New precision measuring system for wheat herbicides
Rich KellerMike Hanson, Poynter’s Ag Supply, assistant manager, stands next to a PrecisionPac machine. A precise measuring machine that can dispense combinations of six different dry herbicide products into a disposable bag has big potential for customer service and inventory control for selected DuPont agricultural retailers.
DuPont field tested a dozen PrecisionPac Herbicide Delivery System computerized measuring units during 2011, and an additional 23 units have been placed in ag retailer operations around the country for the 2012 growing season. The machine looks a lot like an oversized soda vending machine. All the machines are set up to dispense low-use-rate wheat herbicides that come in DuPont’s patented TotalSol granular formulation. The machine can hold six 35-pound bags or four such bags and two 540 pound bulk totes mounted above the machine.
The patented TotalSol formulation was developed a few years ago to reduce packaged product residue and to dissolve fully in solution. Bags containing TotalSol formulations dispensed from the PrecisionPac system do not need to be rinsed or returned to the retailer and can be disposed of in the trash. The products do not go into suspension but totally dissolve in water, which results in simple sprayer clean out with only 10 percent of the rinseate necessary compared to other sulfonyl urea herbicides’ clean out.
Rich KellerMarty Wojcik with DuPont. “The PrecisionPac allows for customized solutions,” said Marty Wojcik, former cereal portfolio manager and current head of forecast demand for DuPont. “Customized solutions to the retailer is being able to take up to six products that the machine can dispense and creating customized solutions to meet the changing needs and weed problems growers are encountering in their fields. It is a unique opportunity for the retailer to offer that customized service.”
This still means ag retailers need to collaborate with DuPont on specific weed problems that are showing up in their area so that the system can be programmed to dispense a combination to take care of their growers’ weed shifts, such as glyphosate-resistant weeds.
“Addressing the grower’s shifting weed control needs with this system is incredibly simple”, said Wojcik. “The fact that the system is automated enables DuPont to monitor the system’s performance and also upgrade the dispensing programming to match changing grower needs.”