Getting the exact rate of liquid fertilizer

ExactRate is John Deere’s new factory-installed liquid fertilizer application system for farmers who want to apply liquid fertilizer during planting and who want precise nutrient placement from their planters.

This factory-installed option monitors and controls the application of liquid fertilizer during planting, said Deere’s Brady Alley.

He explained that the system shuts off flow in areas of overlap or non-application. This enables row-by-row section control for curve compensation, thus reducing fertilizer costs and the amount of chemicals applied. The system runs on prescription maps plus the operator can adjust rates in-cab. It requires electric drive.

“We pulled much of the Exact-Rate technology from our ExactApply sprayers, so it’s a proven technology,” says Alley.

“Here’s how it works. Fluid flows from the tank back to the pump, going through a central flow meter and boom pressure sensor. Then the fluid flows past a boom isolation valve, which keeps constant pressure out into the stainless-steel distribution lines. We know there’s constant pressure in those lines and we know there’s always fluid available.

“Now, all we have to do to meter the liquid fertilizer is use pulse width modulation, just like on a sprayer. We simply open and close the valve quickly, according to how much liquid we need to send down the line to the soil, in accordance with the prescription.”

The system shuts off flow in areas of overlap or non-application with row-by-row section control, which also handles curve compensation, thus reducing the amount of fertilizer applied. The system runs on prescription maps plus the operator can adjust rates in-cab. ExactRate is only available on planters with electric drive. | Jeff Barger/John Deere photo

There are two methods of putting liquid into the soil. The in-furrow system places the liquid after the seed tube and dribbles it into the furrow. The offset frame mounted opener has adjustable arms to change the location of liquid entering the soil. That coulter can be set for various depths and lateral distances from the seed.

Alley says ExactRate apps are compatible with Deere’s 4640 Universal Display and 4600 Command Center. It provides in-cab flow detection and in-field documentation for operators. It compensates for commanded rate changes, speed changes and curve compensation.

ExactRate is not compatible with all John Deere planters. It only works with electric drive planters including the 1775NT, 1795, DB60, DB44 and DB66. Thanks to its hydraulic-driven pump, ExactRate can be operated at maximum speeds of 10 miles per hour.

Liquid fertilizer can be dribbled into the furrow. Or it can be applied through this offset, frame-mounted disc with adjustable arms to change the location. That coulter can be set for various depths and lateral distances from the seed. | Dan Videtich/John Deere photo

Alley says, “Using ExactRate, customers can follow the 4R Principles of Nutrient Stewardship by applying the right product, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.

“We start taking orders June, with shipments starting this fall. Then we’re going to do some retrofit work to see how far back we can go putting the system on older planters.”

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