The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) announced yesterday that CapstanAG Systems Inc. has executed a license to further develop and commercialize a chemical application system that allows farmers to apply a specific amount of fertilizer or pesticide per seed planted at the exact location where it is needed.
The technology was developed by John Wilkerson, Professor of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science in UT’s Institute of Agriculture, and two of his graduate students. The idea originated from conversations Wilkerson had with cotton farmers in West Tennessee who were trying to identify ways to minimize costs associated with pesticide and fertilizer applications while also reducing environmental impacts on their land.
When integrated into a planter, the seed specific target system allows farmers to apply a defined volume of liquid product, such as a fertilizer or pesticide, at a specific location relative to each seed planted in a furrow. The result is a perfectly timed chemical application precisely where it is needed. Field testing of a prototype on cotton revealed it could reduce fungicide use by 50 percent without a reduction in efficiency, and maintain the same level of protection.