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Take care to apply the right amount of fertiliser when placing with seed

There are a number of factors to consider when placing fertiliser with seed according to Dr. Mike Stewart from the International Plant Nutrition Institute in Norcross, Georgia, USA.

Placing fertiliser in-furrow with the seed during planting is a common practice in small grain production and to some extent in row-crop production. Placing fertiliser with the seed can be an effective and beneficial management practice, but over- application and mismanagement can result in seedling damage, and ultimate stand and yield loss. The type of crop, fertiliser source, row spacing, and soil environment all affect how much fertiliser can be safely applied with seed.

Type of crop: Some crops are more susceptible to injury from in-furrow fertilisation than others. Oil seed crops are particularly sensitive; therefore most guidelines allow no fertiliser placed with the seed of these crops. The general order of sensitivity (most to least) among major crops grown on the Great Plains in the United States is soybeans > sorghum > corn > small grains.

Type of fertiliser: Fertilisers are salts, and these salts can affect the ability of the seedling to absorb water… too much fertiliser (salt) and seedling desiccation or “burn” can occur. Some fertiliser materials have a higher salt index or burn potential than others. Salt index values are usually included in basic agronomic texts, or are available from fertiliser dealers or extension resources such as government bodies or universities. As a general rule, most common nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertilisers have higher salt indexes than phosphorus (P) fertilisers; therefore, a common predictor for the potential for salt damage is the sum of N+K2O per acre (0.4 ha) applied with the seed. For example, most guidelines for corn (maize) in 30 inch (76.2 cm) rows will allow for no more than 10 lb (4.5kg)/A of N+K2O in medium to fine textured soils — assuming no urea-containing products are used.

Ammonia formation potential of fertiliser: Fertilisers that have the potential to release free ammonia can cause ammonia toxicity to germinating seeds or young emerging seedlings. Thus, extra caution must be used with in-furrow placement of urea-containing fertilisers. In some cases urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) or urea can be applied successfully in-furrow in small grain production, but this requires careful consideration of several factors including those discussed below.

Row spacing: For a specific set of circumstances (i.e. crop, soil conditions, etc.) the safe rate of in-furrow fertiliser increases as row spacing narrows or decreases. A narrowing row space has the effect of diluting fertiliser over more linear feet (metres) of row.

Soil type and environment: Soil conditions that tend to concentrate salts, or stress the germinating seed, increase the potential for damage. So, the safe limit for in-furrow fertilisation is reduced with sandier soil texture and in drier soil conditions. Also, environmental conditions that induce stress and/or slow germination (e.g. cold temperature) can prolong fertiliser-seed contact and thus increase the likelihood of damage.

Seed bed utilisation: The more scatter there is between seed and fertiliser in the seed band or row, the more fertiliser can be safely applied. The type of planting equipment and seed opener influences the intimacy of seed-fertiliser contact. The concept of “seed bed utilisation” (SBU) has been used to address this factor. SBU is simply the seed row width divided by the row width (i.e., proportion of row width occupied by seed row). The wider the seed row for a specific row width the greater the SBU. As SBU increases so does the safe rate of in-furrow fertilisation.

* Reprinted from the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Plant Nutrition Today Series by Dr Mike Stewart. http://www.ipni.net/pnt

Challenger E Series Makes a Grand Entrance into the Australian & New Zealand Market

How do you get a tractor into the middle of Australia’s third largest city? Drive it down a river of course!

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Challenger E Series making tracks on the Brisbane River

 

The long awaited Challenger E series made a dramatic entrance to the Australian and New Zealand region, surprising a gathering of Challenger Dealers on the banks of the Brisbane River.

Built upon three decades of Challenger’s tracked tractor leadership, the industry leading E Series demanded an unveiling that would leave a lasting impression with the dealership team and kick off the launch of this exciting new range with a bang.

Local challenger dealers were invited to  a social evening at a restaurant overlooking the Brisbane River in Brisbane’s business district. As guest presenters introduced the new ground breaking E Series with informative presentations and videos, Challenger dealers would have been excused for assuming the evening was following a familiar schedule.

Drifting down the river under the cover of darkness, on a barge set up as a stage, the Challenger E series was poised to disrupt that familiarity.

Arriving at its destination with precision timing, the floating E series nudged closer towards the dealer group now congregating on the restaurant’s balcony and was revealed in a coordinated show of lights, smoke and the beat of ACDC’s thunderstruck.

And thunderstruck the crowd was. The unique unveiling was captured by a contingent of photographers as well as the dealership group and onlookers, with hands quickly diving into pockets in search of iphones to capture the sight.

Speaking after the event, key organiser of the E series launch and Challenger Product Manager Jeremy Duniam said that the evening went as planned.

“There were a couple of dealers that had a suspicion of what was going to happen, but most were stunned when the tractor was lit up and floating only metres from the river bank.”

“It was an exciting way to introduce the exciting new Challenger E Series,” Jeremy said.

A behind the scenes video of the spectacular unveiling will be available soon on AGCO Blog and www.facebook.com/ChallengerAg

E-Series-Launch-Banner_6

 

Challenger takes King of the Field award at SIMA 2015

Challenger’s MT775E has been voted as the winner of the Machine of the Year XXL award at the SIMA Show 2015. One of the most prestigious accolades for tractors incorporating innovative technology and overall performance, the selection was made by 19 independent agricultural journalists representing 17 European countries trade magazines.

Challenger_MT775E_MotY_HighResBuilt upon three decades of tracked tractor leadership from Challenger, the MT775E’s 9.8 litre, 7 in-line cylinder Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine not only cuts fuel consumption by up to 5%, but also increases the maximum power by 15% to 438hp (56hp more than the MT765D).

Other MT775E highlights include 25% extra engine torque (1921Nm), a 43% increase in hydraulic oil flow (321lit/min), and the 53% larger fuel tank (659-litres) allows operators to spend more time in the field between refills for even higher levels of productivity.

The maximum ballasted weight of the tractor has risen 8% from 16,329kg to 17,690kg, and the belt contact area is increased 13% by 4.21m². This all adds up to 157% more for the MT775E when compared to the previous benchmark MT765D tracked tractor.

For more SIMA coverage, please visit: sima.agcocorp.com.

Challenger RoGator 600C Capable of Spraying at 30km/hr

High-speed spraying is becoming increasing popular in Europe and especially in France where operators are looking to spray at speeds of up to 30km/hr. Building on the history and success of the SpraCoupe, the 2015 version of Challenger’s RoGator 600C is easily capable of meeting these speed requirements.

On display for the first time at the 2015 French SIMA Show, the 30km/hr maximum field speed of the RoGator 600C is 43% faster than the previous 21km/hr. To achieve this extra speed the trio of 600C models are fitted with heavier duty and more powerful wheel motors with increased torque. Depending on model this results in a 10-15% better pulling power over 2014 models.

RG600C_HighSpeedThe centre frame has been redesigned with less parts and pivot points for improved boom stability, while the remainder of the pivot points have been reinforced and bolts have been replaced with hinge pins to improve the reliability.

The bottom of the machine is now of a smoother design to reduce crop damage at these faster speeds, which will be particularly useful in OSR. Travelling at faster speeds requires greater nozzle opening to allow higher volumes of liquid to travel through the sprayer to ensure the same application rate e.g. 150l/ha at 30km/hr to 150l/ha at 20km/hr requires the pumping of an extra 43% more liquid.

Dual Nozzle Shut Off is the name of a new technique designed to do just this. The system utilises two small nozzles, which combined have the same output as one large one. The system provides the possibility to engage both nozzles when the operator wants to drive at speeds that are outside the normal range of the first nozzle.

Designed, built and tested in Europe for European conditions, the 600C features new plumbing for the clean water tank connection to reduce the loading time of the clean water tank by as much as 50%. Resulting in quicker filling times and decreased cycle times for more productivity. Read the rest of this entry »

Two-Tone Farm

The Vossebelts have tried a variety of tractor colors on their Southern Alberta farm. There was the green of John Deere and the blue of New Holland. Then, a neighboring farmer and Massey Ferguson customer suggested they give AGCO equipment and local dealer Hanlon Ag a try.

“We wanted the latest and greatest … and Challenger and Massey were the fit for us,” says Delbert Vossebelt, who lists multiple track Challengers and an MF7620 in the family fleet. “By having those track machines, we can straddle four rows, and that eliminates us compacting the dirt between the potato rows as we’re harvesting. It’s really advantageous for us.”

The MF7620 is the family’s first Massey Ferguson, but has proved to be a valuable part of the operation. “We shred most of the potato vines before we harvest, and it’s perfect, that Massey, on the vine shredder,” Delbert says. “Size-wise, it’s got enough horsepower to be able to pull the shredder without being too large and wasting diesel fuel. It’s a very good tractor.”

The AGCO CVT, or continuously variable transmission, that’s used in both Massey Ferguson and Challenger equipment was a major selling point for the Vossebelts. “It’s very fuel-efficient,” says Dwayne, Delbert’s brother. “We really like the CVT transmission too, because you’ve got such a wide range of speeds.”

“That’s important,” adds Delbert, “because when we’re harvesting potatoes, conditions change constantly. So you always are changing the speed of your equipment. And with the CVT transmission, you can pinpoint exactly what speed you need to be. The CVT transmission is a real asset on this farm.”

The switch to AGCO also brought another advantage to the Vossebelt operation. “Hanlon’s service is amazing,” says Delbert. “I could phone the service department, and those guys are there within an hour or so. I can’t stress enough how important that is, and [Hanlon] is always helping us out.”

Concludes Delbert: “We made a good decision by switching. In the future, we’ll definitely purchase more AGCO products.”

For the full story, see “Growing Spuds: High-Risk, High-Reward” at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/growing-spuds-high-risk-high-reward/.

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