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New Biodegradable Field Marker Flags
"We're fording new uses for our biodegradeable field marker flags every day," says Mike Warner, Hillsboro, N. Dak., whose daughter Jessica is marketing the flags through Fieldmarx Co.
The white flags are visible from more than a half mile away. They consist of heavy paper napkins glued to 2-ft. long wooden dowels that are pushed into the ground.
"Bio-flags are a sound alternative to wire flags because they're completely biodegradable," says Warner. "A forgotten wire flag can become entangled in farm implements resulting in costly repairs and `down time' in the field. Bio-flags eventually break down and they won't hurt a combine cutterbar at harvest. They work great for a number of uses. I use them at planting to strike up straight rows. I use a two-planter system and split a field down the middle with one planter seeding on one side and a second planter on the other side. The flags help distinguish where the field should be split. Probably their biggest use is to reduce skips and overlaps during fertilizer and pesticide applications by eliminating the guesswork. They're less expensive than foam markers and are more accurate and safer to use than flagmen. One bundle of 48 flags is enough to cover a quarter section field with a 50-ft. spray boom.
"In addition, they work great for spot spraying weeds. I saved almost $1,000 on one wheat field alone last year by spot spraying 30 acres of wild oats instead of spraying the entire 100 acres. At the begin-' ning of a wild-oat patch I place a flag leaning to the right to signal where the sprayer should be turned on. I place another flag at the end of a patch leaning left to signal where the sprayer should be turned off. Farmers can use them on CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acres to spray for grasshoppers. Foam is more difficult to use and disappears into the grass. Bio-flags are made up to 4 ft. long for taller grass. An-other drawback of using foam is that it's hard to drive straight when you're constantly looking left or right to see if the end of the sprayer boom is lined up properly."
Warner also uses the flags to establish boundaries for grid soil testing. Under the grid system, he divides a field into 10 to 16-acre sections and takes a soil sample from each section. Bio-flags form the grids, establishing a perimeter in the field where soil samples need to be taken. "The flags can also be used at harvest to help measure how a crop yields and to mark field rounds at planting. I place a flag in the soil each time I fill seed or fertilizer so I know how many rounds were made with each fill. They last surprisingly well in winds up to 50 mph. They do disintegrate in a hard thunderstorm with high winds."
Bio-flags are sold in bundles of 48 at a retail price of about $16.50/per bundle plus shipping, depending on quantity.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fieldmarx, RR 2, Box 119, Hillsboro, N. Dak. 58045 (ph 701 457-2410 or 701436-5062).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #4