1996 - Volume #20, Issue #6, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Anhydrous Knife Pulls Easy, Seals Tight
The new-style knife is equipped with a 1 1/2-in. wide horizontal "foot" at the bottom that lifts the soil and also breaks it up over a 4 to 5-in. wide area. Ammonia is propelled sideways into the pocket formed immediately behind the foot. A vertical split-ter" welded onto the foot then divides and pushes the soil to cover the hole and seal in the ammonia.
"It forms a perfect seal in any kind of soil whether it's wet, dry, or hard," says Stam. "The problem with conventional knives is that they push the soil sideways and form a slot that's as deep as you run the knife. If the soil is a little wet the walls get smeared and later dry out, allowing ammonia to escape. The foot on my knife lifts and fractures the soil without forming walls, and the splitter immediately forces the soil back over the ammonia. It doesn't matter if the soil is wet or dry or if there's a lot of trash because the ammonia is sealed several inches below the ground surface. Another advantage is that the 4 to 5-in. wide area of fractured soil allows the ammonia to more effectively penetrate the soil."
The top of the knife is only 3/8 in. wide and the foot only 1 1/2 in. wide so it pulls easy even in hard, dry ground, says Stam. The face plate is made from a special hardened steel and the tube is made from a wear-resistant material that won't rust and will last 7 to 10 times longer than conventional tubes, he adds. One farmer used his 13-knife applicator on over 3,500 acres before he had to change knives.
"The knife can be equipped with up to three tubes, allowing you to apply dry and liquid fertilizer at the same time. Some farmers are experimenting with the knife in strip till systems by placing dry or liquid fertilizer a few inches above the ammonia but below the seed zone. By concentrating the fertilizer in a narrow zone they hope to get by with less fertilizer. Some farmers even use their ammonia applicators as subsoilers and pull the knives 10 to 12 in. deep. They like the fact that the knives pull easy and don't form slots that can dry out."
Sells for $27.95 plus S&H.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hi-Pro Mfg., Box F, Rt. 24 West, Watseka, Ill. 60970 (ph 815 432-5271).
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