It has been a busy couple of weeks. Heat has pushed the crops to grow faster than usual. Following a delayed start, I would have never expected to see any corn tasseling by the Fourth of July, but some did. This has pushed forward planned crop protection applications.
In the last two weeks we have used the high clearance sprayer to top-dress some nitrogen, begin spraying fungicides on corn, and treat habitual burr cucumber areas. We have also treated soybeans for manganese deficiency. I think we’re working more hours now than we did during planting. We have shifted some corn applications to earlier growth stages and as a result we are using the ground rig instead of airplanes.
While running the sprayer, I am testing Headsight’s Trusight sprayer system. The purpose of this system is to steer the sprayer down corn rows and reduce operator fatigue and error. I’ll admit, when I first saw the system, I was skeptical. The first day was a little frustrating and I quit using it. Then, I had one of the developers out to help tune the system. It has worked pretty well since. I have even run at speeds approaching 10 miles per hour.
I have found the system works better in some corn hybrids than others. The suspicion is this is related to stalk strength. It’s not that corn is getting knocked over, but there is enough sway to the stalks that the machine starts to weave. I am cautious to change many settings as the issues have mainly been in one hybrid. The corn also has to be tall (strong) enough for the system to work. The next time I have down time, Headsight plans to install some updates to improve performance and continue testing. Though, I often don’t feel like I have time to ‘test’ equipment, the engineer in me enjoys opportunities like this.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.