Variable-Rate Fertilizer Gains Speed and Precision

Kurt LawtonCompany Announcement, Corn, Equipment, Tillage

The cost of fertilizer has more growers looking for increased efficiency. And growers I talk to who use soil sampling, fertility maps and the variable-rate technology of precision farming are very pleased with the results.

One tool that growers are excited about is the new high-speed anhydrous toolbar that John Deere introduced last summer. The 2510 Series of nutrient applicators is designed for high-speed application (10 mph) with minimal soil disturbance. And growers can achieve variable-rate control with the GreenStar 2 (GS2) Rate Controller.

“We’ve designed these tools for different applications and are introducing the following new model configurations,” says Dave Wendt, product manager, John Deere Des Moines Works. “The 2510H is for high-speed application with low soil disturbance, the 2510C is for conventional application, and the 2510S is for strip-till/conservation tillage applications.

Leading the pack, is the highly productive 2510H Nutrient Applicator which features a revolutionary new design that allows operators to cover more acres in less time, at field speeds of ten miles per hour. Equipped with precision-injection technology, it’s capable of applying anhydrous ammonia at high speeds with minimal soil disturbance.

“These field speeds enable productivity rates approaching 40 acres per hour,” explains Wendt. “This level of productivity translates to 20 to 50 percent more revenue generated per hour than a similarly sized conventional applicator.”

The 2510H delivers three-season capability–from fall-applied anhydrous, to preplant applications, to sidedress season. “Sidedress season is when the “big bar” productivity in a compact row-crop package really pays off,” says Wendt. “Due to the low-disturbance design of the applicator, it’s able to apply anhydrous soon after planting and triples the typical sidedress application window. This allows the operator more time and flexibility in the field to complete sidedress applications.”

Studies have also proven that producers can reduce their nitrogen rates when sidedressing compared to fall application. At today’s fertilizer and corn prices, this adds up to considerable savings for the producer.

Nebraska Farmer magazine took a look at the technology last fall.