It’s the law of supply and demand — if you own a self-propelled sprayer, you are in demand. Strong yield response from mid-season nitrogen applications last season means that many of your neighbors are looking for a custom applicator that can feed their crop this summer. Your self-propelled sprayer can be the centerpiece of a new profit center for your operation.
With the addition of the 360 Y-DROP® nitrogen application system to a sprayer, owners have the ability to extend the use season for this high-priced asset. In addition to capturing the added yield on their own operations, operators can capitalize on the demand for custom application and earn thousands of dollars.
Custom rates for mid-season nitrogen application range from $12 to $15 per acre. A custom applicator typically covers 4,000 acres with nitrogen application from V8 to V12 in traditional self-propelled sprayer and up to VT in tall sprayers. That can generate $48,000 of gross profit over the two- to three-week application window.
According to Ron Lloyd, agronomy lead for 360 Yield Center, “After the huge boost we saw in yield from mid-season nitrogen application last year, the guys that are doing custom application with 360 Y-DROP are being inundated with requests for custom service. They are turning away acres simply because they are maxed out on capacity.”
Many corn producers are shifting their traditional nitrogen application methods. Many are splitting their application with enough pre-plant nitrogen to get the plants to V10. Then measuring nitrate levels and applying the second dose of nitrogen at the V8 to VT stage of growth.
Jim Hedges, sales manager at 360 Yield Center, works with ag retailers around the country. “The rapid adoption of mid-season nitrogen application means that many ag retailers are looking at custom applicators to help fill the void. The ag retailers have not been able to gear up fast enough to handle the demand. They are looking for self-propelled sprayer owners to partner with to cover their customers’ acres,” Hedges said.
To help growers locate custom applicators, 360 Yield Center has developed a custom applicator locator on its website. Corn producers can go to the locator and search for customer applicators in their area.
The 360 Y-DROP system offers additional custom application opportunities with the addition of 360 UNDERCOVER®. This attachment allows for in-canopy application of fungicides and insecticides.
It is a challenging year to earn profits from corn production. But using assets like a self-propelled sprayer and 360 Y-DROP to convert an asset into an added profit center can mean the difference between profit and loss.