Research could lead to herbicide resistance solution

One by one, weed species are becoming resistant to popular herbicides. Unfortunately for farmers, agricultural chemical manufacturers say they don’t have any new products in the pipeline to replace those that are gradually outliving their usefulness. That could change in the years ahead, however. Researchers at Monsanto are working on technology that could allow farmers

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Say what?!? July polar vortex on the way; could affect crops

Don’t look now, but the polar vortex is coming back. And, yes, we’re talking about the middle of the summer. It won’t be bitterly cold as in January, when a large sub-zero Artic air mass held much of the eastern United States in its grip for weeks. Still, this polar invasion will bring temperatures to

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Computer analysis chooses best crop insurance option

Carrying crop insurance becomes much more important to farmers under the 2014 Farm Bill. But what kind of coverage is best? Agricultural economists at Mississippi State University took up that question. In a computer analysis of risk management programs within the bill, they concluded that for Mississippi soybean producers county-level Agricultural Risk Coverage would pay

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Trimble soil analysis program maps fields in 3-D

Technology that makes movie monsters appear to leap from the big screen can help farmers better manage their cropfields. And no special eyeglasses are necessary. Three-dimensional data maps that show a field’s soil texture, root zone depth, compaction problems, plant-available water, nutrient levels and other characteristics are available through a product introduced by Trimble Navigation,

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Play it safe when handling, applying pesticides

When working with something as toxic as pesticides, you can never be reminded enough about how dangerous they are if not used properly. That includes the risks to farmers themselves. Andy Bauer, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural health and safety expert, said farmers can avoid injury applying farm chemicals if they follow product label

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Insects having field day in corn, beans, wheat, alfalfa

As if early season weather wasn’t bad enough, farmers throughout the nation’s midsection now are dealing with a number of crop pests. Entomologists at several land-grant universities report high populations or expected infestations of armyworm, stem maggot, slugs, black cutworm, cereal leaf beetle and alfalfa weevil. A summary of those reports follows: Armyworm Purdue University

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Greenleaf smartphone app assists in nozzle selection

Choosing the right Greenleaf Technologies’ TurboDrop and AirMix spray nozzles is now as easy as punching numbers into a smartphone. The Covington, Louisiana-based manufacturer of agricultural spray nozzles offers NozzleCalc, a free app available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. NozzleCalc allows users to determine the correct droplet and nozzle sizes for any spray application.

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Fungicide/herbicide mix usually unnecessary on tillering wheat

Fungicide applied along with herbicides on tillering wheat might give a farmer greater peace of mind but it isn’t likely to increase yields, according to research by South Dakota State University. While not a costly input, fungicides often are unnecessary on tillering wheat because the crop usually is under little disease pressure at that growth

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Hose drops could hold a key to preventing bee deaths

Farmers and custom applicators can do their part to protect bees from exposure to pesticides by fitting their booms with hose drops. Research conducted on oilseed rape crops at the University of Hohenheim in Germany found that using the spray nozzle attachments, also known as dropleg devices, can nearly eliminate spray drift. Researchers also found

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Trimble’s GreenSeeker assesses crop health, nitrogen needs

A hand-held device that measures nitrogen levels of field crops could come in handy this spring, should fertilizer be in short supply in the United States. The GreenSeeker crop sensor, manufactured by Trimble Navigation, uses red and infrared light to evaluate general crop health. Farmers can enter the sensor’s digital reading into an online nitrogen

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EPA proposes major changes to pesticide rules

Proposed pesticide rule changes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would mean new and expanded safety requirements for farms with hired labor. The proposals to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (AWPS) are the first such changes to federal rules governing pesticide use on farms in more than 20 years. Family farms would be exempt from

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In rootworm vs. Bt corn, pest is winning

In the battle between biotech corn and the western corn rootworm, the rootworm is starting to win. Research by Iowa State University assistant professor of entomology Aaron Gassmann indicates that rootworm populations in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Minnesota are exhibiting resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis. Bt, as it is commonly known, is a toxin-producing protein that

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Farmers discover other benefits to fungicide

Fungicides aren’t just for crop diseases anymore. The fungi-fighting products also boost crop performance, size and yield. Research by agricultural chemical manufacturer BASF has found that canola sprayed with fungicide displayed greater stress tolerance, larger leaf size and stem thickness, and did a better job of taking up nitrogen. The research was conducted in western Canada

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Invasive, aggressive weed poses threat to Midwest

Farmers in the Midwest are finding out what producers in the southwest United States have known for some time: Palmer amaranth is a tough weed that can be tough to control. Managing the weed requires regular and timely field scouting, and a combination of cultural practices and herbicide programs, says Travis Legleiter, a Purdue University

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Bill aims to protect farmers’ private information

Legislation in Congress would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from making public the private information of farmers and ranchers. Representatives Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) introduced the Farmer Identity Protection Act, which is intended to keep the EPA from repeating a 2013 action, when it disclosed information it had collected

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Trends in tillage that can benefit your field

Farmers are adopting conservation practices at rapidly increasing levels. It’s no surprise with some of the benefits conservation tillage can provide. According to Laura Fribley, of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, in her article, “Tracking Conservation Tillage Trends“, “Data from the 2013 Tillage Transect indicate that as a result of tillage practices on Scott

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Protect your ears while you work

Farms are full of loud noises that can cause damage to your hearing. You can do a number of things to protect yourself from hearing loss. More farmers are noticing early signs of hearing damage including: Ringing Hissing Roaring Whistling Chirping Clicking According to an article in The Denver Post, “An estimated one-third of the

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Smartphone app for nozzle selection

A number of apps are designed to make your job easier on the farm. The TeeJet nozzle selection app, SpraySelect, can help you make the best choice for your spray nozzle. SpraySelect from TeeJet is fairly simple to use. To start, open the app, and you will see this image below on the home page.Push

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Immigration reform will bring changes to ag industry

Changes in legislation can have an effect on how you handle your operation down the line. The agriculture industry has been asking for changes to current immigration legislation. The current legislation is not supportive of all faucets of the ag industry. Currently, visas for ag workers can only be issued for 10 months at a

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Weed science specialist indicates resistance problems aren’t going away

Aaron Hager, Weed Science and Integrated Pest Management Extension Specialist from the University of Illinois, spoke about the state of weed resistance in Illinois and the implications of different resistant weeds in fields. “One of the most pervasive problems that’s facing many, many farmers and input suppliers across most of the U.S. is weed resistance,”

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Record yields seen during harvest 2013

High yields seen this year despite some extreme weather conditions. Soybean yields reach new levels Nelson Crow added his name to the top of the list this year with his record breaking soybean crop. He grew 100.78 bushels per acre. While waiting to find out if he would beat the record, Crow said, “We were

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EPA regulation changes up for debate

As Farm Bill talks begin again, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation changes are also up for debate. Redundant regulations  could prove to be burdensome to farmers. By requiring farmers to have duplicative permits for pesticides, farmers will be subject to more paperwork. source: farmfutures.org “This redundant regulation creates unnecessary liability and paperwork burdens on

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Application boom height and the battle against weeds

The growing weed resistance problem is changing the way we manage our fields. Chemical companies are releasing new chemicals, which will require new methods in application. The trend in spray application is changing and the focus is on more specific application. Depending on the chemical recommendations, airplane application or high booms may not be viable

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5 reasons you need to start planting cover crops

Cover crops are a growing trend. Farmers are finding many benefits from cover crops in their fields and cash crops. Ranging from increased yields to better soil health, farmers have many reasons to plant cover crops. 1. Cover crops help minimize the effects of adverse weather on cash crops According to a survey conducted by

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Save yourself the headache and flush your booms

Flushing your booms properly can save you time and money. Mixing chemicals in your sprayer without flushing the booms may lead to yield loss and an embarrassing chemical burn streak pattern in your field. As you can see in the picture below, the streaking pattern can cover a large section of your crops and is

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Another beetle takeover?

Beetles once again sweeping across the country. Out in the fields, Japanese beetles are taking over and invading another industry, they are becoming all too common among your crops. Japanese beetles prey on a wide range of crops and are causing problems for many growers. Thankfully, the cooler temperatures from this year have slowed their

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Scouting for weeds and insects is essential in post-flood fields

Most farmers are wrapping up planting, and as crops begin emerging it is time to scout fields for damaging insects. This year’s flood conditions during planting have made many crops more vulnerable to disease and insect damage. Stay on top of your weed, insect and disease concerns by implementing a crop scouting program on your

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Data.gov is a new source for agriculture statistics

If you haven’t checked out Data.gov, you are missing out on an opportunity to access a great deal of ag databases, tools and apps. Agriculture information was launched on this site on April 30 and continues to grow. With over 370 datasets available in the agriculture section of Data.gov, a wide range of information is

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Farmers warned to review crop insurance

While planting is wrapping up in many areas, a great deal of farmers still face the possibility of not getting crops in on time for the crop insurance final planting date. Final planting dates vary by area and crop. The final planting date is the last date that acres can be planted and still receive

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Farm Bill moves forward with both Senate and House

Committees in both the Senate and House have passed versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. While a final version is far from implementation, it is a step forward. The Senate voted 15 to 5 in favor of the mark up on May 14, and the House voted for the mark up 36 to 10 the

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Monitoring your droplet size has never been easier

New to the TeeJet line up this spring, the Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor allows growers to observe the operating nozzle pressure and the droplet size emitted in real time for liquid applications. Knowing droplet size at various pressures is a valuable tool for applicators to help lower the risk of drift and improve the

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5 things you should consider to avoid spray drift

Lowering the risk of spray drift is a top priority for any applicator due to the many problems associated with drift. Ranging from government fines to crop damage, spray drift can be a great liability to applicators if not managed appropriately. In order to get the most out of your applications this spring, while lowering

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Tire options more critical in wet fields

Depending on the conditions of your field, you may need to consider using different tires to decrease the amount of soil compaction. The right tires can help you cut down on soil compaction while improving traction and fuel efficiency. source: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/2007/4-9/moisture.html Data from research on soil compaction at the University of Wisconsin indicated 70 to

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Planting trends being dictated across the country

Weather forecasts, market value and changes in demand are among the many factors that influence the amount of crops producers grow every year in the United States. Over the last few years, some growing trends have become apparent. Cotton is experiencing the largest decrease in production, with an estimated 19 percent drop from the 2012

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Extreme wet conditions raise soil compaction concerns

Planting season is off to a soggy start with the tremendous amount of precipitation and flooding in many areas which has only allowed growers to only plant approximately two percent of corn this far. Once the fields are dried out enough to get seeds in the ground, it will be necessary for farmers to be

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Safety first in the fields

Safety is of the upmost importance when working around farm machinery and equipment. By taking precautions on your farm, you can help prevent accidents and injuries to yourself and other farm employees. According to Kansas State University’s Machinery Safety PowerPoint, nearly 1/3 of all farm injuries are caused by falls, and an average of 10

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Record high water levels will affect planting dates

As water levels rise across the Midwest and break records, many states are facing devastating levels of flooding. “Torrential rain last week concentrated in two days or less, has led to major flooding in parts of the Midwest,” according to AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski in the article, Record Crests at Midwest River. “In

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Breaking down the different tillage systems

Determining which type of tillage is best for your operation depends on a number of variables. By breaking down some of these different factors, you can more easily decide which practice fits into your situation. Conventional tillage is a system that leaves less than 15 percent of residue at the time of planting, while no-till

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Changes coming for foreign workers in farming

Immigration issues have long been a source of great controversy, and new immigration legislation is just around the corner that will affect the farming industry. According to The Washington Post’s article, Senate immigration bill would set up a new permanent agriculture worker program, as of now, at least 50 percent and as much as 70

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Funding shifted to assist ag with budget cuts

On March 26, 2013, President Obama signed H.R.933 into law, the continuing resolution spending bill which will allow funding for Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors through Oct. 1, 2013. The spending bill, H.R. 933, allowed funds to shift from the USDA to FSIS to pay for the meat inspectors. source: http://www.rt.com With the nation’s

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Precision Ag Technology Tune-ups

Cooler temperatures this March have resulted in planting dates being pushed back across much of the state in comparison to 2012. Many producers who are ready to get into the field should consider using this time to double check their application equipment, especially those who use precision agriculture technologies. Examples include simple rate controllers that

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Influence of Soil Temperature on Corn Germination and Growth

Data from other scientists and Iowa planting date studies – suggests to plant corn after mid-April when soil temperatures are near 50 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize yield. Germination process and soil temperature Seed absorbs about 30 percent of its weight in water; temperature does not affect that process. But temperature does affect growth of both

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Planting forecast for 2013

Spring is finally here, and with early spring comes vastly different weather than the previous year. Concerns of a drought are lower this year for many areas, but this year promises different weather concerns for many growers. The cold weather and late snowfall have made it difficult for many to start preparing in the fields

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Foam markers still leaving their mark as backup

With the ever evolving advances in technology, it is easy to overlook some of the simpler ways that were once considered revolutionary. Foam markers, while considered outdated by some, are still a practical feature for many to add on to your self-propelled sprayer. Before the days of navigation systems and AutoSteer, foam markers where one

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With drones, the sky is the limit

Technology in agriculture is soaring high with precision in mind. Drones are quickly becoming the future in precision agriculture. Their light weight design and ability to quickly gather data make drones an increasingly popular topic in precision farming technology. Some of the applications for drones in precision agriculture include monitoring plant health, nutrient and water

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Herbicide applications in dry conditions

The lack of precipitation in Indiana is dominating the thoughts and conversations of agriculture producers in the state. We have received a few calls and request for our thoughts on how the dry conditions can affect post emergence herbicide efficacy. Simply put, tough to control weeds will become even tougher to control in the dry

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USDA looks to change definition of “rural” for funding

source: http://www.rcac.org/pages/714?cat=800089298&i=247 The USDA announced a proposal in February that would change the definition of what rural means. The change in definition would allow places with populations of fewer than 50,000 people to apply for rural development funding programs. A new definition means smaller communities would now contend with larger communities for the same rural funding

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SpotOn Sprayer Calibrator & SpotOn products by Innoquest

Innoquest has developed a line of products designed to assist the applicator with applying accurate flow rates. The SpotOn brand was created in 2008 with spraying precision in mind. The SpotOn products available on SpraySmarter.com include: Sprayer Calibrator Irrigation Nozzle Flow Meter Mini-Patternator Pressure Tester Catch Can Reader Nozzle Cleaner Sprayer Calibrator This digital calibration

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Advancements in Precision Ag Increase Farm Efficiency

It’s no secret that precision technology is saving farmers both money and time in the fields, but it wasn’t very long ago that the term “precision agriculture” was new to the scene. Starting with some basic precision ag technology, such as light bar guidance, to more advanced technologies, including autosteer and telematics, this equipment has

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Planning your spring burndown application

Focus on timing and temperatures for higher efficiency. It may still be a little chilly outside to feel like spring, but planting season will be here soon, and it is that time of year to get in your spring burndown herbicide application. Burndowns can prove especially helpful to no-till farmers who are trying to control

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Insect versus Weed: Resistance Management

While herbicide resistant weeds have received the most publicity (at least from a weed scientist’s perspective), the same phenomenon jeopardizes the future value of the insecticides and fungicides used in agronomic cropping systems. The Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) released a statement in 2012 related to the use of insecticide mixtures.  The primary point IRAC

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Find the right seeding depth

Planting seeds at the optimal depth is a critical piece to the growing process. Since a variety of factors work together to determine the best depth for each planting year, it is necessary to evaluate your situation before each planting season. The top factors you will need to consider include: •    Soil moisture •    Soil

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Fertilizers in no-till operations

Fertilizer usage and placement in no-till operations is different than the methods used in conventional tillage. Some of the key nutrients to monitor in both tillage operations include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Below are graphs showing the amount of the nutrient the plant uses, in relation to which part of the plant the nutrient is

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Look out for this year’s weeds and insects

Problems resulting from last year’s drought are far from over, and farmers will need to take necessary precautionary steps to stay on top of weed and insect management.  If you haven’t already started planning your management program for this year, now is the time to start. One of the hardest challenges you will encounter with

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What to look for on your chemical labels

Before heading out to the fields this spring, here is a quick review on how to read chemical labels and some of the things to look out for. Handling and using chemicals properly will help prevent dangerous situations for yourself and the environment. Understand label contents All chemical labels will contain a variety of information

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Crop insurance deadline approaching

March 15 marks the last day to sign up for most federal crop insurance protection options. Last year’s drought makes for a solid argument as to why crop insurance is an important piece of any grower’s risk management plan. source: http://www.agweb.com/article/farmers_tweak_up_crop_insurance_coverage/ Without crop insurance, a bad growing season due to weather can wipe out a

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Soil Sampling for P, K and Lime Recommendations

Whether you own it or rent it, land is one of your highest-priced production assets. To get the most return from your investment, you need to insure adequate fertility. That s why soil testing should be a key part of any crop production program. Studies at Purdue University indicate there are four major questions you

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Weather stress in the corn crop

Weather is seldom “normal.” Much of the time, it’s either too wet or too dry, too hot or too cold for optimum corn growth. In some areas and under certain soil conditions, even average seasonal weather will produce stress in corn. Plant stress visually can be very obvious; but often it’s so slight as to

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Top five things to complete your sprayer spring start up

Glimpses of warmer weather are starting to sneak up across the country, and it is time to start thinking about getting back out in the fields. Before you can get that first fertilizer application on the ground, you should remember these five important spring start up steps for your sprayer. 1. Check fluid levels and

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Drought continues to carryover more problems than dry soil

 Many farmers suffered from the drought last year, and now they will continue to with the potential for herbicide carryover in the new planting season. Dry soil mixed with low moisture accumulation created an ideal setting for chemicals to remain in the soil and not breakdown in the off season. The biggest concern with herbicide

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Nitrogen and its use in crops

Nitrogen is one of the most commonly dealt with nutrients in crop production; therefore, it is essential to understand the role of nitrogen in plants and the soil. Over or under fertilization can cause smaller yields and damage to your crops and the environment. Nitrogen is vital to plant nutrition and assists with growth through

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Agronomist: Winter weather loosened soil; no-till a viable option

Cold winter temperatures and increased precipitation have helped loosen soils enough that spring tillage might not be necessary in Indiana farm fields, a Purdue Extension agronomist says. Multiple freeze-thaw cycles, plus numerous wetting and drying cycles brought on by the arrival of enough snow and rain have made no-till an even more viable and attractive

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Micro-Trak releases SafeGuard blockage monitor

Designed with the applicator in mind, the SafeGuard Blockage Monitor Kit by Micro-Trak allows you to monitor all rows of your application continuously and more efficiently than with older float ball flow indicators. The SafeGuard system is created to electronically detect blockages and then alert you with an audible alarm and a visual display. This

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There’s an app for that

As the world of apps continues to grow, the vast number of options can quickly become overwhelming. Whether you are trying to calculate ratios for mixing chemicals, monitor field conditions or simply checking the weather, there is an app for that. The vast number of apps available for agriculture allows for many options, but with

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Cover crops following the summer 2012 drought

Why cover crops after drought? The drought of 2012 has been the worst in many decades and will result in poor crop yields or crop failures across wide areas of Indiana and the Midwest in general. Besides the obvious impacts on crop yields, there are other effects of the drought that farmers should consider as

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Conservation programs suffer in 2013

The extension of the Farm Bill has done little to ease the minds of farmers, and has done even less to support conservation programs. While a handful of programs were extended through the Agricultural Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2012, many programs are greatly affected by the extension. The Farm Bill extension keeps conservation programs

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Starter Fertilizers for Corn Production

Corn starter fertilizers have been used successfully to increase early plant growth, nutrient uptake, and yields in research trials and on the farm. They also promote earlier maturity, improve southern corn billbug control, and help suppress weeds through earlier shading. Use of starter fertilizers is increasing in North Carolina and the southeastern United States. This

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Carryover Concerns for 2013

One of the consequences of the current drought will be reduced herbicide degradation. In some situations, this prolonged persistence will lead to damage to the rotational crop next spring. The risk of carryover injury will vary widely from field to field depending on several factors (Table 1); thus, it is important to evaluate each field individually.  

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Less Tillage for More Water in 2013

This was a summer of water deficit. With the current weather pattern trends, there is concern on what soil moisture reserves will be for the 2013 crop. One thing that can be done to replenish and manage soil moisture reserves is to reduce tillage. Tillage reduces water infiltration by breaking large pores, and the small pores

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Handheld Greenseeker helps determine Nitrogen needs on the fly

As with most technology advances in precision agriculture, the GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor can benefit both the farmer’s bottom line and the environment. GreenSeeker, a recent addition to the Trimble line up, is now available on SpraySmarter.com. Trimble is noted for its advanced precision agriculture technologies. The GreenSeeker is designed to scan crops and provide

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Nozzle Troubleshooting

One of the lowest cost items on your sprayer has the potential to waste you the most money. Spray nozzle difficulties can result in a number of more serious issues such as spray drift, over application and distorted spray patterns. Ultimately nozzle troubles take away from your bottom line. Before taking your sprayer out in

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A History Lesson in Herbicide Resistance

The evolution and spread of glyphosate resistant weeds has increased people’s awareness of the threat of herbicide resistance.  Participants at a recent series of meetings were asked their perspective of the prevalence of resistance to several herbicide classes in fields they managed.  In the survey, 60 percent of farmers reported that waterhemp resistant to Group 2

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Soybean herbicides for residual control of marestail (horseweed)

The two major components of a marestail management program in no-till soybeans are 1) ensuring that the existing emerged marestail are controlled prior to soybean emergence, and 2) using residual herbicides to control later-emerging marestail for another 6 to 8 weeks after planting.   There are several strategies that can be implemented to achieve this, and

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A Dozen Do’s for Successful No-till Corn Following Soybeans

This bulletin summarizes the experiences of Extension personnel, conservationists, crop advisors, researchers, and farmers with no-till. The lessons learned focus on twelve principles that need to be observed to make no-till corn following soybeans successful. No-till corn following soybeans presents both challenges and opportunities for cost savings and soil conservation for farmers in Indiana. On better drained soils, no-till has been very

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Application Trend Update: Type, Droplet Size and Nozzles

Technology continually changes the way chemicals are applied to crops. Decreasing spray drift and increasing application effectiveness are two important goals when making spray application decisions. The type of application and the chemical being used will determine which type of nozzle to use and which droplet size will be needed. According to Tom Reed, regional

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Satellite-Based Auto-Guidance

The rapidly rising cost of farm inputs persuades cost-conscious producers to search for new ways to minimize the use of energy and various consumable materials. For many, precision agriculture has been a focal point of their quest. The one area of precision agriculture that has received overwhelming attention in the past few years is the

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Effect of Planting Date and Seed Treatment on Diseases and Insect Pests of Wheat

Typically about half of the winter wheat in Oklahoma is sown with the intent of being used as a dual-purpose crop. In this system, wheat is planted in early to mid-September to maximize forage production for grazing by cattle from November to late February, then also harvested for grain. In a grain-only system, wheat is generally planted in

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Brewers tap into application tanks

While inductor tanks are traditionally designed to be used in spraying applications, micro-breweries and home brewers have found unconventional uses for the tanks as well. Inductor tanks serve the application industry by mixing chemicals in the product tank to create a uniformly mixed product; however, micro-breweries have tapped into application products to assist with beer

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High Oil Prices Fuel No-Till Trend

It’s not by happenstance that the spike in fuel costs has coincided with the increasing trend of no-till farming methods across the country. For the past five years, Justin Noggler, from Texas, has practiced no-till farming methods on the 11,000 acres he farms. During this time he has noticed major differences in his operation. “We

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Split Versus Single Applications of Fungicides to Control Foliar Wheat Diseases

Fungicides are useful tools in managing foliar diseases of wheat. Positive return on fungicide investment is dependent on several factors, including yield potential of the wheat crop and disease reaction of the variety being grown. In Oklahoma, a foliar fungicide application has typically consisted of a single application somewhere between full flag leaf emergence (Feekes

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Soil Compaction and Crusts

Soil compaction has become more of a problem in Oklahoma soils due to increased equipment size, reduced use of crop rotations, and intensive grazing of cropland. Compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing the pore space which increases the bulk density. It occurs in response to pressure exerted by field machinery and animals. Compaction restricts rooting depth, which

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Spray Drift of Pesticides

Spray drift of pesticides away from the target is an important and costly problem facing both commercial and private applicators. Drift causes many problems including: damage to susceptible off-target sites, a lower rate than intended, which can reduce the effectiveness of the pesticide and waste pesticide and money, and environmental contamination, such as water pollution

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Causes and Effects of Soil Acidity

Soil acidity is a crop production problem of increasing concern in central and eastern Oklahoma. Although acid soil conditions are more widespread in eastern Oklahoma, the more natural occurrence there has resulted in farm operators being better able to manage soil acidity in that part of the state. However, in central and western Oklahoma the problem

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Mites in Wheat

Quick Facts… Four species of mites attack wheat in Colorado. The wheat curl mite eggs, immature stages and adults are found in the winter on wheat and nearby perennial grasses. Brown wheat mite summers in the soil as a white egg. In the fall, eggs hatch after a 10-day incubation. Banks grass mites produce heavy

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Herbicide How-to: Understanding Herbicide Mode of Action

The large number of herbicide options—new products, old products with new names, new formulations of old products, premixes, and generics—can make weed control a difficult and confusing task. In addition to knowing the crops in which a herbicide can be used, the weeds it will control, the appropriate rate and any necessary adjuvants to include,

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Adding Alfalfa Benefits Corn-Soybean Rotations

There are many advantages to including forage legumes in the crop rotation. A primary advantage is the nitrogen (N) credits provided to subsequent grain crops. For example, when an alfalfa stand with ≥ 4 plants/ft is terminated, N fertilizer rates can be reduced by 150 lb N/ac for first-year corn and by 75 lb N/ac for second-year corn. Perennial forage legumes also disrupt the life-cycles of pests such

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Management Considerations for Relay Intercropping: Soybean

Double cropping of wheat and soybeans in Indiana has been mostly limited to the southern third of the state. The primary reason for this is the longer growing season available to growers in southern Indiana because of earlier wheat harvest and later fall frosts. In some cases, southern Indiana farmers have an extra month for the doublecropped soybeans to develop. By

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Western Corn Rootworm

Quick Facts… Western corn rootworm larvae feed on root hairs and small roots; larger rootworms feed on primary roots. Crop rotation is the most consistent and economical means of controlling western corn rootworm populations. Cultural practices that promote strong root systems and a vigorous crop will make corn more tolerant to rootworm feeding and damage.

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Use of Herbicide-Tolerant Crops as Part of an Integrated Weed Management Program

Recommendations for using herbicide-tolerant crops as part of an integrated weed management (IWM) effort that incorporates preventive, cultural, mechanical and chemical tools to keep weed pressure below yield-robbing levels.  Herbicide-tolerant crops represent weed control technology that can be combined with preventive, cultural, mechanical, and chemical measures as part of an integrated weed management (IWM) strategy.

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Soil Testing Critical After a Drought Year

Most crop producers in Nebraska are in the midst of harvest now, and planning for next year is not on top of their “to-do” list. However, as harvest wraps up, soil sampling should be near the top of their list. This has been among the most challenging growing seasons in 50 years, with rainfall amounts

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Choosing Corn Hybrids for 2013

Hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a corn grower makes each year. It’s a decision that warrants a careful comparison of performance data. It should not be made in haste or based on limited data. Planting a marginal hybrid, or one not suitable for a particular production environment, imposes a ceiling

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A Quick Test for Herbicide Carry-over in the Soil

Herbicide residues may persist in the soil and affect susceptible crops for one or more years following application. Crop sensitivity depends on the specific crop-herbicide combination (Figure 1). Herbicide labels often provide guidelines on intervals between herbicide application and the planting of sensitive crops. However, there may be situations where it is important to assess

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Get out your woolly socks and sweaters; it’s going to be a cold one

A time honored tradition for many, predicting the coming winter’s forecast using woolly worms or persimmon seeds has been around for years. The woolly worm is thought to predict the harshness of the coming winter based on the thickness of the insect’s middle band. Black bands on both ends of the woolly worm are connected

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Transition to No-Till

Conserving the soil: It begins with you Have you experienced any of these scenarios? Heavy rains washed topsoil from your fields, filling the roadside ditches. A brief but heavy rainfall left water standing on your tilled fields for several days. Meanwhile, your neighbor’s no-till field did not show signs of ponding. Diesel fuel prices have increased considerably and

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Winter Cover Crops – Their Value and Management

Cover crops are grasses, legumes or small grains grown between regular grain crop production periods for the purpose of protecting and improving the soil. The most common cover crops in Indiana are fall-seeded cereals, such as rye or wheat, and fall-seeded annual ryegrass. Late summer-seeded spring oats are sometimes used, even though they winterkill. Late

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Management Considerations for Relay Intercropping: Wheat

Double cropping of soybeans following winter wheat is common in Indiana south of Interstate 70, where the growing season is long enough for these two crops to be grown in one season. However, in central and especially northern Indiana, there is insufficient time to produce two crops annually by planting one crop immediately after another is harvested. Relay cropping is

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Yield Monitoring and Mapping

Yield monitoring equipment was introduced in the early 1990s and is increasingly considered a conventional practice in modern agriculture. The pioneers of precision agriculture already have generated several years of yield history and have examined different ways of interpreting and processing these data. Yield Mapping Concept Yield mapping refers to the process of collecting georeferenced

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Nitrogen Fertilization of Wheat

Nitrogen fertilization of wheat is more complicated and the results are more variable than with any other field crop grown in Kentucky. A producer must incorporate the practices that will give him the best chance of success with the yield levels he is trying to achieve. The higher the yield goal the more important the

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Pesticide Storage and Farm Safety

Few can deny the usefulness of pesticides in 21st Century agriculture. Without them, no-till and lo-till methods, which leave crop residue on the soil surface protecting it from erosion, would be impossible. Yield penalties from insects and diseases would also increase dramatically. That said, pesticides can be a hidden farm safety problem if they are not

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Soil Sampling

Quick Facts… A quality fertilizer recommendation depends on a quality soil sample. A composite soil sample should represent a uniform field area. Use a systematic sampling scheme, and a minimum of 15 subsamples throughout the field, regardless of acreage. Sampling depth depends on the crop and the tillage depth. Sample most fields every year for

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Five must-dos to prepare your sprayer for winter

As harvest finishes in the majority of the country, the time of year has come to put most farm machinery away, including your sprayer, until spring. One of the keys to keeping your sprayer in working order for next spring is proper winterization before the freezing temperatures settle in for the season. 1. Clean the

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Fighting Weeds Sustainably

You don’t have to be an organic grower to seek organic tools for fighting weeds. Synthetic herbicides come with a cost to growers and the environment, so more and more farmers are seeing the value in employing organic tools with or without other means. Which tools work the best in which situations? That’s the million-dollar

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Diagnosing Herbicide Injury on Garden and Landscape Plants

Herbicides, when used properly, rarely cause problems on nontarget plants. However, these products can cause injury when applied inappropriately, when they turn into a gas (a process called volatilization), or when they are blown by the wind away from the targeted area (a process called drift). Accurately diagnosing plants that show herbicide injury symptoms is

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Sweet Corn Pest

Consumer demand for damage-free sweet corn means that growers must develop the best possible management program for insect pests, especially those that attack the ear. This publication contains information on the identification, biology and control of common sweet corn pests. Soil insects, primarily wireworms and white grubs, can cause stand reduction or stunted plants. These

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Purdue scientists working to make drought-resistant crops

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University scientists are working in several areas in the hope that future dry spells don’t have the same effects on crops as this year’s drought. * Mitch Tuinstra, a professor and Wickersham Chair in agronomy, is studying tropical varieties of corn to understand which genes allow the plants to survive

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Sprayer Nozzle Tip Selection

Nearly all farms have a field sprayer. One of the important skills farmers should learn is how to select nozzle spray tips that are matched to the requirements of the pesticide application. There are several general types of spray tips used in agriculture: flat fan, flood, hollow cone, solid cone, evenspray, raindrop, and various drift

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Fall Scouting for Soybean Weed Management

As soybeans approach maturity now is the time to evaluate this year’s herbicide program. Weeds that escaped 2011’s herbicides are currently setting seed which will be the source of problems in subsequent years. Most weeds are still green with leaves and seed heads attached so they are very easy to identify. Proper identification of weeds

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Precision Agriculture Systems: Maximizing Benefits With Better Management

Good cooks don’t toss Worcestershire sauce in the ice cream or mint in the mashed potatoes. Instead, they season each dish with the best portions and combinations of spices to enhance its natural flavor. That’s the concept behind precision agriculture, the practice of modifying management techniques to meet within-field variations that affect crop growth. The

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What Will the Investment Cost?

One of the primary hindrances to the adoption of precision agriculture management strategies has been the cost of the technology. You should know, however, that it is possible to recover the cost of your investment. This publication attempts to address part of the profitability equation by outlining the initial investment costs, or capital outlay, associated

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Target Diseases When Considering Foliar Fungicides for Corn

With much of Illinois suffering from abnormally dry to severe drought conditions, the current risk of corn foliar diseases is low in most of the state. University of Illinois plant pathologist Carl Bradley said that, although foliar fungicides are touted as increasing corn yields, these effects have not been observed consistently in U of I

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On-the-go Crop Sensing

Introduction The assessment of within-field crop variability can be valuable in maximizing input usage. Technological advances over the past decade have provided producers with variable-rate technology (VRT) that allows the matching of crop fertility needs to local growing conditions. VRT can reduce input costs by applying only what is needed for crop growth while miniimizing

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Management of Soybean Cyst Nematode

Introduction Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most serious soybean disease problem in North Carolina. Since its discovery in North Carolina (and the United States) in 1954, it has spread to all counties in the Coastal Plain, Tidewater, and some Piedmont counties with large soybean acreages. Severe yield loss caused by this pest is especially

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GPS in Agriculture

The development and implementation of precision agriculture or site-specific farming has been made possible by combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS). These technologies enable the coupling of real-time data collection with accurate position information, leading to the efficient manipulation and analysis of large amounts of geospatial data. GPS-based applications in

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Two-spotted Spider Mites: Spider Mites & Soybeans

Prolonged drought always raises the specter of two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) infestations in soybeans and corn.  While minor, local outbreaks have occurred in recent years, the last statewide spider mite outbreaks occurred in 1988 and in 2007. Growers and ag professionals tend to focus on spider mite problems in soybean, but often overlook infestations

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Sprayer Nozzle Selection

Nozzle selection is one of the most important decisions to be made related to pesticide applications. The type of nozzle affects not only the amount of spray applied to a particular area, but also the uniformity of the applied spray, the coverage obtained on the sprayed surfaces, and the amount of drift that can occur.

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The Way to Spray: The Wise Use of Pesticides

“As a tool of first resort, pesticides leave a lot to be desired,” says Fred Whitford. “They’re poisons. Products designed to kill weeds and bugs obviously present dangers to you, your family, wildlife and natural surroundings.” Protecting the environment from misapplied pesticides begins with protecting yourself and your family first. Do it right, and the

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Weed Resistance to Herbicides

Since the turn of the century, weed management has been accomplished through the use of mechanical, cultural, biological and chemical means. During the 1940’s after World War II, extensive use of the herbicide 2,4-D ushered in the age of selective weed control. Over the past fifty years, herbicide use on cropland and other sites has increased

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Postemergence Herbicides Applied During Wet or Dry Conditions

Recent precipitation has alleviated the extremely dry soils in parts of Illinois; other areas of the state continue to endure excessively dry conditions. University of Illinois associate professor of weed science Aaron Hager expects that weed growth will accelerate in areas that received rain, and the effectiveness of postemergence herbicides could be challenged in dry

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Laser Sensor Controls Agricultural Spraying

Schwartz Electro-Optics has adapted its laser range-finder and imaging technology to control agricultural spraying. The precision possible with the Treesense system cuts overspraying. Result: minimal environmental impact and cost savings on sprayants. Treesense is based on Schwartz’s Autosense II vehicle detection and classification system that scans an eye-safe infrared indium gallium arsenide pulsed diode laser beam.

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Sprayer Calibration Fundamentals

Quick Facts… Inaccurate pesticide application rates, spray patterns and droplet size can lead to the movement of pesticides from the targeted area and reduce pesticide effectiveness. The first step in sprayer calibration is to determine the correct nozzle type and size. Nozzle material is important in reducing inaccurate applications due to nozzle wear. Due to

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KZ Valve – Manifolds and Stacks – Standard Catalog Numbering System

KZ Valve – Manifolds & Stacks – Standard Catalog Numbering System Manifolds & Stacks – Catalog Numbering System Position 1 & 2 KZ Brand identification and Marketing Position 3 5 Number of valves on manifold or stack Position 4 S Type of manifold Position 5 F Valve Size Position 6 Y Actuator type and speed

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KZ Valve – Actuated Valve – Standard Line Catalog Numbering System

KZ Valve – Actuated Valve – Standard Line Catalog Numbering System Actuated Valve – Catalog Numbering System Position 1 & 2 KZ Brand identification and Marketing Position 3 & 4 89 Valve Series Position 5 F Valve Size Position 6 Y Actuator type and speed Position 7 R If blank = On/Off, If “R” =

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Six Steps to Better Tank Cleanout

By Angela Lovell (With Thanks To Tom Wolf) Six Steps To Better Tank Cleanout   Improper or inadequate cleaning of sprayers following the application of Group 2 herbicides can cause significant damage to canola and other susceptible crops. If not cleaned out thoroughly, residue can hang around in the sprayer tank, nozzles or screens. Tom

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Get the most out of your sprayer this growing season

Another growing season is just around the corner, and farmers who want to make the most efficient use of those expensive pesticides should turn their attention to their sprayers. Are they ready to do the best possible job? Or will they fail at the most critical moment? Erdal Ozkan, an agricultural engineer and spraying technology

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10 Preseason Tips to Tune-up Your Sprayer

Admit it; you’re anxiously trying to find things to do in the shop as the winter seems be in its longest stretch. Well, we thought we would share some common maintenance tips that can help you stay busy and get ahead of your spray-season shopping list in the process.    Inspect your hoses…  never repair,

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How Precision Agriculture Changed the Field We Spray In

How Precision Agriculture Changed the Field We Spray In Precision Agriculture is an ever-changing area that is beginning to become commonplace on even the smallest of family farms. With new technologies emerging every day, how do you stay on the cutting edge without going broke? To answer that question we will take a look at

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How To Get Rid Of Skunk Smell

One of the worst smells that your nose may encounter in its entire smelling career is a skunk’s smell. Once this cute-looking black and white furry animal feels threatened, it will lift its bushy tail as a warning and will start spraying its foul yet famous chemical oils to its attacker. Once the smell is out,

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Device For Spraying-on Of Especially Plastic Mould

The invention relates to a device forspraying-on of especially plastic Mould, wherein at least one mould cavity to be filled, constructed in a tool is arranged laterally next to a central nozzle body, with at least one nozzle tip arranged in and/or on the nozzle body which projectsoutwards over the circumferential surface of the nozzle body

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Electrostatic spraying device for spraying articles with powdered material

A spraying device for spraying powdered material on an article includes an axially extending powder channel formed in the body of the spraying device which has an upstream region and a downstream end. The material flows out through a spraying opening located at the downstream end. A support extends from the spraying opening, upstream into

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