Innovations drive the agriculture industry — and it’s at farm shows like Agri-Trade where producers get a front and centre look at what’s new and different.
For the past eight years, the Red Deer show has highlighted that with its Ag Innovation awards program. This year’s winners — chosen by a panel of farmers — are the Hawkeye Nozzle Control System by Raven Industries, the Blockage Prevention System by Airguard, and the Agri-Data Mobile App by Agri-Data Solution System.
Raven Industries: Hawkeye Nozzle Control System
Raven Industries began in 1956 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and now has a satellite office in Stockholm, Sask. One of its three divisions, the applied technology division, focuses mainly on application control and everything that goes with it — GPS, field computers, and related technologies.
The amount of spray applied by a conventional sprayer is regulated by the amount of flow, so driving at different speeds across the field will alter the spray pattern.
“We use a pulse width (that is) modulated at each nozzle to maintain constant pressure and spray pattern regardless of speed,” said Gary Esselink, lead technical application specialist with Raven. “When applying products with a sprayer you don’t want to over- or underapply. If we can maintain a constant spray pattern at the manufacturer’s recommended rate, regardless of speed, the spray pattern will not be altered and an even application will result.”
Turn compensation happens automatically with this system. When spraying while turning in the field, the outside boom goes faster than the inside boom resulting in underapplication on the outside and overapplication on the inside.
“We’ve added a turn compensation so application is equal across the boom,” said Esselink.
The Hawkeye Nozzle Control System is ISO compatible, including Viper 4; is fully integrated with machine application control systems; and has free support materials on the company’s YouTube channel and website (ravenhelp.com).
Airguard Inc.: Blockage Prevention System
Airguard, founded in 2012, is located in Abbotsford, B.C. Its first product was seed brakes, and the company’s focus is on improving air systems and air drills.
Farmers told company reps that they have issues with plugging, especially with poor fertilizer quality. The company’s investigation found that farmers overseas were using a product to help with the plugging issues.
“We took that concept we saw overseas and improved upon it,” said Brian Cruson, Airguard’s CEO.
The Blockage Prevention System regulates the temperature of the air and reduces the relative humidity in the lines, preventing fertilizer dust from building up and plugging lines. The system takes the hydraulic oil in the tractor and recirculates it in a radiator. There is a manifold that regulates the pressure and the flow rate going through the radiator.
“The product is fairly simple, by using the latent heat of the hydraulic oil, in turn cooling the oil in the tractor which is another side benefit of the product,” Cruson said.
The system mounts directly onto the fan of the air tank, and works for all major air seeding systems.
“If anyone has a drill we don’t have a bracket for, we can easily make one up,” he said.
The Agri-Data Solution: Agri-Data Mobile App
The Agri-Data Mobile App is a full farm-management system. It works offline and does not require cell connectivity to record data in real time. The app has mapping functions for each field, setting benchmarks in fields and navigating back to those benchmark points. It allows for multiple farm users including third-party users, such as agronomists, to log in and record data. The app contains a field scouting module with integration of photos and information on weeds, insects, soil moisture, and key plant development stages. Custom templates for specialty crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries are included.
It also integrates bin management and grain contracts into the same applications, which allow users to track their grain contracts and all loads from the field to a bin; bin to bin; or bin to a contract. An advanced security system allows for different users on the farm to see specific functions. For example, the sprayer operator can only see and enter spray events while the grain hauler can only see and enter loads of grain.