What is fluid injection technology?
Fluid injection technology is a method of applying agricultural and turf fertilizers, chemicals and other soluble treatments (soil amendments, etc.) through an irrigation system—using the water to distribute the product. The term “chemigation” is sometimes used to describe this process, but that tends to refer only to the application of chemicals, while fluid injection technology from Agri-Inject encompasses a much broader range of products and applications.
What types of products can be applied through fluid injection technology?
Virtually all common agricultural products can be applied through Agri-Inject systems including fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, wetting agents or growth regulators. Products must be labeled for approved use, so check the product label or consult your input provider or agronomist to ensure that it is approved for application through irrigation.
Do I need a certain kind of irrigation system to use Agri-Inject fluid injection technology?
We recommend you use our technology in conjunction with sprinkler-type irrigation systems such as center pivot, linear move, solid set or similar irrigation configurations. Sprinkler systems accommodate both soil- and foliar-applied chemicals, and provide good uniformity of application. Center pivots provide the most effective means of application, while drip/trickle, flood, furrow and subsurface systems are less effective.
Do I need a certain kind of sprinkler package?
No. Agri-Inject fluid injection technology is effective with any sprinkler package in common use today, including rotators, wobblers, spray/superspray and orbitor types.
Is fluid injection technology limited for use on just a few crops?
Not at all. Agri-Inject systems are being used with great success on a wide range of crops: alfalfa, dry beans, canola, potatoes, corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, carrots and more. From row crops to forages, from fruits and nuts to vegetables—Agri-Inject technology is on the job helping growers improve yields, quality and profitability.
Can Agri-Inject systems be used on turf?
Most definitely. Agri-Inject systems are in place on golf courses, turf farms and even in residential settings all across North America.
Is fluid injection technology limited to a few geographic regions?
No. Agri-Inject systems are being used all across North America and around the world. Agri-Inject systems are in place in 44 states and on six continents. Wherever irrigation is used to grow food, forage or fiber, Agri-Inject technology can be used as well.
How does fluid injection technology compare to traditional application in terms of cost effectiveness?
Agri-Inject technology can be a very profitable alternative to aerial or ground rig application depending on the type and amount of use. Independent studies indicate that the annual cost of fluid injection technology ranges from 34% to 60% of aerial or ground application—and decreases dramatically as the number of applications increases during the year. Savings are compounded by the reduced amount of chemical or fertilizer required as well as the basic cost of application.
Does fluid injection technology reduce chemical costs?
Based on university trials and field tests, the amount of chemicals can be dramatically reduced through the use of fluid injection technology. On some crops, chemical use has been reduced by the following amounts without reducing yields:
Tests indicate increased effectiveness of chemicals applied through fluid injection technology compared to standard application methods, even when smaller amounts of chemicals are applied. This makes sense both economically and environmentally.
What are the environmental benefits of an Agri-Inject system?
Using an Agri-Inject system reduces human and wildlife toxicity since the chemicals are diluted to a greater extent that with conventional application. Aerial application concentrates the chemical into one to two gallons of water per acre. An Agri-Inject system will apply that same amount of chemical in up to 10,000 gallons of water per acre, so any drift to non-target areas has less toxic potential. Additionally, drift is less likely compared to other application methods, especially with newer irrigation nozzle packages.
In addition to ensuring complete atomization and dispersion of chemicals and fertilizers into the irrigation water stream, the patented Mister Mist’r® injection check valve on all Agri-Inject systems also serves as a reliable backflow check valve to prevent irrigation water from entering the chemical supply tank—as well as preventing chemical from leaking into the main line water stream during system shutdown.
Are there other costs savings with Agri-Inject fluid injection technology?
In addition to the savings in application and chemical costs, you also make fewer trips through the field—reducing energy consumption, equipment wear and operator hours. Soil compaction is reduced. Additionally, applying products through an Agri-Inject system is a bit like getting a “free ride” for your chemicals and fertilizer, since you’re pumping the irrigation water anyway.
During dry years, you don’t have to shut down your sprinkler system to allow chemical application to occur. With an Agri-Inject system, you simply inject the chemical through your irrigation water, so you can treat the crop and continue to provide much-needed water.
Is fluid injection technology safer than conventional methods?
The tank mixing process required in conventional application poses the highest risk to the operator. With an Agri-Inject system, that risk is virtually eliminated. Chemicals only need to be handled once per field. Compare that to the multiple risk of spills and exposure associated with filling a spray tank multiple times in one field.
Obviously, you should use common sense safety equipment such as goggles and chemical-resistant gloves when handling material.
What is the payback on an Agri-Inject fluid injection system?
The payback period varies based on your application methods, but the more applications you make, the quicker the system pays for itself. With other forms of application (ground rig, aerial, etc.), the cumulative costs just keep going up.
Here’s an example: At a conventional application cost of $6 to $8 per acre on a 125-acre pivot circle, a 70-gallon Agri-Inject system with a simplex pump (list price $5450) pays for itself in about six applications. As the per-acre cost for conventional application increases, that payback occurs in fewer applications. And that payback continues to pay benefits with each application—and every growing season.
Are there special requirements for producers who use fluid injection technology?
This method has become a widely accepted management practice, so most states, federal regulatory agencies and foreign governments have adopted guidelines requiring producers to be certified or licensed. This typically involves some education on proper equipment set-up and operation, chemical handling procedures, and other topics. Check with your state officials to learn about the regulations governing fluid injection technology in your area.