AgWatch


C-Jet Bumps Yields

Innovative Farmer Invents More Efficient Anhydrous Injector

BETTY VALLE GEGG-NAEGER
MidAmerica Farmer Grower

ADVANCE, MO.
   Farmers can increase their yields while fertilizing more efficiently with a new tool, the C-Jet, developed by an innovative Advance, Mo., farmer back in the late 1990s. Presently, only the developer, Paul Lanpher, his son, Rus, and grandson, Andy, as well as several big farmers in their neighborhood are using the tool.
   “About 16 years ago, I started working on a better way to make a good seedbed and apply fertilizer,” Paul explained. “I had retired and rented our farm to Rus. I helped him with the operation and management of my farm, but had more time for experimenting to find better ways to do things.”
   Paul noticed that when he applied anhydrous before planting corn, it would not stay in the ground unless the soil condition was almost perfect. Even then, corn couldn’t be planted for two or three weeks after applying the nitrogen, or it would kill the corn that was planted over the strip where the anhydrous went into the ground.
   “We needed a better way to put down anhydrous,” he said. “So, I welded a sweep on the bottom of the anhydrous knife, put a T in the anhydrous tube, and shot the gas out behind the wings of the sweep. This way, at seven to eight inches deep, the gas stayed in the ground much better, and it spread the nitrogen out enough that it didn’t come up and hurt the corn. The strip-till idea was catching on about this time, and it looked like this would help make a good seedbed for strip till.”





 The new C-Jet nitrogen knife features, 1) new long life chrome shank protector, 2) stainless steel tube with T at bottom, 3) economical sweep with easy roll pin
 mounting, 4) best knife for pre-plant, strip-till and side-dressing of anhydrous or liquid nitrogen. Corn can be planted anytime, and works on DMI and other 
 strip-till machines.






 




   The wings on the sweep were lifting and loosening a strip of soil about 10-12 inches wide, making a little ridge. Two rolling cultivator gangs were used to chop and settle the soil to make a good seedbed. “The cultivator gangs that I use are expensive, but they do the best job of anything I have seen for making a seedbed where you can plant corn the same day,” he stated.
   The Lanpher farm is slightly rolling and has an erosion problem. Strip-till works good there. His son, Rus’s land and neighboring fields lies mostly flat and the wheat and bean residue from the previous year keeps the soil wet some years too late in the spring for strip-tilling a good crop. They like to work the residue into the soil in the fall and make a bed in the fall or spring on which to plant. When corn planting time comes, Rus and several of the neighbors use the C-Jet to make the bed and spread the nitrogen under the seedbed where it will do the most good and make it safe to plant corn the same day.
   “When I saw how well the strip-till machine worked with the C-jet, I thought some good company would take it over and work with me to put it on the market,” Paul said. “That has not happened, and it has been a good hobby for me. I enjoy working with everyone, trying to do a better job of conservation farming, but if these C-Jets were mass produced more farmers could benefit.”
   Back in 2001-2002, Lanpher was working with University of Missouri Extension Agent Dr. Gene Stevens and they tested the C-Jet through a grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Awards Program.
   “Dr. Stevens gave them the name C-Jet, short for Conservation Jet,” he explained. “The first three or four years while testing the C-Jet, it was a one-piece knife, hand-made and costly.”
   The on-farm corn nitrogen research project conducted on his farm in cooperation with Dr. Stevens in 2001 and 2002 was an evaluation of this new type no-till anhydrous ammonia applicator developed by Lanpher, the C-Jet. The extension report shows the equipment helps reduce the amount of ammonia gas lost during application on no-till fields.
   Experiments showed the C-Jet shank increased corn yields numerically as compared to applying the same rate of nitrogen with an applicator from a local farmer cooperative. The two-year results showed that corn yields with nitrogen applied in the row middles produced 156 bu/A with a conventional fertilizer straight shank. Corn yields averaged 163 bu/A with the same rate of nitrogen applied with the C-Jet shank in the middles. When anhydrous was applied with the C-Jet under the row, corn yields increased eight bu/A more than compared to applying it with a C-Jet in the middles.
   Applying under the row with the C-Jets yielded 15 bu/A more than with a conventional fertilizer straight shank in the middles, the report shows. Paul registered his invention with the U.S. Patent office about 10 years ago.
   “After seeing the 10 percent yield increase it spurred, I decided it might be worth the $18,000 for the tooling to have the C-Jet manufactured,” Paul said. “I designed the knife so the sweep on the bottom can easily be replaced by driving out a roll pin. The C-Jet shank has a heavy duty chrome shank protector that lasts a long time. The 6-inch sweep costs only $11. Farmers who use it like this set-up, so I contacted Nichols Tillage Tools of Sterling, Colo., to manufacture the C-Jet for me.”
   The C-Jet can be adapted easily for use on several anhydrous applicators, and several farmers use it on the DMI strip till machine.
   “One thing I’m really proud of is a test Pioneer did last year,” Paul said. “We don’t give our Pioneer test plots any special treatment, but our average yields came out better than those of the Missouri contestants who are winning the NCGA contest. We think our fertilizer and tillage system makes the difference.”
   Grandson, Andy Lanpher who works with his father, Rus, said that no special inputs were used on the Pioneer test plots in Bollinger County that yielded an average of 295.5 bu/A, well above most of the entries in that competition, and slightly under the top entry of 296.0 bu/A from plots in New Madrid. ∆
   BETTY VALLE GEGG-NAEGER: Senior Staff Writer, MidAmerica Farmer Grower
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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