A big storm is rolling onto the Prairies this spring

Ag Growth International has brought another seed treater to the Canadian market, called the Storm Professional, which is geared for seed growers, larger farms and commercial applicators.

The Storm Pro can treat 45 bushels of wheat, barley or oats per minute, compared to the company’s original seed treater, the Storm, which treats 30.

“We were out doing some testing last week. We can load a super B of wheat in 24 minutes, said Chris Larsen of Ag Growth.

The Storm Pro has been designed transport at highway speeds and has torsion axles, signal and marker lights, as well as a ball hitch and safety chain.

“We really designed this model with the seed grower, with the commercial applicator in mind. Making it very easy to go bin to bin, yard to yard, hitting as many customers as a commercial applicator can in a day,” Larsen said.

Unlike the Storm that relies on an external power source, the Storm Pro is self-contained.

“We use a 34 (horsepower) Perkins diesel engine to power this whole unit. A 24 volt electric system powers any of the electric motors,” said Larsen.

The electric peristaltic pumps, main control station, and atomizer all draw electricity from the Perkins.

The rest of the power requirements of the seed treater, including a 12-foot conveyer, auger, mover and scissor lift, are hydraulically powered.

The Storm Pro’s 12-foot conveyor is longer than on the Storm, allowing it to meter directly from larger diameter bins as its scissor lift holds the conveyor in place underneath.

“We can get into larger diameter bins now because of the length of the conveyer, including 21, 24, to 27s,” Larsen said.

After the conveyer meters the grain, it is then run through a conical rotary atomizer where the treatments are applied.

“We’ve gone to a rotary atomizer so direct off the end of the conveyer down through the conical atomizer, there is a spinning disk — essentially it’s a stainless steel cup. So each pump is going to be fed into this cup,” he said.

There are two triple-headed peristaltic pumps that meter and then inject product into the conical atomizer and two more pumps can be added.

“We can simultaneously apply four different products now, whereas we were at two before. So the ability to add more as more things come into the marketplace is there,” Larsen said.

The peristaltic pumps are reversible, allowing product to be put back in the tank after a job, which helps operators clean out.

The Storm Pro connects direct to product containers, and the closed calibration system means there is little requirement for users to handle product.

Both the Storm and the Storm Pro use the same calibration system, but with the Pro each product has its own calibration tube so users don’t have to switch back and forth between pumps.

“Everything is controlled from one station. All of the hydraulics, starting and stopping the engine, setting your RPMs. Another neat feature is we can do a mirrored operation and can operate from smartphone or tablet,” Larsen said.

The touch screen control station also controls the conveyer, mixer and the hydraulically powered wheels and steering that move the unit.

Pre-programmed Bayer Crop Science recipes are installed in the computer, and the metering conveyor automatically adjusts seed flow and the peristaltic pumps to match product flow.

To minimize seed damage, the poly flighted mixer can run from 270 to 250 r.p.m.

“We can set the mixer speed dependent on the commodity. So if we’re treating peas we’re going to run it a little bit slower. Feed them in a different fashion to ensure they are not going to get damaged,” Larsen said.

There is an SD port on the machine where software is updated and logs of the treatment jobs are downloaded.

“You can export that into an Excel file and now you’ve got a record of what you’ve done, from the beginning of the season to the end. It stores 50 treating jobs, then it prompts you to dump it to a USB,” he said.

Quick clean-out was integral in the design of the Storm Pro, with a large clean-out door at the bottom of the boot and removable doors on the top and bottom of the conveyor. The discharge end of the auger can come all the way down and touch the ground, and the flighting can be removed for inspection.

Ag Growth International worked with Croplife Canada when designing the Storm Pro to ensure the machine complies with the new equipment standards in the Agrichemical Warehousing Standards Association regulations.

“It has the proper containment, the boot has been proven to seal so we do not need secondary containment. There are trays that run under all of these pumps, catch basins, everything is rooted back into the boot,” Larsen said.

It also has places for personal protective equipment, a first-aid kit, eye-wash station, and fire extinguisher.

The Storm can treat a variety of seed types, including wheat, barley, oats, peas and lentils. It retails for about $90,000.

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