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Seed-Specific Placement of In-Furrow Chemicals

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  031155,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13751) @2003
Authors:   John H. Hancock, John B. Wilkerson, F. Henry Moody, III, William E. Hart, Melvin A. Newman
Keywords:   Precision Chemical Application, Seed-Specific, Application Equipment, Band Placement, In-Furrow Application, Planting

In-furrow chemical inputs, such as fungicides and insecticides, are currently applied as a continuous band at planting. Focusing these applications at the seed, and minimizing the chemical applied between seeds could reduce in-furrow inputs significantly. The University of Tennessee Sensors and Controls Laboratory has developed a seed-specific applicator to apply discrete bands of liquid chemical to individual seeds at planting. First, seeds are detected in the seed tube, then tracked from the point of detection to the point of chemical application, and finally sprayed with a variable length chemical band as the seed lands in the furrow.

Accuracy of the prototype applicator has been evaluated under various field conditions using cottonseed. In 2002, the applicator was calibrated using a trial-and-error method; 55 to 98% of planted seeds were adequately sprayed, depending on planter speed [3.2, 6.4, 9.7 km/hr (2, 4, 6 mph)] and spray band length [2.5 to 6.6 cm (1.0 to 2.6 in.)]. The calibration process was automated in 2003, and similar results were observed. Assuming a seeding rate of 9.8 sd/m (3 sd/ft), material savings of 35-75% are expected (depending on band length).

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