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Planter-Mounted Spray Hood
A few years ago Missouri farmer Patrick Turnage became fed up with planting cotton into a fertile seedbed, only to see weeds ambush the crop when weather prevented him from following up with a timely herbicide application. That’s when he came up with a hooded device to mount behind his planter so he could plant and apply herbicide to individual rows in a single pass.
  “My farming goal has always been to start with clean fields and keep them clean,” Turnage says. “By putting down herbicide at planting, in a precisely controlled location, I was able to keep those early weeds from emerging with the cotton. I was able to get excellent coverage, control drift and protect the crop immediately.” Individual hoses are plumbed to each hood from a supply tank that can be mounted on the planter or a tractor. Liquid flows through nozzles inside each hood to mist herbicide directly on the ground.
  After seeing the advantages his hooded spray units provided, Turnage teamed up with Tyler Perkins who runs an equipment sales business in Bernie, Mo. In 2014 Turnage and Perkins planted and sprayed 3,000 acres of cotton with 3 planters equipped with the invention he now calls ‘Cotton Tail Hoods’. The hoods are made of molded poly with curved urethane skirts on each side. They mount on arms that extend behind the row units and closing wheels on Case IH, Deere, and Kinze planters. Perkins says another advantage of the Cotton Tail design is that the hood closely follows the countour of the field because it’s mounted to the row unit frame. “We really get precise application close to the ground. A large pull-type or self-propelled sprayer with a fixed boom doesn’t provide that type of accuracy.”
  Perkins says each Cotton Tail hood has a spring-loaded trip mechanism so it glides back into place if it hits an obstruction in the field. “A Cotton Tail Hood can be installed in about 30 min.,” says Perkins. “It’s a simple mounting process that one person can do.”
  The University of Nebraska has done testing on the downwind drift of hooded vs. conventional bar sprayers and noted that wide bar hooded units reduce drift by 90 percent. Testing was done when the average wind speed was 9 mph and the travel speed of the sprayers was 8 to 9 mph. Perkins thinks their individual hoods may match or even exceed that efficiency. Perkins also says the Cotton Tail results in cost effective applications in a single pass without the worry of wondering when the conventional sprayer will get across the planted field.
  “Better yet, a farmer buys only the number of units for the size planter he has. It’s a one-time purchase that provides better coverage than broadcast spraying.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Perkins Sales, Inc., 3900 County Rd. 609, Bernie, Mo. 63822 (ph 877 293-5794; www.perkinssales.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3