On-Board Planter Tech Opens New Application Windows
With a focus at early season pest control, FMC and AMVAC are developing application systems to add in-furrow crop protection delivery with the planter pass. These systems address in-field variability with on-the-go variable rate inputs of insecticides, fungicides, nematicides and/or micronutrients.
As Rick Rice, director of application technology for AMVAC Chemical explains, variable-rate fertilizer set the stage for farmers and retailers to identify the benefits of variable-rate inputs.
“When prescriptions come from trusted advisors, there a level of confidence the grower has that it’s the right decision,” he says. “And we’ve worked to develop our SIMPAS system so it’s simple for the farmer in the field.”
SIMPAS started in-field testing in 2017, and in 2018 partnered with J.R. Simplot to conduct several thousand acres of trials.
FMC has come to market with its 3RIVE 3D system to apply insecticides and fungicides based on crop protection needs.
“With our 3RIVE 3D system, the capacity is 160 gallons—or 480 acres on a single fill—so the goal is that it doesn’t slow down the planting operaton,” explains Rick Ekins, application and innovations platform lead for FMC. As he explains, the 3RIVE 3D system stores the chemistry separate from the water, so farmers can change rates on crop by crop and field by field basis.
Both Rice and Ekins say the precision application of in-furrow crop protection of where the inputs will be most effective and will provide the best rate of return will open up new marketing opportunities.
“One example is Counter, which may be cost prohibitive to treat the whole field, but it’s very effective in controlling nematodes and that pest notoriously flares up in hot spots and specific zones,” Rice says. “So if a farmer can turn on the Counter in the nematode zone, and turn it off elsewhere in the field, the economic return is outstanding.”
Ekins says 3RIVE 3D will continue to grow in opportunities for insecticides and fungicides. On Aug. 29, FMC received its EPA registration for Ethos 3D, which is an insecticide and biofungicide formulated together. Ekins also says in-furrow fungicide development is a focus for FMC going into 2019.
“With fungicides, we’re researching if an early in-furrow application may help that plant get off to a stronger start and potentially eliminate a fungicide application later in the season,” he says.
While so far 3RIVE 3D has been focused in the corn belt, FMC is planning to expand into the cotton market with new registrations as well as looking to apply the technology to sunflowers, sugar beets, and other crops.