Many have fall crops to harvest yet and some are still fighting the mud to wrap up fall seeding. We are facing one of the wettest fall seasons in recent history. We, at Exapta, feel your pain—we have our own crops to get in and out of the fields.

Precipitation not only creates delays—and mud—to navigate through, but it also presents us with higher humidity. High humidity can cause fertilizer dust and treated seed to become sticky, forming bridges in the hopper. This results in fertilizer and seed blockages. If you’ve ever had a blockage, you know the sickening feeling you get when you discover your drill wasn’t seeding or fertilizing after the field is finished (because the OEM monitor never alerted you). Typically, you make this discovery by either 1) finding way too much product leftover in the tank or 2) as the product emerges (or doesn’t emerge). Whether product wasn’t flowing for part of each swath across a field, or the entire season, you know firsthand why monitoring product flow is so important.

If you’ve never experienced this, count yourself as one of the lucky ones. Though, it’s typically only a matter of time before it happens to you. Consider this story from a fellow farmer whose luck ran out this fall. His wheat was metering adequately, but the fertilizer was plugged at the meter (see picture below).

The OEM system reported everything was flowing fine, as it’s only able to sense whether or not something is flowing past, not whether it’s full flow or not. It lacks the capability to know the fertilizer was plugging because the wheat was flowing past the sensors.

Also, note how much the flow rate would differ across the meter in the picture above. With the IntelligentAg Wireless Blockage and Flow Monitor, your primaries would display this variation.

Using sound, Intelligent Ag’s sensor system tells you the rate each primary is getting (as a % of full-flow), so you know immediately if fertilizer or seed stops flowing, is flowing intermittently, at a partial rate, or over-seeding.

1. As the seed leaves the manifold, it passes through the acoustic sensor.
2. The seed impacts a stainless steel membrane, creating a small pulse of sound that travels out through an auditory tube.
3. Information arrives via WiFi and is displayed on an Apple iPad.

Here’s another example: an Exapta customer had installed Intelligent Ag’s Blockage and Flow System before seeding cover crops this fall. Two primaries were alarmingly underperforming, at 20-30% less than the other half of the drill. He discovered he had a seed blockage at the meter. Again, with the OEM system, he wouldn’t have known his drill wasn’t seeding because fertilizer was still passing through. Unless he had stopped the drill, got out and checked the furrow for seed, he wouldn’t have discovered the blockage. Even more likely, he would have finished the field before realizing the problem, or worst case, not discovered the issue until weeks later when the seed never emerged. How much seed, time and money would he have wasted if he wasn’t monitoring the product flow? More than we want to calculate!

So friends, plant with the assurance and confidence your drill is seeding and fertilizing correctly. Please, do not wait for a costly mistake before installing the blockage and flow monitoring system from Intelligent Ag. The upside can be huge.

Another product from Intelligent Ag is Engage Zone ‘Section’ Control for Air Drills. We will share more about Engage Zone Control in a future newsletter.