Return To Main Page
See all our previous broadcasts

Ammonia Has Leaped Ahead With A Return To A Stable Price And Built Next To Your Farm.


Back to the future, New Technology, The Next Chapter, Ben McClure leads the way about 40 years later


Banding into Hybrid Coastal Bermuda Grass.
16 second video
A good video of the machine and the grass land pasture.


A Great Plains Money Maker., On sandy and low CEC soils. 
Ben McClure Banding Exactrix TAPPKTS, 100 lbs. N as NH3 ,10 gallons 10-34-0 or APP and 10 gallons 0-0-25-17S or KTS. 
The Mustangs deep band  to a depth of 7 to 8 inches at Hugoton, June 20, 2019.

22 second video
Click on image to see video

  • Some people think if Henry Seale had an Exactrix P-51C Mustang Tool Bar at Bryan Texas in 1985 he could fertilize his Coastal Bermuda Grass and Bahia Grass in the fastest growing period of the Hybrid Grass.
  • Extra tonnage could have been produced to carry a lot more cows. Just like Ben McClure.
  • Henry could have used KTS® to provide Potassium Thio-Sulfate to rapidly growing pasture.
  • Henry could have  improved the cattle herd health by banding TAPPKTS with micros like Selenium, Zinc, and Manganese at a 1%CV of application to a depth of 8 inches.  
  • An Exactrix Deep Band application would be made in June in the wet summer months with Stabilized TAPPKTS with Zinc and Manganese. A second banding pass following a September Hurricane and following seeding of Triticale, Wintermore Rye and Austrian Winter Peas.
  • Since Rotational Band Loading would be implemented the residual nutrients of summer banding would carry into the mild winter months to supply NPKS and micros to Wintermore Rye and Austrian Winter Peas.


  • In fact Triticale could be considered along with radish.
  • In fact a 40 foot to 50 tool bar could fertilize right after a September Hurricane season and cover about 450 to 500 acres per day. The whole ranch could go to top yields and even exceed 2 cows per acre and move to 3 cows per acre for 12 months of grazing.
  • Ben McClure at Hugoton, KS shows the way for Henry Seale new pastoral management program. 
  • Ben McClure feeds about 2 cows per acre for 6 months at Hugoton on very sandy soil.
  • Henry Seal could feed about 18,000 cows for 12 months using cool season grass, legumes and brassica (Radish and Canola) and even grazing Winter Canola with Triticale.  If he only had a TAPPKTS+Zn,Mn formulator with Mustang  P-51C openers.  

October 28, 1980.
The 30th Annual Meeting of the Fertilizer Roundtable.
Frank Achorn, TVA as the Acting Chairman.

John Douglas of the TVA Assistant to the Manager of Agricultural and Chemical Development TVA….this means that John works for Frank Achorn, A famous personality in the Fertilizer Industry in 1980. 

“We soon discovered that Urea was an economic disaster for Cominco American…..and not for Yielder Drills “. GJS 

  • Cominco American,  had developed Urea in 1978. Urea was not a new material but it was a way for Cominco to export natural gas to the Orient.
  • Urea was truly developed for the third world. Jim Beaton had developed a new process Urea named Urea Gold, 40-0-0-6S. The material had a bright yellow color from the elemental sulfur incorporation into the prill.  Cominco was able to export Alberta Natural Gas and Oil Field Sulfur to the Third World, Mort and Guy Swanson had tried Urea with some success with  “Old Yeller in 1978 and 79.  

We were ready to take our beating with Cominco and Urea. That beating ended in 1984.

Note the Slides from 1980, John Douglas presentation.

Here are few short clips from John Douglas Presentation at the Biltmore in Atlanta, GA. In good times or bad times NH3 has a pricing advantage of 172 percent. Urea does not compete for price or volume. 

In 1980 Ammonia was 6.1 cents per pound N and Urea was 10.3 cents per pound of N.  That  is a lot of money over a farming career….and it does not work well.


  • You are looking at an anhydrous ammonia price range of $100 to $150 per ton.  In August 1980 Natural Gas pricing was at NG $1.59 per 1,000 cu.ft.  The July 26,2020 the NG price is at $1.42 to $1.79.
  • The cost of production in 1980 was considered to be $100 per ton by the TVA. This means corn was priced at about $1.49 per bushel.
  • Should Ammonia be priced at $100 to $300 per ton….yes it should and the Urea failure along with 32-0-0 needs to have a face-off  with NH3.
  • Should Urea be priced at 10.3 cents per lb. of N if NH3 is priced at 6.1 cents per pound of N?   
  • Yes both products should be and can be. Breaking the Oligarch Grip of NH3 with Green Play Ammonia™  is the solution. 
  • Urea may actually drop out of the game since it must be made with CO2.  
  • Urea is a carbamide…it is loaded with CO2.  It is economically dangerous when used in a band.
  • Urea is only a top dress material and ideal for icy driveways on the Great Plains.

In August of 1980, NH3 production was at full capacity in the USA.  

  • As a general comment all nutrient products cost a 8 cents per pound of nutrient in 1980.
  • Only NH3 was priced at 6 cents per pound of N and even lower to 3.6 cents per pound of N in 1980 in the Mountain Valleys of Idaho and Utah.

 What is so special about August 1980? Nothing says it better than:   Ample supplies at maximum US production.

  • 68.4 bushels of corn would buy a ton of NH3 at 82%N.
  • 66.0 bushels of corn would buy a ton of Urea at 46% N.
  • This means that Urea Nitrogen cost 172% more than NH3.
  • Also remember that 1975 was the big Russian Grain Grab. Wheat doubled and tripled in price in the summer of 1974 into 1975.  
  • In 1975 the US Ammonia Plants ran at 75% of capacity.
  • In 1980 The US ammonia plants ran at full capacity.

It is important to note…..that Urea is not what you think it is…..It is not primary nitrogen and never will be primary nitrogen. Only NH3 and Aqua Ammonia is immediately crop available and stable in the soil. This means solution 32-0-0 is mobile nitrate and questionable since half of it is Urea.  

And that is what we finally discovered with the Yielder® Drills. Urea was a dud when banded. It would not convert in time. Urea is a carbamide and can be easily toxic when banded in 15 inch double disc bands at 100 lbs. N per acre.

NH3 works every time in 15 inch and 20 inch bands….and by 1983 every Yielder was being converted to Ammonia and all production was now 85% NH3 and dry 16-20-0-14S in the deep band. Some machines used 10-34-0 and 12-0-026S in the deep band. Also Blends of 11-54-0 and 21-0-0-24S  worked well . These were blends for high P availability in Paired Row. The 15% remaining machines were dedicated to dry 27-12-0-7S Unipel and Acid Base Drills of Southern Idaho.  

The fertilizer industry and their Urea products, 46-0-0 and 40-0-0-6S were not going to get the death grip on No-till. A rock solid decision was to evaluate all nitrogen products. 

  • Anhydrous Ammonia was the winner after about 3 years of testing Aqua Ammonia. Anhydrous Ammonia as the best nitrogen source wherever you went.
  • Testing of  solution 32-0-0 was carried out and found out that did not work in the spring with Feed Barley or Brewing Barley…the Barley laid down and was loaded wit Powdery Mildew. Poor Barley quality was assured at a feed barley price and high harvest costs.
  • Solution 32 in deep bands also backfired for Spring Wheat. Researchers Rasmussen, Wilkins, Klepper and others at Pendleton finally gave up on Solution 32-0-0 with 10-34-0 and 12-0-0-26S  cocktail blends directly placed under each seed row using 16 inch HZ Split Packer Drills.

The nutrient design review was complete by 1984. With the help of the TVA and Land Grand experiment stations. There was a broad geographic area that could not use Urea. 

  • We now understood that fertilizer can be easily misused, misapplied or it can be the ruination of farms like Gary Morris at Potlatch, Idaho.
  • Also many other products were tested and tried. Ammonium Nitrate 34-0-0 and Ammonium Nitrate Sulfate 30-0-0-6S, Ammonium Sulfate 21-0-0-24S, All Urea Types and Blends of Urea were dropped.
  • Jim Beaton of Cominco added a 1 line sentence to the College Agronomy 201 Text Book, Soil Fertility and Fertilizers, Tisdale and Nelson, Beaton and Havlin, “In cold wet soils, Urea may not convert in time to be crop available”.  This is the inventor of Urea promoting the careful use of the material.

Nitrate was never considered in the Yielder® drill designs because it was not a fall  application material. This was proven with the Comfort King Drills and the drinking water problem at Swanson Farms on Clear Creek. 

Mobile Nitrate should never be used in No-tillage due to excellent drainage that allows mobile nitrate to move into the tile lines.


Acid Base Fertilizer. A big load. Acid Base is a form of Urea.

Acid Base fertilizers using Urea as a nitrogen source showed promise in high pH soils of Southern Idaho and Utah. In fact what we know today….this product was not what the farmers thought it was because of the Urea base combined with phosphoric and sulfuric acid. Acid Base has the problem of not being metered accurately (25% to 50% CV) and not immediately crop available..  

Three Products emerged as the best choice in North America. 

27-12-0-7S as a dry formulation by Ortho Chemical Division of Chevron Chemical. This was an ideal product for the Rocky Mountain Valleys of Idaho and Oregon.  It was never successful in Washington State since the farms were big to 20,000 acres, and the product analysis was too low.  

20-0-0 with Nitro-sul and 16-20-0-14S by Cominco, Simplot, Union Collier, CF and others. Used only in PNW and California where it was readily available and also used on smaller farms. Aqua Ammonia is actually more dangerous.  

82-0-0 with 16-20-0-14S by Cominco, Simplot, Union Collier, CF and others. Used In North America and commonly available wherever machines were delivered, NH3 was  designed for farms large or small, Spring Summer or Fall it was the best product to use every single time.  

In Spain five Yielder 8, 10, 12 and 15 foot machines were delivered and all were dry product machines. NH3 was never available or used in Spain.   

Big Acres, 8,000 per field at Bassano Alberta. This producer can run strong and long with 6,000 gallons of NH3 and 24,000 lbs. of phosphate, 11-55-0.  

No matter what continent you are on, NH3 directly applied and today as Exactrix TAPPKTS plus Zinc and Manganese will bring billions of extra dollars of net worth to producers over their careers. Directly applied is the key point. Whenever you can directly apply it.  

This is a very big deal when picking the nitrogen source for your farm.. The deal is simply this….North American farmers evolved over a massive land mass of 400 million acres. Due to low Natural Gas pricing and now low cost and green Wind Powered NH3 it is possible to source low cost NH3 very close to your farm.

Wind powered ammonia can now be built very close to your farm with the material constantly available. Producers can now avoid the availability problem of Oligarchs marketing program.

Now with Exactrix you can get top notch 6 to 8 inch deep banded performance with NH3 using liquid streaming flows promoted by the TVA. There will never be a replacement for NH3 directly applied in liquid streaming flows. Now NH3 performs much like highly crop available Aqua Ammonia with a smooth delivery, no voids at pressures to 300 psi. Long known to be more efficient.  

Fortunately we understand that in North America, NH3 is preferred for maximum economic performance in all types of weather and soil conditions using single disc and double disc openers in No-till. A very major point for controlling Nitrous Oxide and Carbon Dioxide emissions.

What about Wheat, Cotton and Beef.

Aug. 1980, 50.9 bushels of Wheat bought 1 ton of NH3

In August of 1980, 40 years ago, A 314 pound feeder calf bought 1 ton of ammonia. 260 lbs of cotton bought 1 ton of ammonia.

The Nitrogen Outlook, For a complete review of the world capacity of nitrogen in 1980 please click here.

You may want to review how things change and yet they do not really.  

When supplies are ample as they are today , The real price of Ammonia Today is somewhere between $100 to $150 per ton.  

The Natural Gas price is the same today!! The  Mega plants are paid for.  

The price of the energy is important to build NH3 and 1 cent per KW equals $100 per ton. 

“Wind Powered Ammonia, Green Play Ammonia has arrived and brings on the ability to store hydrogen”. GJS

Your Great Plains Reporter.  

      Guy J Swanson 

History Repeats with NH3.
Where is the Corn/Nitrogen Ratio today.
What about Wheat , Cotton and Beef. 1975 thru 1980.

Exactrix Owners, Standby for the announcement of Green Play Ammonia.

Another Great History Story of No-till Farming, Circa 1980.

History does repeat itself with NH3.  

What is the Corn/Nitrogen Ratio? 

Why is NH3 directly applied so popular?…..and why does it work so well?  

How did we get here and where are we going?

Why did the Ammonia Price drop to $250 per ton in July delivered to the farm in DOT transports?  The leading question of the day, July 28,2020.

It is important to study the history of NH3 in North Dakota, Texas, and Georgia and review some historical developments that will help you understand why the ammonia price has dropped in Texas and Kansas in July.  

Will the Ammonia price go back to $800 per ton?  Yes and even much higher since the on-time delivery is not assured.

The river barges no longer move ammonia up river in privately owned barges. The Magellan NH3 Pipeline has been closed which supplied 7 to 8 major Corn and Cotton States. The critical train sets that deliver NH3 no longer exist after 40 years.

Koch Bros. liquidated Farmland’s ability to deliver using up inventory that was in the storage and delivery transport system. The NH3 pipeline no longer exists. Koch slowly and surely killed the producers “Golden Goose” by not rebuilding the NH3 infrastructure.

There is a solution for Exactrix owners. Exactrix owners can read about it in Green Play Ammonia. Yielder NFuel Energy Indication of Interest booklet being delivered out the first week of August, 2020.   

Let us first go to North Dakota and review some historical developments of NH3 application in No-till. This will help you understand why NH3 is so superior.

Bring your wife, son and grandson to the computer and make sure you call your landlord into the discussion, You will enjoy this time proven article of why NH3 repeats itself based on “Ample Supplies”.   Why is NH3 so critical to land values?

In the fall of 1979 the Comfort King Top Dressing No-Till Drill could not be converted to fertilizer placement.  Nitrate applied with the surface broadcasting system was not working well. Scientists had discovered fertilizer placement would be the future of No-till drills due to efficiency of nutrients and weed control.  

Circa 1979-1980.

The timing was right to build the first two fertilizer placement No-tillage Pioneer Drills, The Yielder Pioneer No-tillage drills would do all the fertilizer nitrogen types…Urea 46-0-0, URAN 32-0-0, and Aqua Ammonia 20-0-0, and Anhydrous Ammonia 82-0-0 were the options. 

The first NH3 drill to place ammonia was built from durable stainless steel and delivered the summer of 1981. The first NH3 application in double disc, Pioneer Yielder Drill went to Marvin Dick at Munich ND.  

Marvin Dick’s farm is close to Devils Lake and the famous experiment station at Langdon North Dakota.  The smaller drill in the Google Earth picture is Marvin’s first Yielder Pioneer drill.

A Pioneer Yielder, Model 1515 or 15-inch bands and 7.5 inch seed rows. The first 15 were built in Palouse Washington and eventually 150 were built in Spokane.

By end of Marvin’s career in 1998 he had purchased four Yielder Drills as shown above as a current Google Earth picture of Mike Dick’s farmstead. Mike was a 6 year old boy in the fall of 1981. He was helping his dad seed winter wheat.  

Marvin Dick was also a seedsman and very interested in winter wheat and it’s potential in No-till in North Dakota conditions. His seed plant was modest and efficient. The Seed processing plant was at his father’s farm.  

Winter Wheat was changing North Dakota in the early 80’s because Dr. Elmer Stobbe of the University of Manitoba and Bob Nowatski of the Langdon Experiment Station, ND had a real clue. Winter Wheat could be raised in North Dakota when seeded into standing stubble.  

A major break with winter wheat in the rotation  applying NH3 and MAP mid row and MAP in row  at seeding.

Winter Wheat in the economics of this part of North Dakota was ideal to spread out the risk. It also reduced the producers spring work load with winter wheat well established on about 1/3 of the acres.  Anhydrous Ammonia was chosen for several reasons. NH4 is ammonium and it could be used in fall application because it was stable and immediately crop available.

Nitrate nitrogen applied to the winter wheat would elongate the cell producing a thin cell wall. Nitrate enhances the dehydration of winter wheat producing freeze damage and broken cell walls. Urea would not be available in time due to the poor and critical conversion in cold wet soils.   Marvin knew ammonia would work best on his farm.


August 1981 thru 1985.  

One of the greatest stories for the time was about Cattle and No-till. It was about Henry Seale.  

A No-Till Cattleman and conservator of 6,000 No-tillage acresHe went from 1 stocker feeder on 1 acre or 6,000 stockers feeder cows to 13,500 head.  

Henry did have a No-tillage enterprise with no-tillage Yielder® seeded cool season grass, Wintermore Rye and Austrian winter peas seeded into Hybrid Coastal Bermuda Grass and Bahia Grass.

In 1983 a cattle producer with a 13,500 cow herd would need a big banker in today’s world In 1985 with interest rates at 18% it was critical to have a big margin beef production system.  

Henry’s pastoral management system was a world record production system.  It was known to produce full gain on stocker feeders.  This was a 2.2 times increase in beef production. The calculator says this was less than one half acre per cow. The Seale Ranch could get full gain on 13,500 cows because his No-till pasture carrying capacity was exceptionally good at storing moisture and getting pasture crops to grow fast with two Yielder Drills and two Steiger Tractors.   

Henry made a great conservation move in a 40 to 50 inch rainfall with plenty of named hurricanes and tropical depressions coming into the Bryan, Texas cattle ranch. These storms were washing out entire farms and ranches that used tillage.  Why didn’t he raise cotton, wheat or corn. Henry said, “Guy, you are like a son to me, I want to teach you, you see them cows out there, those are my combines.”    

Henry Seale was definitely ahead of the pack…and few oil wells helped him along.   

Henry had capital from oil minerals to improve the land and make a profit.  

Another Great History Story about NH3 over 40 years. 

Henry’s Biggest problem was Urea and banding. Urea would not work in the humid climate of the Gulf Coast.  

He could not band Urea effectively due to humid weather at time of seeding.  

The temperature was too high to surface apply the Urea. He needed fertilizer placement to hide the nutrients from the weeds.  

Henry needed an answer that the Yielder® No-till drill did not have in 1985….He needed an Exactrix P-51C Mustang Tool Bar.


John Cory
Security West Financial

Call your new banker, John Cory, Security West Financial.   (509) 994-8555 You can go off the balance sheet and work with the best using the strength of Farm Credit and others.

John will help you spend about $40,000 annually to make $150,000 more annually by spending only $60 per acre in irrigated production for fertilizer. John understands the cycles of agriculture and how to keep your balance sheet looking good.

At the end of five years you will own a powerful machine that continue to produce good returns having already been paid for at the end of the first year.  You can even apply for your neighbors with a Mustang Tool Bar.

At 1,000 acres of corn, An internal bottom line savings of $750,000 over five years on 5,000 acres of corn.  

An Exactrix Mustang Tool Bar capable of producing $550,000 of internally available funds in five years.   

  See Video 

Top yields, best margin and the new leader in VRT-Site Specific, Small Grains Expert. Eric Odberg at Genesee, Idaho breaking winter wheat yield records. Exactrix TAPPS at Catholic Canyon using 4 management zones. Exactrix Site-Specific, Variable Rate

"Paul Gangwish, Drone Video"
Track Machines improve production 200%.
Application time cut in half at 1 acre per minute.
Up to $150 more net income per acre.

The 2017 Agronomy Review.

Meeting your formulation needs.  

Picking your metering systems.  

Need more information on advanced crop production.


For More Information:
509.254 6854