Low Mu Tech Technical Bulletin Update: Use Rates, Finger Meters, Talc/Graphic/Lubricant Applicators – 5/6/19

Low Mu Tech
Technical Update Bulletin
May 6, 2019

Subject: Use Rates, Finger Meters, Talc/Graphite/Lubricant Applicators

Observations & Insights regarding the use of Dust from current spring 2019 planting:

There are many reports of success in the field, with many “calls of thanks” from farmers regarding how well the product is working for them. Please take a moment to review the following information regarding additional insights for the use of Dust as you go to the field.

  • Use rates- For reference/guidance: (One-Half Cup) 1/2 cup of Dust material by volume measurement – is approximately 1.5 oz of dry weight Dust material – (depending on how you “scoop the material”.) Note: The density of this material is less than talc and graphite.
  1. With Vac Planters, start with 1/2 cup (1 oz to 1.5 oz approx.) on corn per unit of seed. With soybeans, due to greater seed count per unit of seed, it may take up to 2 oz. to 3 oz of material. If you need to work the rate higher, do so at your discretion to get the desired results.
  2. When using in Central-fill planters (CCS) start with a lower rate in the beginning. Start with around 1 oz. of material for first fill of seed. (This amount of material is less than normally used for Talc.)
    1. The key is to watch the singulation and flowability of seed. Less can be better than “More”.
    2. Please keep in mind that the Dust material will “clean out” current talc/graphite material that is in the system, so there may initially be “a little excess of lubricant in the system”.
  • If you need to use a higher rate after the first fill or two in the planter, please watch your monitor for results and adjust accordingly.
  1. Non-CCS planters can use:

*Approximately 1 oz to 3 oz of material as needed for coverage and flow-ability.

  1. The key metric is that as a farmer, you will want to use your judgement to arrive at the proper rate for your given planter, seed treatment, seed size, and humidity – just as you have learned over time in using the current talc/graphite products in the past.
  • Finger meters: Dust is working in finger meters.
    1. The use rate is variable due to conditions such as seed size, seed treatment, etc.
      1. You can start with a low rate such as 1 oz to 2 oz. In some conditions farmers are able to use a higher rate. In some cases you may find you can use a lower rate. However, be conservative on amount. If there is an issue that arises, it can be that the use rate is too high. Adjust rate as needed for your conditions.
      2. Recall that in finger meters a low rate of lubricant material is needed to make them work correctly. While there are exceptions, many new seed treatments are easier for finger meters to work with today versus 5 to 10 years ago.
  • Seed Lubricant Applicators/Talc & Graphite Applicators

Many farmers use Talc and Graphite applicators. There are numerous and various models on the market with different setups and configurations. With regards to the applicators, many/most are working very well. With certain models or types of applicators a specific farmer may experience “flowability” concerns with a certain setting or device configuration. It is highly recommended to take some time to learn how the Dust product works in your specific applicator before going to the field. If you have questions about a certain model, please check with your dealer for insight. Also check with the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s website for any testing or insight they may provide on this subject. With regards to certain observations on specific applicators, at this time, the following are some insights.

  1. CT Applicator: Works very well. See the company website for recs on which screen to remove/use. CT has tested Dust and offered a recommendation that works well.
  2. Unverferth/Parker: Work well when the auger comes close to the end of the black pvc discharge tube. Unverferth has a special Lubricant Flowability Kit that modifies the “spout” that improves the performance. (Call your dealer to learn more if needed.).
  3. Hitchdoc: Dust has been found to work in some models. Consider there are some field reports with some situations/models that could become problematic for flowability. “Work arounds” are in process for updates. Check with your dealer for any insights.
  4. Enviropac: This applicator is working in many situations. In certain situations where flowability may be hindered, there are a couple of adaptations that are easily done to make them work. Check with your dealer.
  5. Lundell: This applicator works very well, especially the newer model tested out well. Lundell is currently working on an updated agitator design for certain older models. Check with your dealer regarding this.
  6. Low Mu Tech is and will be in contact with various talc and graphite applicator manufacturers over time in order to assist with insight and work with them to provide potential working solutions for farmers using or wanting to use Dust in applicators.
  • Dust: An analogy- For reference, consider that Dust works much like ethanol going through a gas engine the first time. It can clean a lot of residual talc and graphite out in the first few passes around the field when you initially switch material.
    1. Please note: You may experience some fluctuations of readings on the seed monitor as you switch from the current materials being used – over to Dust. After a short period of time planting – as the current material is “cleaned out” and Dust becomes the un-mixed product working to provide the lubricant and flow agent – you will see the monitor results return to normal readings and more stable readings.