How to Prep Equipment for Fall Nitrogen Applications

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A fall nitrogen application can be one of the most useful steps to take ahead of a new growing season. Unfortunately, time is often tight thanks to late harvests, unpredictable weather and dropping temperatures.

To ensure you and your customers have enough time for nitrogen applications this fall, you’ll want to check your application equipment now so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“You need to make sure your equipment is up and operational, like checking over your vehicle before you go on a long trip,” says Chad Simonson, a regional account manager for FarmChem.

According to Simonson, if you’re planning to apply fall anhydrous ammonia with N‑Serve® nitrogen stabilizer, you’ll want to get your pump up and running right away.

The Essential Equipment Preparation Checklist:

  1. Flush the system with kerosene.
  2. Check for leaking fittings or seals and replace any if needed.
  3. Check for worn or leaking hoses. Replace any.
  4. Clean the filter screen in the strainer basket. A clogged strainer basket is the most common problem with pumps that are not pumping the correct volume.
  5. Check the power and tank vent. Simonson also advises listening to the motor for any unusual grinding sounds.
  6. Calibrate the pump to ensure proper amount is dispensed. Simonson says this is the most important step in the preparation process.
  7. Finally, fill the pump with N‑Serve® nitrogen stabilizer. Keep it full during the usage season and never let the pump dry out.

These steps may vary depending on the brand of pump you’re using. So, make sure to go over directions for your specific equipment.

This advice isn’t just for N‑Serve applications. If you’re planning to apply fall fertilizer, you’ll want to take considerations for Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer pumps as well.

“For Instinct NXTGEN, it’s basically the same thing. You want to turn on the pumps, make sure they’re working and not leaking. You want to clean them, flush them out with water and then go through the calibration process,” Simonson says.

Take Time Now to Save Time Later

He adds that fixing any issues you find ahead of time will help set you up for success down the road: “That’s just going to create more efficiency and less problems during in-season use while you’re limited for time, because winter’s coming and no one knows when the ground is going to freeze.”

Once the ground is frozen, the chance to apply nitrogen won’t likely come again for another several months.

To learn more about caring for equipment, visit the FarmChem YouTube page and watch instructional videos.

Instinct NXTGEN is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions.