Nitrogen management in agriculture is a hot topic today. Nitrogen is being discussed from practically every perspective:
- Lawsuits over runoff nitrogen in Iowa drinking water.
- OSHA rules (postponed for now) that would have a dramatic effect on the anhydrous ammonia market and availability.
- Additional knowledge from researchers, both public and private, on precisely how much and when crops need nitrogen.
- Precision ag services using a variety of new technology, from remote sensors on drones to super accurate weather, to generate prescription maps for nitrogen application.
- New and old nitrogen stabilizing products on the market that can provide farmers a positive return on investment while also benefiting the environment.
All of these new products and research are great and will certainly contribute to more efficient use of nitrogen fertilizers which will benefit farmers and the environment alike. However, a sometimes overlooked part of all this research is basic application technology. Somehow, the nitrogen product, be it liquid, dry or gaseous, and any other co-applied products have to physically be transported to the field and applied at the proper location, time, and amount.
It’s the 4 R’s of Nutrient Stewardship; Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place. All the research outlined above is working to improve on the 4 R’s. However, you need equipment that will do this job in the field to complete the 4 R’s.
SureFire focuses our development on this final step. Without accurate application equipment, the best nitrogen management plan is useless.
SureFire application systems contribute to the infield execution of a great nitrogen management strategy. Here are a few examples:
- SureFire Spartan injection pumps achieve rates of 2-80 oz. per minute. We can inject nitrogen stabilizers into the flow of anhydrous ammonia. This keeps these stabilizers out of the anhydrous tanks and most of the application system where they can cause corrosion problems. In addition, by using an injection pump you can variable rate apply anhydrous ammonia and straight rate apply the stabilizer or vice versa. Spartan injection pumps enhance your flexibility while requiring less maintenance of NH3 application systems.
- SureFire Catalyst is a micro-volume application system designed for nitrogen stabilizers that must be applied directly into the soil instead of being mixed with the main nitrogen product. Catalyst systems apply rates down to 32 ounces/acre evenly distributed to each row. Catalyst components are designed with small components to apply these very small rates.
- SureFire Torpedo NH3 systems are complete systems designed around your application needs. Our 120-degree slotted ball control valve provides more accurate control of NH3 at lower flows so a wider range of rates can be applied. A360 NH3 splitters and manifolds provide 1-3% row to row accuracy. Injection ports and mixing chambers can be included from our factory for easy field installation of a Spartan Injection pump.
- SureFire LiquiShift provides the ability to variable rate apply liquid fertilizer over extremely wide rate ranges. LiquiShift can achieve 10:1 difference in flow rates on the go. We achieve excellent row to row accuracy because we are not using any spring loaded devices to provide back pressure at each row. Spring loaded devices tend to work well at higher rates, but can have very poor row to row accuracy at lower rates. Whether it is on a planter or liquid applicator, LiquiShift provides the widest rate ranges combined with best row to row accuracy for liquid placement.
- SureFire Electromagnetic flow meters have no moving parts. The principle electromagnetic meters’ work on is independent of the fluid’s viscosity. Therefore, these meters are very accurate using the standard calibration number. If you ask for 20 GPA, you could easily be getting 18 or 22 if you’re using a mechanical flow meter that hasn’t been calibrated recently. In addition, no moving parts means higher reliability. It’s difficult to achieve the Right Time in fertilizer application if you’re stopped repairing a stuck turbine flow meter.
- SureFire SureBatch can accurately apply a liquid stabilizer to dry fertilizer. Using electromagnetic flowmeters, wireless activation and four saved set points, the SureBatch can accurately provide the right amount of liquid into your fertilizer blend.
- SureFire Marksman provides accurate fertigation through any irrigation system. The Marksman uses electromagnetic meters and variable speed pumps to control the flow of fertilizer to your set point. If the fertilizer recommendation requires 19.5 GPH, then set Marksman and it will control to that rate. If there is a problem, Marksman will notify you via text message and website alerts. Make fewer trips to the field and receive a warning message before you discover in the morning you missed applying nitrogen to part of your field overnight.
We encourage you to use all of the new nitrogen management products, research and techniques. However, don’t forget about the basics. Make sure your equipment in the field is designed to be accurate, simple to use and calibrated. SureFire complete systems are designed around your application needs. Contact us today, we are happy to discuss how SureFire Ag nitrogen fertilizer management technology fits your nitrogen management plan to ensure your crops are getting the proper amount of nitrogen at the right time and rate .