Opico’s Nitro-Jet is like Viagra for OSR

Aiming to reduce autumn workloads and boost rape establishment rates, Opico has launched the Nitro-Jet system, the latest in the company’s line-up of till-seeding kit.

Designed to work hand-in-hand with the Variocast seeder unit, it is positioned on the rear bracket of the HE-VA subsoiler and places seed just in front of the packer roll. Nitro-Jet nozzles apply a jet of nitrogen just in front of the sub-soiler leg. The disturbance of the leg through the soil is enough to incorporate the nitrogen into the first inch of soil where the seed falls, giving the seed immediate contact with the nutrient.

Described as giving a dose of Viagra for OSR, band application of nitrogen also helps producers meet NVZ obligations by reducing the overall nitrogen usage over the whole field, says James Woolway of Opico.

“Tighter NVZ rules, place greater restraint on growers come autumn and the limit for application on any OSR crop is 250kg/ha. Of this, only 30kg/ha can be applied in the autumn.”

One way to overcome these challenges, he says, is using the till-seeding sub-soiler method. “Broadcasting fertiliser over band-sown rape can be wasteful. By applying in bands where the seed is sown, the plant gets hold of more of the compound, in this case nitrogen, particularly in the autumn when the root structure can’t absorb other chemicals.

“Because the nitrogen is applied in bands, it gets hold of more of the compound,. and a little nitrogen in the autumn goes a long way, particularly in challenging conditions.”

Opico-Nitro-Jet-main

The mounted unit comes with either 600 or 800-litre tanks and all units have a self-fill function as well as a 700-litre/min high capacity pump, which allows producers who may not have access to liquid fertiliser the chance to fill from IBCs in the field. A nozzle manifold and piping for five nozzles are standard, while additional nozzle outlets and brackets cost £125 for subsoilers with more than five legs.

For those who want more capacity, there’s 800 or 1000-litre front-mounted options with a distribution hose from front to back. “This has all the same features, just the option to go bigger if required,” says Mr Woolway. The front mounted, impact-resistant tank is fitted with road legs and demount legs and a Cat II linkage.

Equipped with a Raven spray rate controller, the Nitro-Jet also has ground speed in-cab variable rate control, thanks to a landwheel on the Variocast setup.

The narrow band nozzles are mounted on the headstock bracket about 4-5in in front of each sub-soiler leg, each with a rubber protection arrangement to prevent damage if clouted by a soil clod. For those worried about nozzles blocking in dry conditions, the pressure of the application should prevent this, says Mr Woolway. But blockage alarms can be added as an extra.

Although the applicator has been specifically built for the Danish-built HE-VA machine, it will be possible to mount it to most other subsoilers, like the VarioCast, which many have bought for existing machinery.

The Nitro-Jet system joins Opico’s distinctive stainless steel Ferti-Cast system, launched at Lamma 2008, which is designed for granular application, mounted alongside the Variocast on the rear bracket. Price for the subsoiler-mounted version is £9970 and for the front-mounted tank option is £9904.