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Field Talk

Howard Bye

Video Overview

Canadian farmer Howard Bye farms 10,000 acres of wheat, canola, and yellow peas. When commodity prices climbed, along with rising operating and crop input costs, he knew that he needed to save money. He wasn’t willing to compromise on protection and coverage for his crops, though. That’s where the MagGrow system came in.

“We’re always challenging ourselves to find ways to reduce costs on inputs, equipment, and operating,” he says. “The biggest challenge for me is that I want to make sure that I am getting the right amount of droplets on and into the plant canopy.”

To test the efficiency of the new system, Bye set up a field trial with sprayers with identical booms: boom height of the canopy, boom pressure, and gallons per minute. Then he placed water-sensitive paper strips in the crop, both on top of the canopy and further into the canopy. One sprayer was fitted with the MagGrow boom kit and pulse-width modulation nozzle, a second sprayer had only a pulse-width modulation nozzle, and the third was a conventional sprayer. Bye then did four runs with each sprayer.

He noticed that the low drift meant his product was hitting its targets better, even on windier days. The crop coverage from the MagGrow system with pulse-width modulation nozzle was 40% greater than from the other two sprayers, enabling him to spray 25% more ground with a tank full of spray.

“With MagGrow, I can apply recommended label rates and also get better coverage and better kill of weeds and insects. I have more flexibility in reducing the rates of water and chemicals that I use, which ultimately saves me money.”

Since that trial, Bye has installed another MagGrow boom kit on a second sprayer. He appreciates the ease of installation and operation of the system. With no moving or electrical parts, it really is just as simple as ‘install and spray’. “Sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly how the system works,” says Bye, “but the proof is in the coverage that is delivered by the MagGrow units.”

Bye also finds that MagGrow is a good investment for his operation. “With the reductions in water and chemical that I’ve been able to achieve the system has paid for itself in less than a year. It’s also good to know that when I go to trade-off, I can install that same kit on my next sprayer. When I go to trade off, I can install that same kit on my next sprayer.”

Bye is sold on the MagGrow system. “Whether you’re a farmer or a custom applicator, if you want the biggest bang for your buck out of your sprayer, MagGrow can definitely help you achieve that.”