When the 3rive-3D system was introduced by FMC three years ago, Farm Industry News offered insight into the system, the way it worked and the potential for the technology, but as Rick Ekins, portfolio manager, insecticide, fungicide, plant health and new technology, FMC, noted in a recent conversation, these things take time. "When this product was introduced corn was $8, it's a little harder now to bring new tools to market," he noted. "This system saves time and labor, but for a farmer often labor is free."
While that may be a changing perception in ag, when corn is under $4, it does pose a challenge. Yet, the technology of the system - a high-capacity application tool that uses a new formulation of Capture insecticide - may change the way many think of in-furrow application. With this tool on a single fill - 30 gallons of active ingredient and 130 gallons of water - you can cover up to 480 acres. And Ekins notes it's full coverage.
"This system creates a rope of foam in the furrow," he said. "This is different than other in-furrow systems."
He also added that this system saves weight too. "Think of 48 rows with insecticide boxes on each row, that's a lot of extra weight to carry into the field," he said. With 3rive-3D (pronounced Thrive-3D), you're carrying less weight in a centralized system, and the application is consistent along the row.
Ekins added that with granular systems, and traditional liquid systems, coverage can be a problem. Add in that today farmers want to plant faster and those traditional approaches may become problematic. "We can apply a consistent pattern in that furrow even at 10 mph planting speeds," he said.
For farmers with traditional systems, the work is getting done, and the investment to change may be a ways off. But FMC is also borrowing a marketing approach from another industry - the razor blade business. The 3rive-3D system is priced with support to help farmers invest in the technology, the key is the product that goes through it.
More formulations coming
Only the Capture 3rive-3D formulation can be used in the product at this time. But that's going to change soon.
Ekins made it clear that farmers who invest in this application system will have more products for the future, and more crops for application. Capture is a corn insecticide, but he noted that there are other crops with potential.
Fungicides, biologicals and other products are under development for formulation and use in the system. He explained that FMC is working with crop groups like sunflower producers to help them solve key problems and come up with new active ingredients that can be put through the process. Those are products yet to come, but they're nearing the market.
"We have a robust pipeline of product that is headed to market for this application system," he said. He rattles off familiar names that may soon be ready for application using the tool like Temitry and Ethos.
One issue is the rise of seed treatments, which have value, but also limitations. Adding a system that can provide what Ekins calls a "zone of protection" in the furrow, may offer added benefits in addition to seed treatments.
Essentially, his message is simple - watch this space, there's more to come. Check the conversation Editor Willie Vogt had with Ekins during the National Farm Machinery Show in the video below.