Fall Application Tips from Tech Support
With colder temperatures here and the crops out of the field, fall application will soon be in full swing. Last week, we provided some safety tips for fall application. When transitioning from harvest to fall application, there are also a few things to remember to keep your data in order and prevent downtime in the field.
Changing Seasons The year is 2011; you have successfully completed harvest and are ready for fall application. You take your equipment to the field and begin to load your configuration and field on your Ag Leader display, but did you remember to change seasons before you started? Once your crop is out of the field, it is considered to be the end of your growing season. Before beginning fall application, be sure to change your season to a new “2012 Crop Year.” Changing your season now keeps your fertilizer linked to the 2012 crop, to which it is being applied. This also allows you to use your fertilizer application maps as reference maps next spring, summer and fall to compare fertilizer test strips and crop responses. Once you’ve set up your new season, make sure you have created a backup and copied your data to a card. Once your harvest data has been entered into SMS, you should delete your old season from your display.
Getting Started It’s almost time to head to the field, and just a little more preparation will save you time once you get there. If you’re going to the field this fall then most likely you already know what product will be applied to your fields. Take this time to enter those products or product mixes into your display, making sure to use the correct units (lbs v tons) and ratios when setting up the mixes. If you are going to use prescriptions to variable rate your fertilizer, load a few of the files on the display to be sure the rates show up correctly and are written in the correct units. For those of you applying Anhydrous, make sure to select the appropriate controlling product. After you select NH3 you have the ability to control that product in either lbs of Nitrogen, or lbs of NH3; do not skip this step!
Preventative Troubleshooting A few more items to take care of before you head to the field are to inspect your equipment and complete a system test. nbsp; A lot of equipment used for fall application has not been used for up to a year, and in some cases may have even gotten overrun by weeds. Clean the equipment up, check cabling for any pinched or damaged wires and check for blown fuses. If you have a flow meter, have it calibrated and serviced. If you have an injection pump that has had N-serve through it, have the seals replaced and service the pump before going to the field with it. Upgrade your display and modules to the latest firmware, which is available on the Ag Leader website. Now you can complete a system test. Create a test field and load your configuration on the display, then enter a rate, manual ground speed and turn AutoSwath off to test the system. Turn your master and boom switches on and you should be able to hear/see your valves turn. If you can identify a problem now it will save you valuable time in the field. Hopefully this will give you a few things to check and will help prevent some problems in the field. Have a safe and productive fall season! To view tutorial videos on setting up your display, please click here.