«Previous    Next»
Chain Keeps Anhydrous in the Soil
Sealing side-dressed anhydrous in the soil has long been a problem for no-tillers, especially in damp soils and the firmer soils in no-till fields.
  Nick Reed, who farms with his brothers Paul, Kevin and Ken near Washington, Iowa, solved the problem with a simple length of chain.
  "It took several tries to get it right," Reed says, "but now we hardly ever see a puff of anhydrous behind our toolbar."
  The Reeds are long-time no-tillers. They open up the soil for just two reasons: to plant and to sidedress nitrogen fertilizer once the corn is up. While they like the economics of anhydrous, they didn't like the losses they assumed were occurring when they saw the wispy trails of anhydrous behind their rig.
  To keep soil disturbance to a minimum, they run a knife between every other row. That meant using higher injection pressures of 50 to 70 psi.
  Reed points out that the high pressure itself is enough to blow soil away from the injector and make it more difficult to seal.
  His first step in solving the problem was to add a second delivery tube to each injector. By running two hoses from the manifold to each injector and using two separate tubes, they could put on the same amount of anhydrous at half the pressure.
  He added covering discs behind the injectors to bring loose soil back over the slit. When the discs were set at the recommended distance behind the injector knife, some anhydrous was escaping before the discs could do their job. When he moved the discs forward to cover the slit closer to the coulter, they couldn't recover enough of the soil loosened by the injector to cover the slit. Of course, they could have run the covering discs deeper, but that opened up too much soil and ruined the chemical barrier created by their surface-applied herbicides.
  Reed decided to go underground. He reasoned that filling the open slit just above the anhydrous knife outlet was better than working the soil on the surface. Just how to do that was a bit of a challenge, but eventually, he settled on a length of twisted chain fastened to the knife two inches above the outlet in the anhydrous. The twisted chains he used are crossbars from a set of salvaged road grader chains. He used a longer straight link from the side chain on the same set of chains to attach the twisted chain to the knife. To do this, he cut the end off the straight link, inserted the link on one end of the twisted chain, and then welded both sides of the straight link to the knife.
  He says the links in the twisted chain, which are wider than the anhydrous injector, fill with soil as they drag through the soil behind the knife. This seals the area right above the anhydrous outlet so it spreads into the soil instead of vaporizing and shooting up to the surface through the open slit.
  Reed says the drag chain, which is fastened at just one end, should be at least 1 ft. long. At the same time, it should be long enough to extend back behind where the covering discs are doing their job. That way they've covered the slit back over before the chain has completely passed by.
  With the chain and covering discs in place, Reed says you can run at shallower injection depths and increase field speeds (he's been running at 9 to 11 mph this year) while still doing a good job.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nick Reed, 1774 270th St., Washington, Iowa 52353.

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4