Exactrix® Global Systems
Frequently Asked Questions.
Based on 9 years of experience and
hundreds of Exactrix® Systems sold on two continents you can review
the typical questions asked. The questions come from producers in
the US Corn Belt (78%), the US Northern Great Plains Spring Grains
area (10%), the High Plains Winter Wheat Belt (5%), the steep slopes
of the Pacific Northwest soft white winter wheat area (2%), the
Canadian Prairies (5%). Minor sales have occurred in the Cotton
production areas of the US and the corn and small grains area of
Glossary of Common
How many Exactrix® Liquid Direct
Injection NH3 systems have been sold?
About 1.5 million acres worth as near
as we can tell. Some systems will apply up to 25,000 acres per year.
Other smaller systems will apply 500 acres per year. So the best way
to measure the impact of Exactrix® is too review the acres applied
and then relate the acres to the net dollars. The annual additional
net return is between 30 million dollars to 60 million dollars. Yes
that is correct 1.5 million acres in Exactrix® application is
producing up to 60 million dollars of additional revenue every year.
Some of those dollars come from savings in the material and some
comes in additional yield. You should pay for your Exactrix® system
in the first year or less.
The 30 to 60 million-dollar variation
is due to the varying cost of NH3 and the variance in yield
generally observed in the western US. Five years of drought in
dryland farming means yields have been reduced…..But so has risk to
the tune of $15 to $25 per acre in NH3 costs. Yields with Exactrix®
increase about 5% to 10% with single product systems. Dual product
systems have a typical yield increase of 8% to 16%.
We maintain Exactrix® owner files on
about 85% of all the systems sold over the last 9 years. Each owner
is contacted twice yearly. We follow all systems with a fervor for
excellence. The remaining 15% of the Exactrix® systems sold were by
OEM’s or distributors. They did not report the end user to
Exactrix®. But we do know that 85% of the owners are well pleased.
What is Exactrix® Liquid NH3?
The Exactrix® system delivers liquid
state NH3 to the soil at high pressures. No freezing lines is the
initial observation. No freezing injection lines mean liquid
delivery is occurring. The Exactrix® liquid injection lines are ¼”
diameter or 3/16” diameter.
Exactrix® Liquid NH3 delivery means
there are no hot spots or “globs” in the band. The
streaming flow of liquid Exactrix® NH3 has 1.5 horsepower at the
injection terminal orifice or injection tip inside the soil opener.
The diameter of the narrow liquid NH3 stream is .021” to .040”
The Exactrix® high pressure, 300 psi
terminal orifice delivery, actually burns the NH3 into the soil
another 2 inches in depth. In fact band temperatures reach 800
degrees F as the hydrogen is split off from the soil stored
carbohydrates, C6-H12-O6 and soil moisture H2O. The unique reaction
with soil stored hydrogen allows the band to be driven 50 to 100
times deeper than the .021 inch orifice diameter.
The liquid NH3 injection allows
separation of the seed from toxic fertilizer. Thus new opener
designs can be used to place NH3 with seeding drills and planters.
In fact in many cases the NH3 can be placed inside the seeding
Liquid NH3 delivery to the soil
allows horsepower to be reduced and shank tillage placement is no
longer used. The result is No-tillage placement of NH3. Smaller
tractors or greater machine widths can be used without costly soil
disturbance and loss of moisture.
The soil openers do not freeze and
liquid 10-34-0 and 12-0-0-26S can be mixed with 82-0-0 to form TAPPS
right at the injection point. The crystals of Tri Ammonium Poly
Phosphate Sulfate are formed making placed P most efficient. Placed
S stabilizes the NH3 and allows the plant to feed on balanced blend
Scientists have studied Tri Ammonium
Poly Phosphate Sulfate or TAPPS for years but there has never before
been a means to form the material outside the soil or inside the
soil and make a uniform delivery.
Freezing lines indicate sinusoidal
flow or steady by jerks application. Exactrix® is a streaming flow
and uniform with a non-sinusoidal flow. An example of this technique
is Aqua Ammonia or ammonia saturated in water. Aqua Ammonia 20-0-0
has been used for forty years by researchers and scientists to mimic
NH3 application in test plots.
Aqua Ammonia is easier to handle in
test plots. The plot performance is always 50% higher performance or
efficiency when Aqua Ammonia is used over Anhydrous Ammonia in test
plots. This is because Aqua Ammonia is delivered in a liquid stream
with no hot spots.
The “globs” of gas and liquid state
delivery…freezing lines….means the liquid state of mixed gas and
liquid flow is 100 times more concentrated than the gas state flow.
The plant roots burn off in these highly concentrated areas around
the NH3 band. This results in yield loss and the placed nitrogen can
not be used by the growing crop. The placed and highly concentrated
NH4 in the “globs” is then lost to the environment.
You can study liquid NH3 delivery and view the
www.Exactrix®.com/Sine.htm. For the
first time NH3 is delivery just like any liquid fertilizer….but
Exactrix® NH3 can be driven deeper into the soil without extra
tractor horsepower and tillage. No sinusoidal flow and furthermore
Exactrix® NH3 can now outperform Aqua Ammonia in test plots and
The Exactrix® lineal bands are like the “white
fog line” on the highway with visual connectivity. Other NH3 systems
are like the highway “yellow dotted center line” which require the
concentrated yellow dots to be connected. Go to
www.Exactrix®.com/Visual.htm and you
can visually see sinusoidal delivery of dry fertilizer.
The depth of the Exactrix® liquid NH3
band can be generated 2 inches deeper than the injection soil line
point. This is a very important point since the soil is not
shattered with tillage and leaky NH3 moving around in the soil. The
soil microbes have less area to feed on with an Exactrix® band and
this allows the Exactrix® liquid NH3 band to be more stable.
How important is uniform application of
It has been known for years that NH3
pressure reducing systems have variances of 3 to 4 times shank to
shank. This was not a big deal when NH3 was $100 per ton. This is a
big problem at $500 per ton and climbing. However if yield is
considered it was still a problem at the old price.
The NH4 molecule does not move horizontally.
So each corn row is really growing from one placed band of NH3. The
same is true for wheat. The most accurate pressure reducing NH3
system has only one shank. Ridge till farmers that apply NH3 in
alignment or index with the corn rows will tell you that NH3 does
not move horizontally. Pinch rows or short corn ear rows are often
observed at harvest due to poor nitrogen application uniformity.
variance that is set up by the pressure reducing NH3 system is due
to gas state and liquid state NH3 flowing through the system. You
know this is true because the lines freeze indicating gas state
flow. Slopes and poor knife condition also makes the problem even
worse. The only way to overcome the problem is to move to a single
state liquid flow. This single state NH3 flow is Exactrix® Direct
Injection NH3 or liquid flow to the injection point.
Now the application can be made at a 1% CV or 1 pound
up and 1 pound down port to port at the 100 pound N/A rate.
You may have a system that hits the
applied per acre rate but the band rate is what the plant feeds
on. If the Roundup label states 10 gallons per acre you will
select 10-gallon spray tips. To duplicate the effect of a poor
pressure reducing NH3 system you would install 5-gallon tips,
10-gallon tips, and 15-gallon spray tips in some random order. You
may have two 5 gallon spray tips next to each other when you random
install the spray tips. Your average applied rate will be 10 gallons
per acre. The net result would be a lousy Roundup application due to
Another example is a planter with one
unit at 15,000 plants, the next unit at 30,000 plants and next at
45,000 plants per acre. Now you have a very visual indication of
high variability. You could even have two planter units side by
side at 15,000 or 45,000. One of the problems with NH3 application
is that the NH3 rate can not be measured at each shank in the
field. The first indication of a problem comes in the growing crop
at close to tassel or when the crop is harvested.
Short or stubby corn ears are an
excellent indication of inadequate nitrogen. When NH3 application
is aligned with the corn row such as ridge till the producer can
immediately identify where the problem is at the application tool
bar. In fact strip till also has this potential problem. In fact
wheat producers also see this with no-till seeding equipment that
have dedicated bands to dedicated rows. Most NH3 is applied at a
diagonal to the planter rows. Thus the problem is not near as
visual at harvest or close to tassel. Dedicated rows to bands will
allow you to easily identify the problem the high variance NH3
In order to compensate for the low
bands of NH3 application the producer must raise the NH3 application
rate 30% to 40% and still some corn rows do not feed optimally. In
fact some corn rows may have a double rate of nitrogen with these
old pressure reducing systems. In fact the cooler bands may be 3
times above the recommended rate. Nitrate poisoning and corn burn
can result but the most critical aspect is that this material is
lost to the environment and producers risk has been increased due to
the elevated rate.
Yes it is true…50% of all the
nitrogen ever applied has not been used by the growing crop. This
is due to poor timing of application, non-uniform application,
drought, denitrification and volatilization. NH3 when properly
applied with uniform Exactrix® NH3 high pressure application and
timing will produce higher yields than any other fertilizer types
and methods of application. It is not uncommon to produce top yields
with a total of .8 pounds of N per bushel including soil and seed
row N credits.
It is true that corn yields are
coming in at .7 to .8 pounds of total N per bushel with Exactrix®
uniform application and timing. In fact yields are going up when an
Ortho program is employed with dual placement. The next chapter in
corn is dual placement with 3 times more bands. Band and row
spacing of 7.5 inch is now possible with dual placement in wheat
Who is buying Exactrix® NH3 Direct
Approximately 90% of the
Exactrix® systems utilized for corn
production are sold from the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains to
the Ohio River valley. The three leading states for Exactrix®
Nebraska, and Kansas. 75% of all the producers use high speed (10
mph) single disc openers to improve the seed bed quality producing
better moisture infiltration (No-till).
The producers who buy Exactrix® in
this production area are concerned about 3 factors.
The Mississippi River drainage is overloaded with nitrates
depositing into the Gulf of Mexico. This is the Gulf Hypoxia problem
that is causing great alarm. Approximately 55% of the nutrients are
coming from agricultural runoff. Several financial incentives are
available to producers from state and federal agencies to reduce the
use of NH3 with accurate Exactrix® System technology. California,
the PNW and the Eastern Seaboard are also target areas for nitrate
release reduction into the rivers and drinking water. Last year
some cities such as Seward,
were above the critical nitrate levels in the drinking water. The
city actually shut down the drinking water recommendation in the
growing season. Don’t drink the water…time out.
NH3 pricing is averaging $495 to $600 per ton. This is about triple
the previous pricing of the 1990’s Actually NH3 is a good buy to
$2,000 per ton. Producers will just use as much of it at this
price. Producers realize that they can reduce the use of the
material up to 50% with uniform and timely application. In fact some
test plots with side dress TAPPS reduce NH3 usage 70% using timing
and no-tillage single disc openers. As NH3 prices move up so do all
other synthetic fertilizer types as old solution inventories are
used up. NH3 is always the low cost winner and corn prefers NH3, as
the plant’s N source. All other nitrogen sources cost at least 30%
more and are not as stable in the soil. Fertilizer dealers normally
have a 15% margin with NH3 and a 25% margin with solution
fertilizers…..So don’t get caught, and remember corn prefers NH3.
Solution fertilizers volatilize or salt out in storage and have 3
times the transportation cost of low cost NH3. Solution fertilizers
have a very major disadvantage when compared to pressure vessel
stored, 82.3% N Anhydrous Ammonia.
Exactrix® application is even and uniform. Every corn row and corn
plant feeds evenly. Yields do go up 7% to 10% with much lower rates
of applied N using the Exactrix® Direct Injection NH3 System with
application timing. TAPPS formulation increases yields 8% to 16%.
If you have super-elevated rates of NH3 you may or may not see this
typical yield increase but you will be able to reduce the use of
material 40% to 50%. Timing of the application is very important to
get top yields. Narrow band spacing also improves nitrogen
performance in certain years by adding more access sites. Narrow
bands of 15” of less will also not burn the emerging corn plant in
actual field studies and production practices in Indiana, Ontario
and Nebraska. Diluting the NH3 bands and adding more bands in now
achievable with single disc openers.
The size of the Exactrix® corn
producer varies between 750 acres irrigated to 30,000 acres
irrigated and dryland. The typical corn producer has 1,000 acres of
corn and 1,000 acres of soybeans. The smaller producers normally
utilize the 2KFT Exactrix® System. Larger producers favor the 2KD “
Weigh Master” which is highly accurate and easily justified on 750
acres or irrigated corn to 5,000 acres of corn production.
If producers also custom apply NH3
they will purchase the 2KD “Elite Custody Transfer” system which is
a state approved dynamic scaling system. This system allows the
applicator to bill the customer for the NH3 with no mechanical
scaling of wagons required. The Elite Custody Transfer 2KD systems
often cover 20,000 to 30,000 acres per year as pre-plant applicators
at 60 feet in width.
The Weigh Master series adds $1.75 or
additional income at the 100 pound per acre rate and allows test
plots to be set up in 5 pound N per acre increments.
Small grain producers utilize the
Exactrix® system on all types of airseeders. 90% of the airseeders
are utilized in single pass, No-till grain production. About 20% of
the airseeders are single disc openers Case IH Deere, Flexicoil and
Bourgault. Shank type airseeders are presently the most popular
application using Atom Jet, Farmland E-Sweep, Concord, Dutch,
Flexicoil, Kile E-type and Anderson/Lange openers.
Atom Jet openers have produced outstanding results in North Dakota
and Canada. Farmland E-Sweep openers reduce horsepower to about 50%
Anderson deep tillage openers. Producers have converted to the
E-sweep type opener to increase machine width or to allow the use a
smaller tractor with less tillage. Seed placement and yields have
been excellent. The
Northern Great Plains
small grain producers vary in size from 2,500 acres to 10,000 acres.
Why do producers buy an Exactrix®
The number 1
reason is economics. The average additional net return is
$20 per acre. Corn on corn producers are reporting $40 per acre of
additional net return. The entire Exactrix® investment is paid back
easily in the first crop. The even uniform application reduces NH3
use from 30% to 50%. The corn yield increase is from 7% to 10%.
Several producers have set up plots and confirmed their returns. In
fact Exactrix® will pay producers $1,000 to set up plots and report.
The number 2
reason is No-tillage single disc openers.
Two major factors limit corn yields….Nitrogen and moisture in the
ground where it falls. Some NRD’s require No-tillage application on
nutrients. Shank opener application of NH3 will disqualify the
producer for farm program payments. Ridge tillers also prefer
single disc application since the single disc openers leave the seed
bed crown undisturbed. The Exactrix® Terminal Injection Orifice
drives the NH3 into the soil another 2” in depth in a vertical
band. Thus the openers are set shallow at 3” to 4” in depth and the
NH3 is placed at 5” to 6” depth. The horsepower requirement and
tillage are greatly reduced.
The number 3
reason is narrow 7.5”, 10”, and 15” NH3/P band spacing with single
It has long been known that 30” band spacing is limiting corn
yields. Placed phosphate will not effectively produce top yields on
30” band centers. Pre-plant application of NH3 will burn corn
(germination damage) on 30” centers under dry or higher soil pH
conditions. Narrow pre-plant band application will dilute the NH3
concentration and allow planting to occur immediately. Dry or
liquid phosphate and sulfur can now be placed with the NH3 producing
higher yields and greater N and P efficiency.
Tri-ammonium-phosphate-sulfate is formulated with dual placement.
Nutrient uptake by the plant is greatly increased allowing more soil
moisture to be harvested. The nutrient efficiency is especially
profound in the first 9 to 10 weeks of crop production. The typical
single disc opener used in this dual placement application for corn
production is the Deere airseeder, 1850, 1860, 1890, and 1690. The
new Deere 1690 is triple utilized as a No-till preplant dual
placement applicator, a winter wheat seeder with placement and as a
soybean seeder with low CV Deere CCS metering system.
The number 4
reason is high-speed application.
With single disc openers such as Bourgault MRB, Deere 1690 and 1890,
the X-16, and certain modified Yetter openers the ground speed is
often doubled. The ground speed is typically at 10 mph and up to 14
mph depending on the opener and the condition of the field. It also
possible to fertilize established wheat with these openers. Sod can
also be fertilized.
The number 5
reason is cold weather application to 0*F.
In fact all Exactrix® 2KD systems are designed to apply NH3 at high
flow rates to 0*F. This improves the application window since soil
temperatures must be below 50* F in most states. Nebraska does not
permit NH3 application until Nov. 1 of the production year. So much
of the NH3 must be applied through the winter months and right up to
What are the economics of Exactrix®
Liquid Direct Injection NH3 application?
You will pay for the system the first
1,000 acres if you irrigate your crop. Dryland producers may have a
few problems with the weather but the risk is reduced since the NH3
rate is reduced 30% to 50%. The NH3 application cost for the
applicator is normally $7.00 per acre. Planter applied producers
say it is an automatic $25.00 per acre net reduction in risk as per
dryland producer Greg Carlson of Waverly, NE.
Exactrix® also pays $1,000 directly to
the producer for randomized and replicated test plots using an
independent agronomist and weigh wagons. Your Exactrix® test plot
data will set up your profitability for many years to come. The test
plots always prove that NH3 or N is at least 30% to 50% overapplied.
Dryland and irrigated producer Steve Weise of
Clatonia, NE. has reduced his NH3 dryland application rate from 180
lbs. N per acre fall applied to 80 to 100 lbs. N per acre planter
applied. Steve varies his N rate with his plant population rate on
dryland corn. Saving 100 lbs of N per acre at 32 cent N as NH3 is
$32.00 per acre plus the tool bar cost of $7.00 per acre. Now add
the yield increment and you have a very happy producer with 2,000
acres of precision fertilized corn. In the good years Steve can
realize $90,000 per year of additional net income. In the dry years
his risk is reduced at least $40.00 per acre compared to the old
fall applied approach. Go to
Council Bluffs, Iowa producer Chad
Eitmann says his returns are greater to the yield side than what he
had planned with his planter applied Exactrix® system. Plus Chad can
pickup additional land when landlords realize he no longer uses
shanks to apply NH3 on rolling loess hills of the Missouri Valley.
Indiana producer Jason Foltz found no
difference in yield at 187 bushels per acre in all test plots. The
plots were set at 100, 150, 200, and 250 lbs. N per acre. The
Exactrix® metered the NH3 evenly to each 30” band on soybean ground.
His typical rate was 200 lbs. N as NH3 prior to Exactrix®. Today he
continues to reduce N and take higher yields. His 2KD “Weigh
Master” system challenges the scales at the fertilizer dealer in all
temperature ranges. In fact the differences are as little as 30 lbs
material in 26,000 lbs applied.
producer Steve Mader covers 8,000 to 12,000 acres with a Deere 1820,
45-foot airseeder. Steve is a dryland wheat producer in three
different rainfall and harvest scenarios. He seeds HRWW, DNSW, SWWW,
SWSW and legumes such as peas and lentils. His plots were seeded
Nov. 1, 02 and you can see them at
Steve’s plots indicated there was no difference in yield between 50
and 110 pounds of N per acre. Steve reports that NH3 and No-till
has been his major keys in increasing his operation size from 3,000
acres to 8,000 acres in 22 years of continuos No-till. Economics is
Steve’s only reason for purchasing the dual product Exactrix®/Delta
P/Legacy 6,000 mapping system.
Kansas producer Ray Bange reports no
difference in yield between 45 pounds of N to 190 pounds of N
producing 250 bushels per acre in irrigated ridge till in 2004. Ray
uses dual placement TAPPS. This is a dual product system modified to
15-inch band spacing in 2004 using Bourgault single disc openers.
Ray will continue to test nutrient efficiency using a dual product
system with Thiosul. Ray received $1,000 from Exactrix® for his test
plot work in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He uses a certified agronomist to
set up his random and replicated test plots.
Munich, North Dakota producer Terry Haglin
proved the DNSW does not need 110 pounds of N….40 pounds of N will
do it. The savings proved out at $22.00 per acre in 2005. Terry
uses Atom Jet openers with narrow 7.2 inch row spacing on his
Flexicoil 5000 airseeder. Randomized and replicated test plots prove
that Exactrix® N is at least 50% more crop available. Go to
Which Exactrix® System is best for my
Anhydrous Ammonia application needs?
Your needs are simply based on flow of NH3 in one minute of time.
You must determine your maximum NH3 flow rate. If you are a VR-N
candidate make sure you consider your maximum flow rate at highest
ground speed. Most producers allow for a 25% design margin above
maximum anticipated flow. This allows for low tank pressure in cold
weather, rolling ground and low tank elevation.
Calculate gallons per minute flow by
multiplying acres per minute X’s gallons of NH3 per acre. Remember
4.21 lbs. of N is in each gallon of agricultural grade NH3.
Example, 200 lbs of N per acre is
47.50 gallons NH3 per acre. A 40-foot applicator will cover .808
acres at 10 mph. .808 acres per min. X’s 47.50 gallons per acre =
38.38 gallons per minute. Always multiply your top rate and speed
for gallons per minute at 38.38 gpm X’s a 1.25 design margin = 47.98
gallons per minute.
Note: A 5 mph application will be .5
of 48 gallons per minute with design margin or 24 gallons per minute
with a 1.25 design margin. A 60-foot tool bar will be 1.5 times 48
gallons per minute or 72 gallons per minute with a 1.25 design
margin. So now you can calculate your flow with a 1.25 design
margin by multiplying your machine width compared to 40 feet or
multiply your ground speed compared to 10 mph based on 200 lbs. N
per acre maximum application rate. 150 lbs. N/A is 36 gallons per
minute at 10 mph at 40 feet with 1.25 design margin.
Direct Liquid Injection Systems: 2KF, 2KC, and 2KD; in order of
flow volume from 3 to 110 gallons per minute. Remember as flow goes
up so does cost. Pick the system that meets your maximum needs. You
will be applying 40% more crop useable N.
Below 20 to 25 gallons per minute or 6,300 lbs. N per hour you
should order a 2KC or 2KF series and use top outlet tanks.
The older design or used 2KF series can also apply up to 43.5 gpm or
11,000 lbs. N per hour…. But two top outlet tanks or bottom outlet
tanks. Bottom outlet tanks are required at 20 gpm or greater.
Typical applications are: Corn planters, shank type Airseeders and
shank type 40 foot or less tool bars are typical applications.
Ground speeds are normally no greater than 7 mph.
You will note that the 2KF system
uses a piston pump to deliver a metered flow with each revolution of
the pump (.1236 gallons per revolution). The pressure increasing
metering pump is unique and very repeatable in testing. The
pressure increasing metering pump is also the flow meter. A 360-slot
shaft encoder with a divide by 4 feature is installed on the pump
drive shaft. Thus 100 rpm at 3,600 pulses divided by 4 is 900
counts at the controller. This is 12.36 gallons per minute of
NH3….200 rpm is 24.72 gallons per minute.
The 2KF, E-6 pump will raise
injection pressure 125 psi above tank pressure and will operate
continuously at 100 psi above tank pressure. The pump comes with
documentation showing pump repeatability in testing and actual
The 2KF system uses a 1.5 gallon
Phase Shifter to assure true liquid flow into the pump. The
hydraulic drive 2KF can be utilized with Mid-Tech, Raven, Rawson,
Dickey-john and Big John Computrol controllers. Hiniker and
Microtrak are not compatible since they cannot control a hydraulic
flow control valve for the hydraulic motor. The 2KF system with
Phase Shifter has vent tubes that must be attached to two selected
openers. The two make-up injection orifices are downsized to match
the vent tube flow to produce even NH3 applied bands. The tested
band accuracy for the 2KF systems is 3.1% CV liquid injection of
The 2KF piston pump system is
volumetric. Therefore the controller bulk density number must be
adjusted as the tank pressure changes. The 2KF system is not as
accurate as the 2KC 2KD “Weigh Master”. However, the 2KF is about
20 times more accurate than any other pressure-reducing manifold NH3
system in service. An optional cab monitor temperature gauge allows
the operator to change the bulk density number to produce applied
accuracy of 0.5% to 0.8% of the target rate. The 2KF system is
designed for maximum safety. The pump is agricultural grade and
The 2KF systems are priced between
$23,000 to $33,000 depending on flow, drive, and control
The 2KC Liquid Direct Injection NH3 system is a mid-range flow
that is capable of applications to 40 gallons per minute using two
top outlet tanks. Applications to 72 gallons per minute using bottom
outlet valves are designed into the system. The 2KC system is
available as either volumetric or mass metric. The 2KC system is
priced slightly less than the 2KF in the volumetric arrangement.
The 2KC system uses time proven
components that have the known lowest service requirement. A
hydraulic driven Corken sliding vane pump with an industrial rating
is used in combination with the Exactrix® 1.5 gallon Phase Shifter.
The extra large filter element has 28 square inches of open area.
The filtration is 100 mesh or .006” diameter particulate or greater
is captured in the stainless steel fully serviceable element.
The 2KC systems have additional
features that meet a wide range of application needs. It is
available with up to three manifold controls. Application tool bars
over 40 feet should use dual manifolds to conserve NH3 at points and
The 2KC is standard with Mid-Tech
6100 TASC control. The positive displacement pump continues to turn
on the corners allowing quick start up. A high-pressure option for
the 2KC uses an external bypass for a pressure rating of 200 psi
above tank pressure. The 2KC can apply at injection pressures of 400
psi. A pilot operated on/off 400-psi WOG valve at the manifold inlet
provides extra performance for quick shutdown.
You can order the 2KC with volumetric
flow control or mass metric Coriolis mass flow meter control. You
can measure with buckets volumetrically or better yet you can
measure with a dynamic scale mass metrically. The mass flow option
is not temperature sensitive.
The 2KC can also be ordered with
Mid-Tech Legacy 6000 control with mapping. The system can be run in
load sense or power beyond to conserve hydraulic oil. The base price
does not include the Smarthose which is most desirable in cold
weather applications and when you have extra safety needs. Dual
manifolds are balanced with an electronic digital feedback gauge
group to assure highest levels of applied accuracy.
The 2KC volumetric system complete
with Mid-Tech control in 12 port is base priced at $25.000
The 2KC mass metric system complete
with Mid-Tech control in 12 port is base priced at $36,000.
Second balanced manifold option is
$6,400 in 12 port.
Each port above 12 is $135 in ¼”
injection lines. In 3/16” lines the cost is $110.00 per port above
Manifold arrangements are available
from single 12 port to 84 port single or twin 60 port manifolds.
The manifolds are 12,18, 24, 36, 40
48, 60, 72 for ¼” line tool bars and 3/16” line airseeders and 48,
60, 72, 80 and 84 for airseeders in 3/16” line sizes.
Narrow bands of 7.5 inch less also
use high speed .107 line sizes.
The 2KC is exclusive Mid-Tech
The 2KC typically costs less than the
The 2KD system is mass metric.
The 2KD uses a sliding vane pump with Coriolis mass flow meter. The
2KD system weighs the NH3 as it is applied. The pump speed is
determined by the Mid-Tech controller formula as the Coriolis mass
flow meter reports true mass flow every 0.1 second. Producers
report field applied accuracies and tank weights to be within 0.2%
to 0.6% of the mechanical scales at the fertilizer dealer. The 2KD
system has the lowest operating cost of all NH3 application systems
since the components are based on industrial application design and
performance. Exactrix® producers report stellar performance year
The 2KD “Weigh Master” system raises
injection pressure to 125 psi above tank pressure continuously.
Exactrix® will approve tailored applications at 200 psi above tank
pressure not to exceed 400 psi operating.
The 2KD “Weigh Master” Elite Custody
Transfer system weighs the NH3 within 0.1% (10 lbs. in 10,000 lbs.
applied) and is twice as accurate as a fertilizer dealers mechanical
scales. Plus the system allows for billing from the tractor seat.
Custom applicators prefer the Exactrix® 2KD Elite Custody Transfer
system since they can change fields without weighing trailer tanks.
Productivity and the accuracy pays for the Elite Custody Transfer
system easily in one year due to the accuracy of the system.
Every time you move a trailer tank it
costs a $125 per trip. Custom applicators can apply 1.5 million
gallons of NH3 per year. That is 1,764 trailer tanks at 1,000
gallons each. The practical net savings from not weighing trailer
tanks is normally around $80,000 on 30,000 acres applied. The extra
10 lbs. saved on 10,000 lbs. applied adds up when the applicator
covers 30,000 acres per year. This is about 7,500 lbs. of NH3 every
year back to the fertilizer dealer or about $2,400 annually. A
major advantage is the exact per acre rate is applied in all
temperature ranges. Billing from the tractor seat also allows a
printed and electronic record for quick billing and settlement with
the customer. The Exactrix® Elite Custody Transfer system is state
and federal approved for billing from the tractor seat.
This system is
more accurate than a mechanical scale. It is not temperature
sensitive. You can bill from the tractor seat. Your state
Weighmaster will approve this system.
your top application flow rate is approaching 26 gallons per minute
or 6,600 lbs N per hour to 72 gallons per minute or 18,316 lbs N per
hour you should order a 2KC or 2KD “Weigh Master”.
Typical applications are: Pre-plant tool bars at 40 feet to 80 feet,
10 to 14 mph single disc tool bars at widths of 25 feet to 60 feet,
Deere single disc airseeders, 1850 1860, 1890 and 1690 operating at
8 to 10 mph, Sidedress single disc tool bars at 10 mph.
your top application flow rate is reaching 110 gallons per minute or
28,000 lbs. of N per hour you should order a 2KD “Weigh Master”
Elite Custody Transfer System.
If you are a producer or custom applicator that desires to cover
10,000 to 30,000 acres per year you will order this system for high
flow and accuracy.
The 2KD Liquid Direct Injection NH3
system is base priced $45,000 in 12 port arrangements with Mid-Tech
6100 TASC control. Legacy 6000 control with the mapping option is
$8,800. Bottom outlet valves are required so budget either $1,750
for the 2 inch RT bottom outlet valve or $3,200 for the 3 inch
bottom outlet valve. The 2,000 single bottom outlet tanks use the
larger 3 inch valve.
Application TAPPS with band accuracy at sub 1% CV can formulate more
crop useable P and N.
you desire to apply Exactrix® NH3 and form TAPPS with 10-34-0/Thiosul,
you should order the TAPPS formulator Exactrix® 2KM or 2KP system
with either TASC 6200 or Legacy 6000 control.
Typical applications are the Deere 1690, 1890, and 1920 and Case
SDX. Bourgault single disc openers allow how speed application to
10 mph without tillage. This system allows for mapping of the
nutrient application. The advanced Legacy 6000 control system is
also upgradeable for mapping and controlling seed and dry fertilizer
or four products. A WASS receiver and light bar are included with
to review the crystals of TAPPS.
The Exactrix®/TAPPS dual product
system allows for VR-N and VR-P application with CV applications of
1% or less. The application prescriptions are normally written
based on Veris mapping, infrared photography, yield maps and soil
maps. Due to the low CV application the management zones can be
reduced to a 5% CV with up to 10 management zones in the field.
TAPPS also allows reduced use of placed P using the 2KP and 2KM
formulators….thee most available form of placed P is TAPPS.
The TAPPS formulators, 2KP and 2KM
have extended range and allow very accuracy levels on slopes. The
systems are built to keep the operator in the tractor seat…no
orifice changes are required and thus VR site specific is possible.
The 2KM, TAPPS formulator,
high-pressure, 300 psi, liquid application systems.
The 2KM is ideal for 10-34-0 and Thiosul in dual application with
NH3 are available with various controllers. The systems are
pre-built and turntable mounted and tested. The price varies between
$21,000 to $35,000 depending on flow and manifold arrangements.
Three different pumps and flowmeters can be selected from 30 gpm to
66 gpm max.
The 2KP, TAPPS formulator, high
pressure, 300 psi liquid application system. The 2KP is designed for
lower flows and also have lower capacity filters. The 2KP provides
flows to 9 gpm or 18 gpm per minute. There is also an open version
of the system that allows the producer to select his own
controller. The 2KP systems vary between $5,000 to $32,000
depending on the set up and the goals of the producer.
If you order a dual product system
there are additional savings in sales costs and setup costs. You can
ask Exactrix® for the 10% dual product price allowance. So dual
product application is cost effective in making P and S more
available with NH3 in the band. It is also easier for Exactrix® lower
sales costs with the dual product system.
Think it through
and remember you will be applying 40% to 50% more crop useable N,
especially if you No-till and apply nutrients timely…No need to
oversize the system. Most producers size the orifices down after two
years of testing. Your old rate of NH3 is probably way too high.
If you are an irrigated corn producer
with 1,000 acres or more of corn you should consider the Exactrix®
2KC, or 2KD “Weigh Master”. If you are a corn on corn producer the
2KC or 2KD “Weigh Master” will deliver higher rates of NH3 in an
even, uniform distribution pattern with a 10% yield increment. The
band application CV is less than 1% with the 2KD and 2.2% CV with
The Exactrix® Direct Injection
uniform, even NH3 application imposes a similar nitrogen
distribution of a soybean crop in rotation. In fact the
nitrogen distribution is even better than a rotational soybean
crop. Soybeans may not generate an even nitrogen pattern due to
poor stand and nodulation, drainage, chemical damage, poor weather
conditions or weed control problems.
If you desire to place NH3 with
single disc openers at 10 mph or greater ground speeds you should
consider a 2KD “Weigh Master”. This is because your application
flows will double and new tank arrangements are required. Producers
often report back that this investment in productivity was one best
they have ever made.
The 2KD “Weigh Master” systems
normally apply NH3 at top application flow rates between 26 gallons
per minute to 72 gallons per minute. Exactrix® bottom outlet valve
tanks are required when flows exceed 25 gallons per minute. Single
top outlet tanks are not approved above 20 gallons per minute at
120-psi tank pressure for the 2KF system. The 20-gpm rating for a
single top outlet tank is an industry wide standard. Twin top
outlet tanks must be used with the 2KF system when flows exceed 20 gpm.
The 120” gauge trailers are normally
set up with used twin 1,000 gallon tanks modified with 1.25” bottom
outlet valves. The 120” gauge trailers are stable and allow for
side dressing on 30” row centers. Exactrix® engineers prefer steer
axle trailers since steer axle trailers can operate on slopes of 30%
while turntable trailers should not be operated on slopes greater
The used 1,000 gallon tanks are modified at Heartland Energy, Omaha,
or Two Guys Mechanical, North Bend,
Indiana. A 60” to 90” gauge trailer can be
used with a new American Welding and Tank single 2,000 gallon tank
set up with a 3” bottom outlet valve. Wider tool bars at 60 feet
using the 2KD “Weigh Master” normally are set up with twin 1,450
gallon tanks using either 3” or 1.25” bottom outlet valves. Twin
1,450 gallon trailers weigh between 17,000 lbs. to 18,000 lbs
loaded. Tandem axle trailers with surge brakes are recommended.
Twin 1,450 gallon trailers should not be pulled with light pickup
New 2,000 gallon tanks and new 1,450 gallon tanks with bottom outlet
valves are available from Exactrix®. The tanks are assembled with
Exactrix® bottom outlet valve arrangements at American Welding Tank
Producers applying NH3 under 20
gallons per minute at 120 psi tank pressure should order the
Exactrix® 2KF system. Exactrix® engineers approve the use of top
outlet twin tanks to 40 gallons per minute at 120 psi tank
Twin top outlet tanks require the use
of two Smarthose breakaways and two CN-A215 hose end valves with
2,1/4, female Acme couplers. The two hose end valves are hooked
directly to the two tank top outlet valves that are fitted with
2,1/4 male Acme couplers. The Smarthose breakaways are connected to
the Exactrix® Phase Shifter consolidator. Do not try to combine two
tank outlet hoses into one supply hose, a single breakaway and a
single hose end valve. Combining the flow of two tanks does not
conform to the ANSI standard or sound fluid mechanical design. The
pressure drops become prohibitive using a single supply hose above
20 gpm. The tank excess flow valves may not activate due to the
Where can I buy an Exactrix® System?
Exactrix® systems can be purchased
direct from Exactrix® or through our trained and authorized
representatives. If you prefer to work direct with Exactrix® you can
contact the Spokane office at 1 800 929 9289.
you are located in the central and eastern corn belt you should
contact, Foltz and Sons, John Foltz of Shelbyville,
317 398 8546. Foltz has four years of experience with
application. The Foltz and Sons operation also pioneered the bottom
outlet tank valves using single 2,000-gallon tanks.
Exactrix® owners provide our best
referrals and you may want to contact an Exactrix® owner.
How easy is it to get parts and
Parts orders are generally delivered
by Fed Ex or UPS and are in your possession the next morning after
the order is placed. You can call Spokane as late as 6 PM EST and
receive the parts the next day. Exactrix® is open till 5 PM daily.
Parts components used in higher volume are also located through out
the US at five locations. Exactrix® systems are also shipped with
spare parts such as orifices, injection line, clamps and critical
opener parts that can be damaged.
You will find the support to be well
above what you can expect from dealers since you are dealing with
equipment designers and support personnel that are interested in
your particular problem. You will also find that if you need a
quick answer on how to set the Mid-Tech controller you will get it
from Exactrix® representatives.
In extreme cases Exactrix®
representatives will travel to your farm to solve a problem that can
not be solved over the phone. A service charge is required if the
problem is not related to defective material or workmanship. A
common problem requiring a service charge not related to Exactrix® is
top outlet tank valves or poor NH3 tanks. So make sure that if you
call for service Exactrix® representatives will be there but there
may be a charge if the problem is not Exactrix®.
Exactrix® does expect a few phone
calls to help you install the system. Reading the Exactrix®
Technical Manual will help you immensely. The system is shipped
with tags and labels to explain each component and how it
functions. You must read the controller manual. Some producers
never call and go to field with a perfect installation. Other
producers need some help to understand how to mount the injection
tube to the opener. Make sure you call if you need help.
If you do not use Mid-Tech control on
your 2KF system and you need help with a competitors controller
Exactrix® will direct you to the appropriate supplier of the
Exactrix® will also help with your
agronomy questions. You can expect help in setting up your
nutrient efficiency test plots.
How can I talk to Exactrix® owners?
Call Exactrix®, Spokane,
1 800 929 9289 and we will give a list of producers close
to you that are operating Exactrix® systems. Let us know if you plan
to do planter applied NH3, pre-plant or sidedress. You should also
determine your band spacing and if you desire to dual apply
If you like the new Deere 1860, 1890
or 1690 applications for applying NH3 as a preplant tool we will
direct you to the Exactrix® producers or a Deere dealer that has sold
the current Deere 1690 and 1890.
you have an Airseeder of any type you may want to contact Neil Power
at Total Crop Farming, Langdon,
701 256 2007. Neil can direct you to several airseeder owners and
most of the Deere owners using Exactrix®.
If you desire to purchase a shank
applicator or have a shank type tool bar and desire have a 2KC
system or 2KD system mounted you may want to contact Foltz and Sons,
John Foltz at Shelbyville, IN, 317 398 8546. John can
help with the various types of applications whether it is side dress
or pre-plant application. Indiana has been an outstanding area for
Canadian producers in Alberta can call Guy
Swanson, Mr. Exactrix®, at 509 535 9925 or e-mail
Saskatchewan and Manitoba producers should contact Neil Power, at
Total Crop Farming Systems,
ND, 701 256 2007.
If you are a scientist or researcher
please call Spokane at 800 929 9289. Several programs are available
for USDA and University researchers.
Why is it that so many No-till and
Ridge-till farmers own Exactrix® systems?
Conservation oriented producers are
trying to eliminate the tillage and horsepower created by shank
application of NH3. Most No-till farmers can reduce the NH3
application by at least 30% and yet double the ground speed with no
tillage. The two greatest limiting factors in corn production are
1. Moisture in the ground where it falls and 2. Uniform NH3
application with timing. Ridge-tillers have the advantage of
producing a quality seedbed by banding on both sides of the ridges.
Timing of NH3 and even application
of NH3 in No-till has long been known to be one greatest limiting
factors in producing top yields, No-till. The No-till soils are
more porous or have more root channels and wormholes for natural
moisture percolation. There is obviously a lack of a tillage pan to
stop the infiltration of moisture. So nitrogen must be applied
evenly and timely with either planter applied NH3 or sidedress NH3.
Pre-plant application of NH3 in
No-till is now possible with single disc opener such as the X-16,
Bourgault MRB, or the new Case IH SDX and Deere 1890 and 1690 and the used 1850’s and 1860’s. As the band
spacings are narrowed up to 7.5”, 10” and 15” the chances of NH3
germination damage is not an issue. Now pre-plant NH3 can be
applied right up to planting time. This extends the window of
opportunity and stops the risky fall application of NH3. The other
advantage of narrow band spacing is the opportunity to dual place
NPK and S. Iowa State is now recommending dual
placement of NH3 with KCL, especially in No-till. Nebraska and
Kansas corn producers are moving center pivot yields upward with
dual placement of NH3, APP(10-34-0),Thiosul(12-0-0-26S).
What are the best single disc openers
for NH3 application?
The time proven opener is the Bourgault
Mid-Row Bander. It is available in three sizes with a closing
wheel. The fixed angle opener has a vertical spring that allows the
opener to penetrate better at high speeds. The Bourgault MRB can be
A second choice is the Exactrix® X-16 opener,
which is designed for custom applicators. The X-16 opener has been
successfully operated at 14 mph. The X-16 openers use hydraulic
cylinders with accumulator ride control to apply downpressure. The
opener swivels to reduce soil disturbance. The X-16 opener is
designed for 100,000 acres at 60 feet with no major maintenance.
The opener hubs operate in oil and are sealed with floating ring
seals. Go to
Another great choice is the Deere 1890 or 1690
airseeders that are able to place NH3 and dry fertilizer at 10 mph
in pre plant corn production and seeding small grains. Go to
The Case IH SDX is regarded as the most
durable of all single disc seeders and applicators. Go to
for a review of Exactrix® Wingless Injection.
For comparison of opener soil disturbance go
Two new openers have gained full approval in
conservation farming in 2006. The E-sweep opener from Farmland has
now been tested on 50,000 acres. Go
. Another opener showing great potential is the Harvest
Technologies Atom Jet opener for C shank arrangements. Either
arrangement can be ordered but the supply is limited in 2006.
What should I use for a single disc
The Friesen front fold tool bar is available
in 30, 40, 45 and 60-foot widths. Transport, ease of opener
mounting in various arrangements and field durability are the major
advantages. You have seen this bar in use on Case and Deere
planters. Go to
You can also build your own bar. Many
producers prefer to modify or build their own tool bar. Go to
How come old NH3 tanks do not supply
full flow in cold weather?
This is not an uncommon question
since many producers really don’t understand how NH3 is pushed out
of the tank. The tank valves are the major problem with NH3 liquid
flow. Many tanks in service are 30 (1973) to 40 (1963) years old.
These 1,000 gallon tanks have 1 inch and 1.25 inch top outlet
valves. It is impossible to expect more than 17 gallons a minute
flow at 60 psi from these old tanks that were initially designed for
4 and 5 shank tool bars. Remember almost all NH3 was applied in
this time period with sidedressing tool bars at warm growing season
In 1978 coolers were adapted to
electronic metering systems. The cooler had been proven on early
Dempster pumps to deliver NH3 accurately at higher flows. The
cooler allowed the tank to push more NH3 out of tank and deliver a
liquid state flow to the flowmeter. About this same time fall
application of NH3 became a means for fertilizer dealers to move the
application period to the fall rather than the narrow window
sidedressing season. This decision (now consider detrimental) to
move to fall banding of NH3 created much higher application rates of
NH3 with much greater losses to the environment.
As the fall application of NH3 with
chisel plows became a normal method for corn producers the machines
became wider with about 3 to 4 times the horsepower available
compared to the old sidedressing horsepower requirements. The tanks
were unable to keep up in cold weather even with the cooler. Thus
producers simply accept the fact that they must slow down when it is
cold. So the chisel type applicators became wider because they had
to run slower.
Then finally it became evident to
fertilizer dealers that the tanks were the problem. Larger top
outlet tank valves were developed and then the mechanical breakaway
became the limiting problem. So a larger breakaway was developed
and then the hose end valve became the problem. Then the cooler
manufacturers decided to vent more coolant NH3 through the vent
The most interesting aspect the tank outlet tank problem had already
been figured out in the western
and western Canadian fertilizer dealers elected not to use top
outlet valve tanks. NH3 tanks were set up by western tank
manufacturers with bottom outlet valves. Bottom outlet valves
produced more useable liquid NH3 flow since the resistance to flow
was less. So the western US arrangement with bottom outlet tanks
had more liquid push to the metering system.
Top outlet tanks simply have
limitations. Bottom outlet tanks have much greater flow
capabilities. Bottom outlet tanks will deliver liquid flow at 3 to 6
times greater liquid flow rate than the biggest applied top outlet
valves. A producer would need to pull a quantity of 6, 1,000-gallon
NH3 tanks to equal the capacity of one Exactrix® 3” bottom outlet
valve tank arrangement.
Fertilizer dealers in the Corn Belt
have avoided the top outlet vs. bottom outlet issue due more to
tradition rather than recognizing the need. Fertilizer dealers
today continue to order new top outlet tanks. If you want NH3 to
flow accurately in cold weather above 18 to 20 gallons per minute
you must use bottom outlet valves. The new top outlet tanks must be
set up twin tank trailers to deliver flow above 20 gallons per
Check out any NH3 trailer transport
and you will see the large 265-psi DOT approved tank is arranged
with bottom outlet valves. The pump is mounted directly below the
valve. No transport is ever set up with top outlet, liquid
withdrawal valves. Time is money when you are trucking. This why
the NH3 outlet valve is a bottom outlet valve and the pump is below
the bottom of the tank. The trucker wants to return with an empty
One of the advantages of bottom
outlet valves is that the tanks empty even from top to bottom. The
last 1/3 of the tank is delivered uniformly. The twin tank
arrangements will drain evenly between the two tanks. The tanks can
be returned empty rather than partially full. Bottom outlet valves
allow the tanks to be completely drained.
Can I do variable rate application of
Now you can with Exactrix® Direct
Injection, liquid flow NH3. You will need to provide your maximum
flow and you may need to use bottom outlet tanks. This is one
factor that has delayed the progress of VRT. The producer must slow
down to very low ground speeds since the tank cannot supply enough
NH3 at higher rates. Also the last half to 1/3 of the tank is not
delivering at the correct rate. Thus it is almost impossible to
make VRT work with NH3 when the tank cannot supply at the correct
Uniform application or even
application across the width of the applicator also allows the NH3
to be applied at a CV that is less than the management zone CV.
When the producer applies the NH3 uniformly the variable rate
application will work. If the management zone CV is 9% the
application CV (5% or less) must be well under the variance of the
management zone. If the application CV is greater than the
management zone CV there will be poor results. The poor non-uniform
application of NH3 may be setting up a higher variance than what is
in the management zone.
Soil sampling is more accurate with
uniform Exactrix® application since the residual N is more uniformly
distributed in the soil. Once the Exactrix® applied N has been
carried out across the farm in full rotation the residuals are more
evenly distributed. In fact this approach of uniform application
may be better than having alfalfa or soybeans in the rotation. The
Exactrix® nitrogen is more uniformly distributed than nitrogen from a
legume crop can generate and distribute across the land due to low
yielding areas, poor nodulation or chemical damage.
It is also obvious that the algorithm
for corn and wheat nitrogen is way too high when uniform application
of nitrogen is made. The new algorithm for timely placed NH3 may be
.7 to .8 pounds of N for corn per bushel produced. This may also
explain why VR-N is not as easily practiced as once perceived by the
scientist who proposed VRT initially.
What is the long-term outlook for
Probably better than what you think.
It is the preferred nitrogen source for corn, wheat and cotton. The
major commodity crops prefer NH3. Plant utilization of nitrate
requires conversion back to the ammonium form of nitrogen to allow
the plant to manufacture amino acids. Corn can not assimilate
nitrate in the first three weeks of the plant growth cycle. In fact
if you key in the words, corn, nitrogen, yield into your search
engine you will find that low cost NH3 always outperforms all other
fertilizer types and methods if the application timing is the same.
Your foreign competitors do not have
NH3 to directly apply to their crops. The cost difference is
equivalent to $20.00 per acre. Remember NH3 will always be 30% to
50% less cost than other choices of nitrogen. If you are not seeing
this price difference you are not buying your NH3 correctly. The NH3
price may have been superficially elevated or the timing of the buy
was incorrect. The 3 step manufacturing process of 32 and 28 and the
high transportation costs make these materials about 50% more
expensive on the 10 year average. 28-0-0 and 32-0-0 should only be
used as salvage materials at very low rates.
Aqua ammonia is the closest
competitor to NH3 at 20-0-0 but the transportation and application
cost are too high to be adapted universally. The safety aspect of
ammonium hydroxide, aqua ammonia, is also a consideration.
North America is one of the few areas
of the world to directly apply NH3. This is because of the great
opportunities that existed in the United States following World War
II. Other countries did not have the resources to set up the
infrastructure to directly apply NH3.
The technology to build low cost NH3
came from the Kellogg Corporation in 1963. NH3 was produced and
sold for 2 cents per pound of N in 1963 as the Kellogg train
compressors went on line. Low cost natural gas, train compressors
and pipeline distribution have allowed the material to be easily
distributed throughout North America at lowest possible cost.
Nitrate contamination of water is common in
In fact nitrogen application is regulated. Solution 28 and 32
fertilizers are used to raise crops since NH3 is not directly
applied. Mobile nitrate in 28 and 32 has been utilized to raise
crops. Uniform application and timing of NH3 reduces the chances of
mobile nitrate entering the rivers and the drinking water.
Safety is always a concern with NH3.
However, dry urea and ammonium nitrate have killed more people and
aqua ammonia actually has a worse safety record than NH3. NH3 gives
ample warning of the exposure risk. This is one of NH3 advantages
over other materials. Humans move away from NH3 with as little as 5
to 10 ppm in the air. NH3 is a regulated material with state and
federal standards for transportation. It must be transported safely
like propane. Pipeline transport is utilized for NH3. There are
actually much more dangerous materials being transported by rail.
Safety reviews and regulations are key to anhydrous ammonia’s safe
It is almost impossible to lower any
chemical risk to zero. Solution 28 and 32 fertilizers are not free
of risk since these materials easily move into the water and are
difficult to clean up. NH3 spills are normally quite small but can
be lethal if large tank cars are not maintained or derail in
populated areas and the safety valves do not activate.
The chances of losing the ability to
directly apply NH3 are minimal. The negative talk about NH3 has
been going on for 30 years. If you chase down the discussion it is
usually a fertilizer dealer that does not offer NH3. The fertilizer
dealer is making market in more expensive, bigger margin, solution
The Big N is NH3 and holds the
largest share of the nitrogen market in the US.
Directly applied NH3 is the largest
segment of nitrogen application market in the US and is a growth
industry in Canada.
North American producers need…. In
fact require NH3 to be directly applied. Can you imagine 3 and 4
times more trucks or trailers on the road delivering higher cost
nitrogen fertilizer to farms? You would need to fill application
tanks 3 times more often. At 150 to 200 pounds of N per acre it
makes no sense to use mobile 28-0-0 or 32-0-0. Aqua ammonia at 20%
N or 1.4 pounds of N per gallon is not the answer. Aqua application
in corn production would require about 100 to 150 gallons per acre
of a very volatile material. You would need to haul 1,000 pounds of
aqua ammonia nitrogen per acre to produce a corn crop. The producer
would need to haul one million pounds of aqua ammonia to apply
nitrogen on 1,000 acres.
The infrastructure for directly
applying NH3 is in place. There are roughly 250,000 NH3 trailer
tanks available to directly apply NH3 in the US. Directly applied
NH3 is the largest share of nitrogen application market. The dealer
marketing margins are normally 15% for NH3 and 25% for solution
fertilizers. This is because solution fertilizers are more costly
to formulate and transport. The solution fertilizer equipment wears
out faster than NH3 equipment. Producers that own their own NH3
equipment report higher initial cost but much lower cost over a 10
The calcium carbonate equivalent for
NH3 is exactly the same as compared to other nitrogen sources per
pound of N. There is no advantage with any other material. If NH3
is uniformly applied and the rate of application is reduced the use
of lime is also reduced. CAN 17 is the only nitrogen source that is
considered neutral. Use of this material is argonomically and
Could NH3 pricing reach $800 or more
Yes it could if natural gas prices
continue to rise. The best way to lower your cost is too not use so
much of it. Producers will have no dramatic effect on the market
price if they reduce their use 33% with uniform application and
timing. This is because NH3 use is not critical to the demand and
supply pricing of natural gas. Reducing the annual use of nitrogen
would not have any significant effect on the price per pound of N of
any commercial nitrogen fertilizer.
Phosphate is not quite as energy
based. Demand for phosphate and supply of phosphate tends to be more
identifiable with agricultural use. Potash prices are more or less
regulated like the diamond market. The Saskatchewan government
makes sure there is never too much of an oversupply of potash.
At $2,000 per ton NH3 and the
current commodity pricing the whole rotation begins to change back
to cows, alfalfa and a much better approach to raising your own
nitrogen. Conversion of coal to gas will probably prevent this from
happening. NH3 is at the base root of our economy. Our whole
society has changed because of this low cost nitrogen source. An
extra 2 billion people are alive today because of low cost NH3.
No wonder two Nobel prizes have been
awarded in last century for the manufacture of NH3. Norman
Borlaug’s Green Revolution for which he received a Nobel Prize would
not have been possible without low cost NH3. You may take NH3 for
granted as just another chemical but without anhydrous ammonia your
farm communities would be much larger…. The farms would be much
smaller…. The farm families would be much bigger…. And we would have
2.2 times more land in production. Just go back to the 40’s and
50’s and you will get the idea of what your farm would look like.
One farmer would be in control of 160 to 320 acres. We would need
about 2.2 times more farmers than what we had in the middle part of
the last century to feed our hungry nation today.
In fact it is doubtful that our
population would be at these record levels without low cost NH3. We
simply could not feed our own people. About 75% of our corn
production is dedicated just to feed livestock. Low cost high
quality food is a national priority that keeps our economy growing
and our families feed. You can expect very few changes in our
economy if the price of NH3 was lowered back to 1962 prices. In
fact a lower NH3 price might be the worse thing that could happen to
our environment. Fertilizer dealers would oversell low cost nitrogen
and producers would probably over use cheap nitrogen polluting the
drinking water, filling the rivers and streams with nitrate, and
making the Gulf Hypoxia problem even worse.
With the falling dollar commodity
prices and energy prices will increase steady by jerks. It will be a
very difficult period for many producers. The key is to not use so
much nitrogen by applying material uniformly and timely. Applying
NH3 in bands with APP and Thiosul using dual placement is another
way to improve the efficiency of nutrients and reduce the leaching
potential of nitrogen.
The real potential solution to high
nitrogen prices may lie in plant breeding. If our grain crops could
fix nitrogen from the atmosphere for about $10 per acre the plant
breeder would be worthy of a Nobel Prize. Around the world 100
million metric tons are manufactured. The complete NH3 industry
would be reduced to about 15 to 20 million tons per year for
industrial markets worldwide if grain crops could fix nitrogen from
the air. Major plant and infrastructure investments would become
obsolete. This would result in 2.85 trillion cubic feet of natural
gas being freed up for other markets. This would be about $17
billion dollars of natural gas at current pricing and 3.1% of the
production. The world consumption of natural gas to make NH3 for all
markets is about 3.7% of the total gas produced of 90 trillion cubic
feet in 2001.
How can fertilizer dealers benefit
from Exactrix® when nitrogen is reduced?
Fertilizer dealers have great
opportunities with Exactrix®. The reduction of NH3 with uniform
application of NH3 results in a more profitable customer. The
dollars saved with the reduction of NH3 can be transferred to
phosphate and sulfur. Dual placement often results in a 20% yield
increase. New yield goals can be reasonably established with the use
of Thiosul combined with Exactrix® NH3. NH3 should not be placed as
a single product.
Less NH3 means more P, K and S can be
applied in high efficiency NH3 bands. Producers realize that P and
S are always underapplied. Solution APP, 10-34-0 and Thiosul in a
Chevron Ortho ratio has been time proven to be the best means to
feed grain crops. This is because Tri-ammonium phosphate sulfate is
formed when NH3 is placed with these materials. The uniformity and
the chemical reaction produce highly available plant food.
The fertilizer industry is facing big
changes. Farmland was unable to manage this change. Fertilizer
dealers need to face the fact; a profitable customer makes the
fertilizer dealer profitable. If change is imminent, face the
problem and make the change.
It is very difficult to uniformly
apply dry fertilizers. Placing nutrients in the root zone in
uniform bands allows the soil to provide nutrients at much lower or
higher soil pH. If the cut off point is 5.5 pH before liming is
required producers can continue cropping at a 5.0 pH with banding.
High pH soils almost always require banding since there is so much
calcium carbonate in the soil to tie up broadcast phosphate.
Banding and forming highly available nutrients in dual placement
NH3, APP/Thiosul will out perform broadcast dry NPK and S
Liquid formulations of P and S can be
uniformly applied below a 1% CV. Dry applications whether placed or
broadcast normally have a 15% to 20% CV of application. Thus
application of liquid P and S allow 20% more crop useable nutrients
to be applied. In otherwords it does not take as much nutrients to
get the same result because the application equipment is so much
better with liquid P and S. Fertilizer dealers are well aware of
this and promote liquid P and S based on this fact. If the dry
materials could be uniformly applied then the dry materials should
promoted due to the cost savings.
Can the Exactrix® systems be financed
with the Bourgault single disc openers?
Yes, Exactrix® can help you finance
your application tool bar, single disc openers and Exactrix® system.
If you need more time to pay for the application equipment Exactrix®
can help. Interest rates are presently in the 6% range.
Should I consider dual placement?
Studies by the TVA in 1984 indicated
that banding or dual placing nutrients did produce superior results
in the Corn Belt. However the price of the nutrients in 1984 was
much lower. A soil building philosophy was being practiced at this
time period. Could the equipment be implemented to get the high
nutrient efficiency of dual placement? The project was shelved due
to the availability of the infrastructure application equipment.
Broadcast or mass application of P and K were considered to be a
better method for the time. The fertilizer industry could not adapt
to dual placement.
20 years later after this TVA study
the nutrients are 3 times higher and equipment is not. Yield levels
continue to be pushed to higher levels and dual placement is the
only way the cost per bushel produced can be reduced.
Risk goes down and yields go up with
dual placement. Investment in new application equipment that can
uniformly apply the placed nutrients NP and S is key to more
productive producers. Nebraska, Kansas and PNW producers commonly
practice dual placement in 15” bands. Dual placement is common in
the Pacific Northwest. This is because the university researchers
discovered superior results and promoted the use of the practice
under center pivots and dryland production. Center pivot production
often uses advanced fertilizer practices since the return is so
rapid and more assured.
If you doubt that dual placement will
work on your farm please give Exactrix® a phone call. You will be
able access some great research and make your decision based on good
science and not opinion. Remember the TVA was right in 1984 with
their results in the Corn Belt….the fertilizer industry did not want
What new products will be coming from
Several new Exactrix® products have been
released in the last three years These products match the producers
need whether they are large or small. We anticipate the
wing injection system for Deere and wingless injection system for
Case IH seeders to be adapted on a wide scale in wheat, corn and
soybean production. New opener designs allow Exactrix® high pressure,
liquid NH3 injection to occur inside the seed opener. Go to
The Harvest Technologies, Atom Jet allows C
shank type airseeders to apply NH3 and seed in a single pass. The
crops seeded will be photographed and an htm has been developed. Go
For the first time it may be possible
to inject Exactrix® liquid state NH3 with the seeding or planting
opener. It may no longer be necessary to have a separate row of deep
banding equipment or separate pass operations for NH3 application.
This makes a lot of sense with spring cropping producers.
Farmland chrome sweep openers are now
available with C-shank adapters for your field cultivator. Exactrix®
producers have placed NH3 with field cultivators. Narrow band
centers of 15 or 10” are used to produce multiple bands. These
dilute bands will not burn corn. You can plant the same day you
fertilize the field. This makes spring application of NH3 much more
It is now possible to use wide field
cultivators to apply NH3 with chrome sweep type openers and carbon
steel type openers. You can order the Exactrix®/Farmland system for
your field cultivator to apply both Exactrix® NH3 and dual product
10-34-0/Thiosul. An htm is being developed.
Dual placement Bourgault openers can also
place dry fertilizer. You can review new developments at
The 24” diameter opener will be applied in corn on corn rotations.
Exactrix® continues to study steer axle
trailers. You can view a prototype at
Is there a place
where I can buy a single disc high speed tool bar?….I have heard
Exactrix® has one working somewhere.
Yes, it is coming. It is the P-38
Lightning which is named after the famous twin engine fighter plane
of WWII. It is designed to compete against the floater application
of dry fertilizer. The P-38 eats acres at the rate of 1.5 acres per
minute without tillage at the maximum width and speed. Nutrients are
dual placed in uniform narrow bands of 7.5” or 10” or 15” centers.
So it can also side dress nutrients.
The P-38 Lightning will also apply
three products simultaneously, NH3, Liquid and Dry.
The P-38 Lightning tool bar will be
available in two types: agricultural grade at 2,500 acres per year
and commercial grade which is for custom applicators covering 30,000
acres per year.
Can I fertilize established winter
wheat with single disc openers and Exactrix® liquid direct injection
Yes, This is a very acceptable
practice. The single disc openers on 15” or 12” centers do not
damage the non-tillered winter wheat root system since the openers
operate at a 2” to 3” depth at 10 mph ground speeds. This is really
a form of placed side dressing of nitrogen using timing. Less than
1% of the crop shows damage from the openers or the Exactrix®
high-pressure liquid NH3. The application can be askew or with the
The Exactrix® NH3 is injected as a
liquid into the soil about 2 inches deeper than the opener depth at
pressures of 100 psi above the tank pressure. There are normally
outstanding yield results since the application is so uniform and
the N is timed to when the wheat needs the nitrogen. The nitrogen
is placed in the root zone and away from surface residues that can
tie up surface applied nitrogen. Roots tend to colonize where
nitrogen is placed. Soil moisture is definitely more consistent at
depths of 4 inches as compared to surface applied nitrogen.
Approximately 40% less nitrogen is
required with this uniform and timely approach as compared to
broadcasting dry or liquid nitrogen products on the surface. The
placement technique also improves weed control since the weeds do
not have a chance at getting the nitrogen.
is a smart practice for producer Tom Shute of Smith Center,
Kansas. Tom is able to reduce his N use and
apply just before the winter wheat breaks dormancy. The actual
results proved superior in 2003 with a record farm yield of no-till
winter wheat. The no-till winter wheat is established with seed row
phosphate and a small amount of seed row nitrogen in the fall of
2002. Such materials as 11-52-0 and 16-20-0-14S are applied at
appropriate rates with the seed.
If the winter wheat is lost due to a
severe winter such as 2004 there is very little risk to come back
with a summer crop such as grain sorghum or sunflowers. Tom’s set
up will allow him to apply and flex crop based on economic
conditions and changes in the weather pattern. Any change in the
farm program or a special opportunity with a spring legume crop can
be implemented. Staying flexible and applying NH3 timely increases
potential profits and/or minimizes losses.
Keeping nitrogen away from seedling
winter wheat also improves winter hardiness. It has been known for
many years that winter wheat is more winter hardy if only placed
phosphate and low rates of placed nitrogen are available to the
establishing winter wheat plant. This is because the cell wall is
thicker as compared to a lush growth resulting from too much
nitrogen in the fall.
So it may be also possible to seed
higher yielding winter wheat varieties that do not have as much
winter hardiness. Hardiness and yield never go together when
breeders design new winter wheat varieties. The hardiness gene
detracts from yield. No-tilling winter wheat into standing stubble
also improves winter survival. In fact in some areas of the U.S.
high yield spring wheat can be seeded into standing stubble in the
late fall with good to excellent results.
Managing the environment for
propagation of winter wheat and applying the nitrogen uniformly in
the root zone only when the plant actually needs nitrogen are two
big management factors for top yields in no-till winter wheat.
Single disc openers and Exactrix® NH3
may also be applicable in spring wheat production. The technique
will be tried in Nebraska in Relay Intercrop spring wheat. APP/Thiosul
will also be included in the application.
Are there other NH3 systems that
perform like Exactrix®?
No…Remember, when pressure is
increased the non-freezing Liquid NH3 Injection at the opener is the
winner. The technique allows total control of the material. The
unique design allows for dual placement and nutrient mixing and soil
formulation of Tri-ammonium phosphate sulfate…..Thee most available
form of nutrients.
Do not be confused….Exactrix® is
different. Exactrix® is liquid injection of NH3 that allows NH3 to
placed shallow with less tillage and less horsepower.
No other company has put so much
effort into improving nutrient accuracy and improving the bottom
line for producers.
The products and technical support
are superior. If you review all the innovative technology in
Exactrix® you will find that the electronic hydraulic-mechanical
design will provide many years of reliable service. All systems can
be upgraded. No orphans are in the Exactrix® family of products. This
means many years of service and improved performance.
The opener is where it all starts and
Exactrix® Liquid NH3 Direct Injection is founded in improved opener
designs reducing tillage, horsepower and fuel requirements.
Metering accuracy is only one benefit. The largest segment of the
market reports shallower opener operation and no burning or corn.
Timing of application can be narrowed to just before or at planting.
It all boils down to the opener and changes that can be made with
controlled liquid injection of NH3.
strong alliance with Mid-Tech allows Exactrix® high-pressure
application systems to move directly into VR-site specific
application. Your Exactrix® is the only application system that will
make VR-site specific work economically.