A new course for nitrogen
Gregg Sauder, 360 Yield Center founder and former CEO of Precision Planting, invited farmers to his farm in Tremont, Illinois, to see field demos of the nitrogen management products released by the company he formed a year ago.
Attendees also got a sneak peek at some products to be released this fall, as well as some still in the design phase, to further expand the company’s growing arsenal of products that pick up where Sauder’s former planter attachment company left off.
“If you know me, I never walk away from a cornfield,” Sauder said. “There’s no question that the planter sets the yield potential. But once you’re done with planting, there is a lot that you and I can do from that day forward to foster crop growth.
“And that is why we are here today — to talk about how to capture the most potential, no matter what nature has done for us. It is about listening to your corn and creating happy corn,” he adds. That’s where Sauder’s products fit in.
360 Yield Center makes product retrofits designed to fine-tune nitrogen application. Sauder believes split application, or dividing up the amounts throughout the crop cycle rather than all at once, is the key to high yields. Therefore, the company makes nitrogen equipment add-ons and tools that allow farmers to do that.
“For those of you who are here today, I’m telling you if we are going to get to 300-bushel yield, we’re not going to do it with a single application of nitrogen in the fall. Split N application is the future.”
The company unveiled two products that are new for this fall. One is a free field app called 360 Yield Patrol that maps where soil samples were pulled. The iPhone app works in conjunction with a portable soil lab called 360 Soilscanthat analyzes soil to determine nutrient content.
The results are used in a formula that calculates where additional nitrogen should be applied, and how much more. “We believe measurement is as important as modeling in determining what a crop actually needs,” commented Ron Lloyd, company agronomist and field research lead, in reference to formulas that predict yield response to certain variables such as weather. “Forecasts aren’t always accurate.”
Another new product, born out of the purchase of the Liquimatic system by aNH3, is 360 Equi-Flow, an NH3 application system. The product, which is designed to work on anhydrous ammonia toolbars, uses a gas separation method and pump pressure to keep anhydrous ammonia in a liquid form, so less is lost to the environment.
“Anhydrous ammonia is very mobile,” said Josh Messer, 360 Yield Center regional agronomy manager. “It turns into nitrate, which is nonbonding, and you will lose it.”
The current system will have a limited release this fall. The complete, redesigned system will be available in 2016.