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Frequently Asked Questions
The Exactrix® NH3 Answer Man...Guy Swanson

Purchasing and Set Up of the Exactrix® System.

Exactrix® Global Systems
Frequently Asked Questions.
February 2006

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 South Africa.  

Glossary of Common Agricultural Terms

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” diameter typical,  

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 opener.   

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 of nutrients.   

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 bands at 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 production fields.  

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 NH3? 

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.

 The 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 high variance. 

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 bands. 

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 production. 

Who is buying Exactrix® NH3 Direct Injection Systems? 

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® technology are Indiana, 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.

1.        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, Nebraska 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. 

2.        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. 

3.        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% compared to 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® System? 

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 disc openers.  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 planting. 

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 www.Exactrix®.com/Kinze.com.  

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. 

Pullman, Washington 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 www.Exactrix®.com/mader.htm.  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. 

Colby, 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 www.Exactrix®.com/Atom.htm.  

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. 

Three Exactrix® 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 measured flow. 

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 NH3. 

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 design. 

The 2KF systems are priced between $23,000 to $33,000 depending on flow, drive, and control selections. 

The 2KC Liquid Direct Injection NH3 system is a mid-range flow system 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 lands. 

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 12.  

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 control. 

The 2KC typically costs less than the 2KF 

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 after 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.  

If 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.  

If 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. 

Dual Product Application TAPPS with band accuracy at sub 1% CV can formulate more crop useable P and N. 

If 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 the system.   

Go to www.Exactrix®.com/CRF.htm 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 2KC.   

The Exactrix® Direct Injection uniform, even NH3 application imposes a similar nitrogen distribution of a soybean crop in rotation.  In fact the Exactrix® 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 than 15%.  

The used 1,000 gallon tanks are modified at Heartland Energy, Omaha, Nebraska 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 trucks.   

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 in Freemont, Ohio. 

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 pressure.    

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 downline restrictions.   

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.   

If you are located in the central and eastern corn belt you should contact, Foltz and Sons, John Foltz of Shelbyville, IN 317 398 8546.  Foltz has four years of experience with Exactrix® 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 service support?

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 controller. 

Exactrix® will also help with your agronomy questions.  You can expect help in setting up your Exactrix® nutrient efficiency test plots.   

How can I talk to Exactrix® owners? 

Call Exactrix®, Spokane, WA. 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 10-34-0.   

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.  

If you have an Airseeder of any type you may want to contact Neil Power at Total Crop Farming, Langdon, ND, 1 701 256 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 Exactrix®. 

Canadian producers in Alberta can call Guy Swanson, Mr. Exactrix®, at 509 535 9925 or e-mail Exactrix®@Exactrix®.com. Saskatchewan and Manitoba producers should contact Neil Power, at Total Crop Farming Systems, Langdon, 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 seen at www.Exactrix®.com/bgo.htm

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 www.Exactrix®.com/X16.htm.  

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 www.Exactrix®.com/DEWI.htm.  

The Case IH SDX is regarded as the most durable of all single disc seeders and applicators. Go to www.Exactrix®.com/SDXPP.htm and www.Exactrix®.com/SDXWW.htm for a review of Exactrix® Wingless Injection.  

For comparison of opener soil disturbance go to www.Exactrix®.com/OSD.htm.   

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 www.Exactrix®.com/ES500.htm .  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 tool bar? 

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 www.Exactrix®.com/Friesen.htm. or www.Exactrix®.com/Xcal.htm.  

You can also build your own bar.  Many producers prefer to modify or build their own tool bar.  Go to www.Exactrix®.com/bgo.htm.  

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 temperatures. 

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 tubes. 

The most interesting aspect the tank outlet tank problem had already been figured out in the western United States. Western US 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 minute. 

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 tank. 

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 NH3? 

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 flow rate. 

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 Anhydrous Ammonia? 

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 Europe. 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 use. 

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 fertilizers. 

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 year period. 

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 economically prohibitive. 

Could NH3 pricing reach $800 or more per ton? 

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 applications. 

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 the change. 

What new products will be coming from Exactrix®? 

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 Exactrix® 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 www.Exactrix®.com/dewi.htm.  

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 to www.Exactrix®.com/Atom.htm.  

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 desirable. 

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 www.Exactrix®.com/bgo.htm.  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 www.Exactrix®.com/trailers.htm.  

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 NH3? 

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 rows.  

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. 

It 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. 

Our 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. 
Exactrix® Global Systems LLC
509 995 1879 cell, Pacific.
General office: 509-254 6854
4501 East Trent Ave.
Spokane, WA 99212