boom in three dimensions. The Roy Wyng boom may be tilted 15° for use in rolling terrain, or one side may be folded to clear obstructions. The sprayer may be equipped with a foam marker, Raven GPS system, DATAboy or a Viper color touch-screen console. Suggested list price for a complete spraying system with a 60-ft. boom is $26,950. Contact Wylie Mfg. Co., Dept. FIN, Box 100, Petersburg, TX 79250, 800/722-4001, visit

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