Jeff Crissinger, VP of Agronomy sales / Marketing

Conservation opportunities and implementation of climate-smart practices has been a re-occurring topic in my recent newsletter articles. In this article, I’ll expand on this topic by describing specialized equipment NuWay-K&H has that supports the conservation efforts of you and your cooperative.

SoilWarrior® Strip Tillage

After more than 10 years, NuWay-K&H re-introduced strip-till as a service this past fall. We did so to gain additional and renewed experience with this reduced-tillage, climate-smart practice. After strong initial interest and successful operation in corn/soybean, corn/corn, and soybean/corn rotations, we signed an agreement to acquire a new SoilWarrior® Conservation Strip Tillage System. We plan to continue offering strip-till as a service for our customers.

This move should indicate to you, to our employees, and to outside organizations our strong commitment to establishing climate-smart practices in our area. Taking this step will help us and our customers access conservation funding and qualify for conservation programs. Both are critical to driving enhanced conservation transitions forward.

Between now and next fall, be on the lookout for grower campaigns and educational efforts related to the benefits of strip-till reduced tillage systems. Expect information on nutrient use efficiency of banded fertilizer applications as a way to push yields higher. Look also for conversation related to enhanced nitrogen management, pest management and other crop management considerations as they relate to successful implementation of strip-till reduced tillage methods.

High-Clearance Hagie Sprayer

Another piece of equipment we have that plays into sustainability and conservation is our high-clearance Y-Drop/Undercover applicator. What makes our Hagie sprayer specialized and unique is the fact that it has a split tank and pump system that allows us to do both Y-drop and Undercover in a single pass and apply all products prescriptively if called for. This improves nutrient use efficiency by side-dressing crop nutrient products during the growing season while independently applying foliar plant nutrition products and fungicides if needed.

Being able to apply multiple products in one pass helps us be more efficient with grower input dollars, reduces fuel consumption, reduces equipment wear and tear, etc. Precision nitrogen placement with hoses at ground level allows delivery of nitrogen to both sides of the root zone so that a heavy dew or light shower is all that’s needed to move nitrogen into the roots for rapid uptake.

In addition, split nitrogen application allows our farmers to hold back a significant portion of nitrogen until the plant is ready to utilize it, allowing them to engage with our Adapt-N nitrogen model to better manage total nitrogen rates needed by the crop to achieve yield targets and limit nitrogen losses through volatilization and leaching.

By doing Undercover in the same pass, growers can further enhance yields through targeted utilization of plant nutrition products based on in-season plant analysis and efficiently apply plant health products more cost effectively than making a separate pass.

Our Greeneye™ System

The most specialized piece of equipment that NuWay-K&H Cooperative has implemented in its conservation efforts and climate-smart practices is our Greeneye™ Selective Spraying System. This brand-new technology allows us to identify weeds using camera vision and artificial intelligence, and only apply herbicides on identified weeds rather than broadcast applying the entire field. Targeted application of non-residual herbicides on weeds within corn and soybean crops in our service area has proved to be very beneficial. Our numbers from last year show that this application method can reduce the amount of herbicides applied to a field by 70-90%.

Using less pounds of active ingredient per acre through this unique application method is important to conservation from the standpoint of better plant, soil, and environmental health. In addition, it reduces carbon emissions produced through the manufacturing of applied products. Besides reducing herbicide use, this equipment configuration also gives us the ability to band crop nutrients, plant nutrition products and plant health products directly on the crop row, giving us a more efficient way to use farmer inputs while driving higher yields.

As you can see, NuWay-K&H Cooperative is very committed to driving input use efficiencies and conservation through specialized equipment capabilities, allowing our company and our customers to make positive financial and environmental impacts through innovation.

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