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SelectShot: set it, forget it, and save on fertilizer while seeding

SelectShot delivers a precision dose-per-seed application. - Photos: CapstanAG
SelectShot delivers a precision dose-per-seed application. - Photos: CapstanAG

CapstanAG’s SelectShot allows farmers to place a shot of fertilizer precisely before, on, or after seeds, as they are planted in the soil. On 30-inch corn rows, growers are cutting their standard dribble rates by around 50% with this technology.

SelectShot delivers a precision dose-per-seed application. It places the prescribed dose of product-per-seed based on a farmer’s planting system inputs, such as speed, desired rate, and population. The fertilizer shot is triggered by a seed sensor. SelectShot’s controls know the timing to open the valve to release the shot, based on the inputs. The shot can be placed at a defined distance before, on, or after the seed.

According to Marketing Specialist Andrew Boyd of CapstanAG, SelectShot can save 30% to 75% on fertilizer, depending on configurations. “However, many of our customers on 30-inch corn rows are cutting their standard dribble rates by around 50%”, he says. “And still get the same concentration of fertilizer at the seed. This is because we are cutting out the section of the dribble application not utilised between the seeds.”

“Situations where there is narrower spacing – such as 15 inch – or crops with low populations and big seed spacing like squash, could see upwards of 75% Savings. CapstanAG has a SelectShot calculator that allows farmers to put in different parameters and see what kind of savings that would mean for their operations.”
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The shot can be placed at a defined distance before, on, or after the seed.
The shot can be placed at a defined distance before, on, or after the seed.

Real-time row-by-row diagnostics

The technology can also offer benefits with regard to yield. “SelectShot application cuts inputs, with same or better output yields”, Boyd emphasises. “Most all of our customers see a yield bump even when cutting their rates. This can be attributed to optimal placement in relation to the seed for a given product, and the concentration that is applied.”

SelectShot integrates directly through ISOBUS VT/UT display to provide operator-focused information for application. Operators can use this screen to set up all the application parameters. After that, the home screen just shows the target and actual rate, target and actual pressure, and any diagnostic feedback the system reports. “The system is fairly ‘set it and forget it’, which most operators seem to appreciate”, Boyd says.

SelectShot offers real-time row-by-row diagnostics and system feedback. Boyd: “The SelectShot system is constantly checking itself in the background to make sure that the system is functioning to the parameters you entered. It will give you a host of different pieces of information, such as if a row is plugged, if you are on or off rate, if your pressure is on or off pressure, etcetera.”

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SelectShot integrates directly through ISOBUS VT/UT display to provide operator-focused information for application.
SelectShot integrates directly through ISOBUS VT/UT display to provide operator-focused information for application.

See what kind of savings you could get

SelectShot is high-speed compatible and fits most planter makes and models. The maximum speed an hour is dependent on the speed, rate, and population combination. “We need enough time for the valve to open and close the between shots to apply the proper amount in the proper place”, Boyd explains.

“However, we have many growers doing 9 mph (14.5 kms) at 2.5 gallons per acre (GPA) – the 5 GPA dribble equivalent – on 30 inch corn. We usually refer folks to our calculator, which allows you to put in desired rates, speeds, populations and see what kind of savings you could get and if it is functionally possible within the system.”

SelectShot is predominantly used on corn

SelectShot is predominantly used on corn, Boyd says. “However, we have folks running them on squash, pumpkins, maze, all sorts of different crops. Also, we can run in open mode, which is a constant dribble for high population crops such as soybeans and other small grains. Even in open mode, the operator still retains the benefit of individual row application shut off, as it is still triggered by the seed sensor.”

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SelectShot is predominantly used on corn. However, farmers use the technology on squash, pumpkins, maze, all sorts of different crops.
SelectShot is predominantly used on corn. However, farmers use the technology on squash, pumpkins, maze, all sorts of different crops.

Costs and installation

Growers can complete more acres using SelectShot before needing to stop and refill with someone on a tending truck. According to Boyd, this is a huge benefit to growers. “If you are cutting your application rate in half by not applying where it’s not needed, you only need to fill half as many times per day. This keeps the operator planting and applying, not parked waiting on tendering operations.”

Depending on the configuration, SelectShot will cost around $ 1500 USD per row on average. Installation can be done by growers but the system is usually installed by a dealer or by a CapstanAG field representative. SelectShot is available globally. CapstanAG currently has units in USA, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany and Romania.

The feedback of farmers has been positive. “Many of our US farmers have bought additional units with the savings from the first unit”, Boyd points out. “In many situations, the system can be fully paid for in around 1500 Acres.”

Groeneveld
René Groeneveld Correspondent for Australia





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