1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Rebuilt Anhydrous Rig Deep Places FertilizerAn Iowa farmer-manufacturer is doing a booming business converting old anhydrous applicators to deep-placement liquid fertilizer rigs.
Howard Morey, who farms near Mallard, got into the manufacturing business when he converted an anhydrous rig for use on his own farm. He started getting inquiries from neighbors when they saw him working his way through standing corn at the 4 to 5 leaf stage. "Fellows would stop on the highway and come out to see what we were doing," he recalls.
Morey started building deep-placement rigs for neighbors and soon had almost more business than he could handle. He developed a unique method of manufacture, buying up used anhydrous applicator rigs all over the country at farm auctions and sales. He brings the rigs back to his Iowa farm and totally strips them down. He sets them up for 4 to 12-row spacing, fits stain-less steel application tubes to the knives, tank, and repaints the machine.
The rigs place fertilizer 8 in. deep. Crop roots grow downward to reach the fertilizer, increasing drought tolerance.
On his own farm, Morey applies N, P & K at once using an 85-hp. Deere 4010 to pull an 8-row unit with a 500 gal. tank at speeds of 5 mph. The knives cause minimum soil disturbance, so they're ideal for ridge-till and no-till, and they pull easier than a same-size anhydrous applicator because the knives don't frost up, increasing drag. Orifices on the application tubes can be changed to change application rates.
Morey figures his "liquid" deep-placement rig cuts fertilizer costs to less than half that of conventionally applied anhydrous. "Some researchers say that 80% of anhydrous is gone 8 weeks after it's applied. Some escapes when it's applied and the rest of it washes away. When you apply fertilizer to a standing crop, it gets used right away. That saves you money and helps clean up the ground water," says Morey.
The used anhydrous rigs he converts come to him from all over the country. "I've made contact with auctioneers all over the country so they know I'm looking for these. There's a lot of them around," he notes, adding that he converts both 3-pt. and trailing rigs.
An 8-row, 30-in. applicator sells for $2,285. Models are available from 4 to 12 rows.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Howard Morey, D.P.F., Ltd., Rt. 1, Box 55, Mallard, Iowa 50562 (ph 712 425-3391).
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