Precisions agriculture is always full of new tech and wonderful surprises! If you’re a fan of precise planting, from drones firing seeds into the ground to drip irrigation systems, you’re going to love the AccuShot system! Developed in the US, this works with your planter to deliver an innovative solution to early fertilising.
The inspiration for this system came from Roger Forsberg, an agronomist from Illinois. With his friends from 2 large research and agricultural tech companies, the AccuShot system was developed to help all farmers. Currently you’re only able to use the product with fertilisers, but they’re hinting that perhaps we’ll see a similar system for apply insecticides in the near future.
The product is still new but already we’ve seen some very promising results. The applications are amazing! This innovative system is pushing agriculture forward. Here’s a bit more about the product:
What is it?
The AccuShot system is an attachment that you can fit to your planter. It allows you to take your fertilising method to a whole new precision agriculture level by fertilising right by the seed.
This attachment comes with several settings that allow you to determine whether you want the fertiliser to go before, on top of, or after the seed has been planted in the ground, so you can control the fertiliser/seed contact.
This tech is more than just a tub that drips out fertiliser: it actually senses when a seed has been planted, so you’re only fertilising where needed. It shoots the fertiliser gently in pulses, accurately spraying where you need the fertiliser. Due to the precision and option to fertilise next to the seed rather than on it, you have more options when it comes to picking a fertiliser to use.
The solenoid controller that’s built into the planter with this attachment accurately calculates the time between dropping the seed or kernel down the seed tube and releasing the fertiliser. This makes for a very accurate integrated system.
Who made it?
This new tech is the product of a collaboration between Great Plains and Capstan Ag Systems. Tom Evans is the agronomic development manager at Great Plains and it was his initial idea that led to the creation of this planter attachment.
He approached Capstan Ag Systems who revealed that they had in fact thought about developing something similar in the past to improve fertilisation at planter level. 4 years later and the AccuShot system was ready to go!
Great Plains had already been market leaders for their high-tech pulse products, but using it to deliver nutrients in a new way was something they hadn’t considered before. To their surprise, the first prototype they developed actually worked, and since then it’s been a case of revising and improving the tech to get it to an incredibly precise level.
How can it help me?
Used correctly, this can be an incredibly effective way to fertilise your seeds. Of course, you’ll first need to ensure that your planter is set up effective. Luckily for you, we’ve already covered that extensively on our blog so just give ‘planter maintenance’ a search to find our comprehensive checklist.
It’s predicted that using this attachment will result in a 50% saving on fertiliser use over the course of the planting season.
Precision application of fertiliser is going to save you time (and therefore money) as you’re only going to be giving your fields a once over with the machinery, planting and fertilising at the same time. This is going to be more time efficient, money efficient as you really are only fertilising exactly where the seeds are planted, and furthermore you’re less likely to compact the soil with multiple goes on the tractor.
This is a very promising start for this new precision agricultural tech. Just stop and think for a minute, go through your farm management plan in your head for the days you plant your new crops – how would this product save you time and money?
The product was only finalised in 2016 but already you can find it available at select Great Plains dealerships across America. Why not give it a try this season!