Innovations in Manure Application Equipment
Wouldn’t it be nice if liquid manure application could wait until after corn planting was completed, with little risk of compaction or damage to corn plants?
It may be the dog-days of summer, but kicking tires at an equipment demonstration and field day is a good way to evaluate how the newest technology may fit into your operation at some point in the future. The North American Manure Expo, held August 3-4th, 2016 near London Ohio, provided an opportunity to watch a variety of new manure application equipment. Each year, Ontario manure equipment manufacturers demonstrate that they are industry leaders in manure application innovation.
In particular, the liquid manure demonstrations at this year’s Expo focused on in-crop application opportunities. The benefits of in-crop application are that they can:
- increase the economic benefit of the nutrients in manure by placing them where the crop can use them when the crop needs them.
- reduce compaction by applying nutrients when the soil conditions are fit
- reduce phosphorus movement to water courses, compared to applications during the non-growing season
- benefit the soil microorganisms by increasing the biomass, and organic matter returned to the soil
Introduced for the first time this year was the Cadman Power Equipment Continuous Manure Applicator (CMA), an in-crop drag hose system. The (CMA) was engineered to apply liquid manure via side-dress to row crops (30 inch row spacings) in fields as long as 2500 ft. (800 m).
The tractor pulls the injector with a patented swivel arm and 5.1 inch hard hose away from the CMA reel, as shown in Figure 1 and 2. When the tractor gets to the opposite end of the field, it turns 180o to the next set of rows and comes back down the field (Figure 3). When the tractor turns, the swing arm moves to the side of the tool bar, therefore keeping the hose in the same row that it was pulled out on. The tractor returns at the same speed it was pulled out at to synchronize with the reel rewind speed. When the tractor returns to the starting point, the 4 wheel drive CMA reel and steering is controlled remotely from the applicator tractor cab. While the operator is completing the return trip, the remote automatically moves the CMA reel and hard hose forward 60 or 80 ft to start another pass.
The toolbar can be fitted with injection units including Aerway®, Dietrich, Yetter, or other options such as the dribble bars (figure 4) that can manure match application into a variety of growing crops and row spacings at various opportunities during the growing season.
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Other innovative equipment demonstrated at this year’s manure expo included:
- Application equipment designed narrow row spacing (7-8 inch spacings) for shallow injection into forage crops immediately after harvest or spring application into winter wheat or to slurry seed cover crops after wheat harvest. (Figure 5)
- Toolbars that can inject while turning (fig 6).
- Solid manure application with high or close to ground application to help match solid manure (material) type, application spread width, and wind speed to improve uniformity and accuracy of application.
The Nuhn Lagoon Crawler, (figure 7) which is an amphibious pump designed for agitating large lagoons. The pump can drive itself into the lagoon, mix the lagoon as a boat, and then drive itself out when the pit is empty