The new variable-rate fertilizer valve from Altek allows growers who use variable-rate planters to also vary fertilizer rates. The Vari-Feed motorized valve adjusts the volume of fertilizer at each outlet based on software and prescription maps.
The challenge to designing variable-rate fertilizer application on a variable-rate planter is keeping the power requirement low. A low-power stepper motor solves that problem, explains Richard Riley, Altek sales and marketing director.
Constructed of a tough plastic, the valve features a simple design using the stepper motor to drive a piston into a small cone to change the orifice size. No seals or diaphragms are needed.
The Vari-Feed Valve will work with most manufacturer software and prescription maps. Approximate cost: $90 per unit. The valve should be available for purchase next fall.
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