Harvest is starting to get underway for most parts of the Corn Belt and hopefully everyone has a safe harvest season. But before we know it harvest will be over and granular fertilizer application will be in full swing. There are several things to keep in mind when beginning to apply that I will outline in this blog.
You will want to create a new season in the display as the 2015 crop is now complete. Creating a “2016 Crop” season before applying will keep your application data tied with the rest of the operations for the 2016. After you have exported your harvest data, and successfully loaded into SMS on the computer, you can delete the 2015 season from the display. This prevents the display memory from filling up.
Make sure all the products and product mixes are entered in the display. Verify they are all in the correct units. Having correct units is very important especially when using variable rate prescriptions. The other thing that needs to be selected properly when loading the configuration is the controlling product. For example, if you are applying DAP, you can select it to control in lbs of total DAP, lbs of Nitrogen, or lbs of Phosphorus. If just running on a straight target rate, this is up to the user. If you are running variable rate prescriptions, the controlling product must be the same as what the prescription is written for or product will be applied at an incorrect rate.
Before loading product into the spreader, inspect all the cabling for pinched or damaged wires. Inspect the encoders and modules for any damage as well as check for any blown fuses. Make sure the display is up to date on firmware. The most current version can be found on the Ag Leader Knowledgebase. The next step is to verify the control valve and encoder operation. To be able to run the system with the machine parked, the document “How to Test an Encoder” outlines the steps to adding a manual speed. It is important to remove the manual speed before going out to actually apply.
Each product will need to be calibrated. There are two calibration processes that need to be completed. The first one to be completed is a static calibration that is done just sitting still. The second one is an in-field calibration that will fine tune the static calibration. This is done while applying in the field. A complete description of the calibrations can be found in the display operator manual.
For questions or reference material on DirectCommand Granular Operation, the display manual and Ag Leader Knowledgebase are always available. Your local Ag Leader Dealer and Ag Leader Technical Support are also available options for any questions or troubleshooting concerns that may arise this season.