The SpikeWheel design regulates the specific timing of solution placed with each rotation and ensures that liquids flow only when the injector point is directly underneath the wheel. The precision system allows you to control usage, speed, and pressure, helping you regulate the fertilizer timing to the plants’ needs and to match the soil moisture with the crop potential. By contrast, surface applied liquids often evaporate or fail to penetrate the soil, triggering product loss.
SpikeWheel’s sub-surface application of liquids allows substances to be applied to even the most sensitive crops. The SpikeWheel will not damage the roots of the growing crop – including carrots, cotton, or other fine-stemmed crops. Also fits well into minimum till situations. Compare this to knife-banding which causes root pruning and contributes to disease and slows the growth of the plant.
SpikeWheel’s sub-surface liquid injection puts liquid products directly into the soil, thus decreasing the chances of the fertilizer escaping either through volatilization, water run-off or leaching, which can occur with a split application. SpikeWheels meet the fertilizer management criteria for conservation programs such as the Conservation Security Program (CSP) and the Environment Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP).
Each injector spike is machined from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and hardened to increase the durability. The SpikeWheel is designed to protect the connecting tubes and fittings ensuring trouble free operation.
All components of the SpikeWheel are made from corrosion resistant materials.
Q: Will it plug in thick, black, heavy-clay soils?
A: We currently have run SpikeWheels™ in some of the heaviest black, gumbo soils. Specifically near Robstown, Texas. Growers have commented, “If it didn’t plug there, it won’t plug anywhere.”
Q: Will the wheel run in rocky fields?
A: We offer a 7/8” and 3/4” spring arm. Each has its advantages in certain applications. We recommend that the 7/8” arm be used in situations where extra down pressure is needed (no-till, established alfalfa stands, or excessively hard ground). The 3/4” arm provides ample down pressure for hard ground also, but it allows for more flex in fields where rocks may be an issue.
Q: How long will the SpikeWheel ™ injection points last?
A: The injection spikes have a life span of 2500 to 3500 miles. The average wear life depends on the abrasiveness of the soil. However the internal parts will experience wear with acres. As a general guideline, a 12 row set-up will run around 5,000 acres before requiring a simple O-Ring replacement. It is important to consider that with an increased number of wheels, and ultimately a wider implement, the number of acres you can fertilize before performing maintenance will increase accordingly.
Q: How do I mount the SpikeWheel™?
A: Our newly designed spring arm provides a truly versatile mounting system. The actual mounting block has two 5/8" holes drilled on two-inch centers. Producers have mounted SpikeWheels™ on existing toolbars such as "ditcher bars", planters, cultivators, or purchased the wheels on existing carts ranging in size from a small turf applicator up to eighty feet in width.
Q: How fast can I go?
A: Recommended speed for a minimal loss of product is 6.5 miles per hour. You can run the wheels faster, however, we find that with the increased centrifugal force, product “slobbering” out of the points that are not in the ground becomes an issue. One must note that even with this “slobbering,” total product loss still only amounts to 3 percent on a total application basis.
Q: How deep will the injection points penetrate the ground?
A: The points on the wheel will go approximately 3 inches deep depending on the soil conditions.
Q: What kind of fertilizer solution can I use with the SpikeWheel™?
A: Most all liquid fertilizer solutions can be applied by using the SpikeWheel™. It is not recommended to be used with anhydrous ammonia.
Q: How fast can I travel while applying fertilizer?
A: The recommended rate of speed is up to 5 miles per hour. Speeds above 5 MPH cause the fertilizer to be released from the wheels while they are above ground.
Q: How many gallons per acre can I apply to the crop?
A: You can apply up to 90 gallons per acre. The recommended rate is between 10 and 60 gallons per acre on a 12" wheel spacing at 5 mph.
Q: How does the SpikeWheel™ work?
A: The metering sleeve only allows fertilizer out to the injection point while it is in the soil. The metering sleeve regulates the amount of solution each point gets so each receives the same amount.
Q: What kind of crops can I use this system with?
A: You can apply fertilizer to most all varieties of growing crops.
Q: How much damage will this do to my crop?
A: Comparing this method to the coulter injector and the knife injector the SpikeWheel™ method is 90% less disturbing to the roots of the growing crop.
Q: What type of soil can I use this in? What happens if my soil is hard?
A: This system works best in most types of soil. Rocky ground doesn't seem to be a problem. If you can sink a spade shovel into the ground by applying pressure with one foot, you can use the SpikeWheel™.
Q: How do I tell how much fertilizer is going to each wheel?
A: The method to determine this is the same as for a shank fertilizer machine. Whatever amount you put through the orifice to the wheel is applied into the soil. There is a calibration chart available for easy reference.
Q: When can I use this method to fertilize my fields?
A: This method can be used in growing crops in the spring or fall. It can be used in summer fallow also. It has advantages over a shank machine in high soil residue conditions.
Q: When will I see results after using this machine in a growing crop or on turf?
A: You should see some results anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks depending on most conditions.
We began using the spoke wheel to apply our top dress fertilizer package in 1989. Due to the results we were seeing, we went from a split application, where we applied part of our fertilizer into the summer fallow in the form of anhydrous ammonia during the summer months prior to the crop year, to applying our total fertilizer package in the spring into the growing crop using the spoke wheel.
We could also see how it would be beneficial to control the damage caused by erosion if we could go to a continuous cropping system and eliminate the summer fallow completely. So in 1992, we began an annual cropping rotation on our 5,000 acre farm.
The success we have seen could not be achieved without the spoke wheels ability to nest the fertilizer into the root zone of the growing crop at the time in which the plant is ultimately able to utilize the fertilizer. By proper timing of the fertilizer you are better able to match fertilizer needs with the crop potential due to crop conditions and available moisture.
The SpikeWheel technology decreases the chances of the fertilizer escaping either through volatilization, water run-off or leaching which was occurring with the old split application process of previous years. Since this method is one which causes a minimal amount of disturbance to the crop versus what would be caused by a colter injector or surface banding, we are not seeing a decrease in our yield.
Another benefit in which we are seeing is the fact that we can minimize the amount of straw which is grown and concentrate on producing more crop, thus eliminating a residue problem for future crops and increasing our profit. Since we began using this system of applying fertilizer on our farm, there have been other farmers who have begun to see the positive attributes of this application method. This has lead us to begin doing custom application work and the rental of spoke fertilizer machines to others as well as selling equipment to individuals who have begun to use the spoke wheel for their own use and also provide additional income through custom work of their own.
As the profit margin in farming decreases, we have seen an increase in the usage of the spoke wheel to apply fertilizer. Since you are not investing your money in an unsure situation for a long period of time and instead you are applying the product to the growing crop, it is an attractive asset to your lender.
Recently, with the increase nationwide of no till and minimum till farming practices, we saw a need for a more durable, heavy-duty wheel which could meet the extra demand required in these conditions. This also would allow a minimal amount of maintenance needed for thousands of acres. In early 2003, we introduced our all-new heavy duty SpikeWheel™ to comply with these demands. The solid dish design increased the strength and durability required by farmers using this technology in their operation. We also saw a need to be able to apply liquid products such as surfactants, wetting agents, insecticides, pesticides and nematicides into established strands of alfalfa, grass seed, sod and turf. The demand for this type of application was met with the inception of the heavier spring arm and also a machine specifically designed for turf applications better known as LiquiJect™. The results seen with the combination of this tool and the products used have been remarkable.
To date, we have used some of the wheels on our custom application machines to apply fertilizer to more than 60,000 acres every year. At this time we are satisfied that the changes which have been made to the wheel have achieved one which is more durable than the wheel which we began using and increased the life of the wheel thus reducing costs of operation.
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