Ensuring Proper Function of Precision Application Technology

Published online: Apr 12, 2022 Articles, Final Countdown, Herbicide, Insecticide, Potato Equipment BASF
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This article appears in the April 2022 issue of Potato Grower.

Planting time is here, so it’s time to start thinking about prepping equipment and putting a weed control program in place to keep yield-robbing pigweed and other invaders out of the field. Growers should conduct a planter tune-up, with specific attention to precision ag components before hitting the field in the spring. From field computers to sprayer and planter controls, GPS guidance steering systems, and wireless technology, a strategy should be created to keep performance and reliability top-of-mind throughout the season.

A successful year begins with a weed control program, including pre-plant and/or pre-emergence herbicides. An early-season herbicide application will help to delay weed emergence and gives growers time to plan post-emergence applications.

With a timely application comes the need for an economical, effective application. Using precision technology to apply the right amount of the right product at the right time and place is fundamental to effective weed control. This is where a rate controller can come into play.

There are many interconnected systems in a precision application system. To make the most of the growing season, growers need to ensure those systems are functioning properly before hitting the field.

Build the foundation for a weed-free growing season by conducting a thorough inspection of your equipment before you start planting or early field work.

  1. Flush your system after winterizing.
  1. Check microtubes, splitters and pumps for old residue. A dirty or clogged nozzle could lead to uneven or improper distribution of a product.
  1. Inspect your planter to ensure all parts are performing properly, and replace any worn parts.
  1. Perform a safety check to confirm that all lights and safety systems operate correctly.
  1. Make sure all electronics and technology are updated.
  1. Calibrate your system. For dry spreaders, it’s necessary to perform a catch test calibration. For liquid spreaders, you can calibrate using your flow meter.

Is your weed control program in place? Is your equipment ready to go? Now is the time to start preparing so you can maximize your time in the field as the 2022 crop year gets underway. 

To learn more about weed control practices that will improve the long-term profitability of your farm, visit www.operationweederadication.com.