4R’s Stewardship for All Crop Inputs with SIMPAS™November 22, 2016
4R’s Stewardship for All Crop Inputs with SIMPAS™
By: Rick Rice, AMVAC Director of Application Technology. AMVAC is a supporter of CropLife Foundation.
The practices of “right product, right rate, right place, and right time” aren’t just applicable to the big three crop fertilizer products, according to Eric Wintemute, CEO of AMVAC. Rather, “every crop input should be applied in conformity with the 4R’s stewardship guidelines that form the foundation for the responsible use of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash. But the N, P & K guys are way ahead of the crop protection chemical and micronutrient business when it comes to prescriptively applying products at the best rate for specific locations in each field. So we’re developing SIMPAS™ to make it easy for farmers to prescriptively apply chemicals and micro’s, in-furrow, while they’re planting or during fall tillage operations.”
SIMPAS, an acronym for Smart Integrated Multi-product Prescriptive Application System, was first introduced to the CropLife America audience in AgriBusiness Global in May 2016. It’s expected to be commercially available in time to plant the Midwest corn crop in 2018. Built around an Apple-approved iPad app-based user interface in the tractor cab, SIMPAS will have the plug-and-play capability, enabling input receipt from a number of different prescriptive controllers that are already commercially available.
With a cartridge-based container system that allows multiple products to be snapped into place on each row of a planter, SIMPAS uses software to dispense the right rate (which might in fact be no product at all) to each location within a field boundary in a manner that’s similar to the way an ink-jet printer uses software to dispense the correct amount of different ink colors to each location within the print boundaries of a page. The iPad app makes it easy to ensure each radio-frequency identification (RFID)-tagged product container is installed in the correct location on the planter, and SIMPAS works with the farmer’s precision and prescriptive systems to ensure each product is applied at the prescriptive rate for every management zone in the field.
Evidence of AMVAC’s commitment to making prescriptive applications of crop protection chemicals and micronutrients a reality can be seen in AMVAC COO and CropLife Foundation (CLF) Board Member Bob Trogele’s commitment to supporting the CLF prairie strips project in 2018/2019. He has provided two SIMPAS systems at AMVAC’s expense in 2018 and 2019 to the project.
“We’re excited about the environmental benefits that can be realized when low productivity areas of a field are planted with native grasses instead of corn or soybeans,” says Trogele. “Farmers who choose to plant filter strips will require an easy way to ensure the products they apply to protect and feed the crop don’t get applied to prairie strips. SIMPAS will make that easy for them. And because each product container will have a unique RFID serial number, the electronic as-applied data will log the specific containers used in each field. SIMPAS will be a giant step forward in product traceability that’s totally independent of farmer input.”
For a video demonstration and more information about SIMPAS, please visit http://www.amvac-chemical.com/News-Media/News-Articles-Videos/SIMPAS-Video-Presentation