Prescriptions Require Precision

Recent innovations in soil testing and real-time analyses of crop health offer significant benefits to crops, as well as to those growing them. For starters, these advancements allow for prescriptive fertilization that provides plants with the nutrients they need, when they need them, ensuring better uptake and yield potential.

Prescriptions, however, require precision, more so today than ever before, especially as producers face increased pressures for higher yields. To meet such new standards for class-leading, accurate application of dry fertilizer, RoGator offers the AirMax 180, the only pneumatic spreader paired with a high-clearance row-crop chassis.

Available on RoGator 1300B models, the AirMax 180 has a boom system that maintains a proper height for uniform pattern spread. It also utilizes a dual conveyor system that lets the operator shut off booms independently to help reduce overlap when running irregular-shaped fields due to such features as point rows and waterways.

“If you are going into a field with growing crops to topdress corn with fertilizer,” says Craig Miller, AGCO marketing product specialist, “you know the AirMax 180 will deliver product as uniformly at the end of the 60-foot boom as it does at 10 feet, regardless of crop height. Additionally, the boom application of the AirMax 180 is unaffected by windy conditions.”

The AirMax 180 has five 3-inch stainless-steel tubes in each boom, each assembled horizontally to ensure output deflectors are at the same height for a consistent and accurate spread pattern. This flat design is on all AirMax applicators.

The air delivery system in the AirMax 180 is a key part of the system’s accuracy. A single 17-inch hydraulically driven fan turns at 5,000 to 5,150 rpm and provides constant air pressure to deliver dry fertilizer, whether it is in its granular form or broken down into finer, harder-to-spread particles.

“Inconsistency in size when it comes to dry fertilizer is a major concern today,” says Darren Goebel, an agronomist and director of Global Commercial Crop Care for AGCO. “After multiple shipments and other instances when it’s been handled, fertilizer can get ground down into smaller pieces. When applied with a spinner spreader, these particles typically will not travel as far as intact granules, causing a lower rate further from the spreader.

“When, for instance, this happens with nitrogen application, many of us have seen the result,” he continues. “The field looks striped, with areas of darker green that received more N and those that are lighter, where less N was applied. That kind of inconsistent application,” continues Goebel, “can cause yield loss.”

How to prevent such uneven application? “The pneumatic system of the AirMax 180,” adds Miller. The consistent, forced air of the AirMax 180 pneumatic delivery system applies such variable-sized particles more evenly than spinners, allowing applicators to make a single pass to “deliver the right source, at the right rate, at the right time and the right place.”

“That’s a benefit to the crop,” says Goebel, “and the producer’s bottom line.”

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