Spring is barreling down on us and chances are you’re in the thick of pre-season prep work in order to hit the ground running for planting and fertilization. As you begin to set up and test your SureFire Ag products, we recommend you begin testing with water first.
Using water, as opposed to fertilizer, in your initial set-up is crucial to test for leaks. Depending on the system you are running, there can be hundreds of fittings, clamps, and other potential exit points that may need to be addressed before you begin using the system in the field with product.
Tighten all hose clamps and push the tube in every QuickConnect fitting. Loose clamps or improperly seated QuickConnects may not always show up as leaks, but they can be a source of air getting into the system. Air in the system can cause unstable flowmeter readings and can contribute to check valves not holding.
Be prepared for spring fertilizing with these Surefire tips for your fertilization system:
1. Load the tank with 100-200 gallons of water. Utilize the stationary/manual operation procedure for your controller. Allow the pump(s) to run long enough to thoroughly flush the system of any solids that may have accumulated over winter.
2. Inspect the system for any leaks.
3. Use simulated rate and speed mode to ensure the system is working correctly. Keep in mind that water is thinner and weighs less than fertilizer and will result in significantly lower pressures than when fertilizer is pumped. If not all check valves open initially, increase your simulated rate until you reach a minimum of twice the cracking pressure of your check valves. (SureFire check valves with a black cap=10 lbs, with a blue cap=4lbs)
4. Pump any remaining water from the tank, fill with fertilizer, and you are ready to head to the field.
5. For more specific information about operating your SureFire System, see our support page for your specific control platform.