Agriculture technology has revolutionized the way we farm and produce food for the world. Over the last 20+ years, equipment manufacturers have introduced software that helps operators be more precise with a multitude of farming activities. Now, everything from planting and spraying, to harvesting and collecting yield data, can be accomplished with a high level of accuracy. But why stop there?
As Liqui-Grow saw the need for greater precision in applying fertilizer, we developed a technology called ExactStrip that allows our liquid fertilizer to be applied precisely where you are going to plant your crop.
How does this work? We’re glad you asked!
Nearly all tractors, sprayers and combines manufactured since 2000 are equipped with a receiver and field monitor. These receive a guidance signal and interpret the location to the machine, which can respond by maneuvering the appropriate direction in the field. Later, Real Time Kinematics (RTK) technology was introduced, allowing the Receiver to use radio signals to communicate GPS locations, rather than a standard transmitter.
In recent years, a new RTK signal was introduced, which is cellular based. This enabled equipment to receive signals from a wider range and made the signal more standardized. Finally, to allow machines to talk to each other, third-party software was created to standardize the monitor and data information collected. This final step made it possible for sprayers and combines to follow the exact path of a planting tractor in the same field.
With a heightened level of accuracy available, the door was open for precision application of liquid fertilizer. Thus, ExactStrip was born.
Enhanced Yield Potential
ExactStrip technology allows sprayers to apply liquid fertilizer within inches of the field row with straight stream nozzles. Using the guidance lines from each field we cover, our sales applicators are able to follow the exact intended path of the planter.
When we first tested this new technology, Dr. Jake selected fields that were strip tilled to provide an obvious reference point for where the fertilizer should be applied. Following the application, we measured the fertilizer band compared to the trench and found that across 35 nozzles, the fertilizer was applied within 2.5” of the trench. See Exactstrip in action
Why is this significant?
In Dr. Jake’s research, he’s found that most immobile nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium are only absorbed by the plant if they are within an 8” x 8” box surrounding the roots, as those nutrients do not move horizontally within the soil. Additionally, yield potential is greatly increased when nutrients are made available within six inches from the row, since a corn’s root system often only reaches 6”-8” wide. To see this visual in action check out the Liqui Grow Loop
Applying fertilizer in close proximity to the plant’s roots provides a multitude of benefits. Not only does it help you optimize your nutrient management and yield potential, but precise application can help feed your plants during periods of stress or drought. Keeping nutrients within the root zone reduces the need for water to move those nutrients through the soil. This means even if moisture is limited, your crop will still get the nutrients it needs to perform.
Through our small plot research trials, we have found ExactStrip application provides a six and nine bushel per acre yield increase compared to applying a 15” dribble band and broadcast application, respectively. While we still see value in a 15” dribble band application, the ExactStrip allows customers a more precise application that can lead to higher potential yields.
These results have given us a lot of confidence in the performance of ExactStrip technology, and we continue to do further research to find ways to maximize the impact of ExactStrip on your crop. This year, Dr. Jake is analyzing the impact of tillage in relation to fertilizer absorption, so be watching for more information in our upcoming L.E.A.D. Academy webinars.
If you have any questions about the ExactStrip technology and how it can benefit your operation, please contact your local sales applicator or email firstname.lastname@example.org