A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in the U.S. and internationally, writes Jackie Pucci on AgriBusinessGlobal.com.
The invention is called SIMPAS, and the brains behind it is Eric Wintemute, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Southern California-based company since 1994.
In an exclusive interview with AgriBusiness Global, Wintemute explains that the idea came about when he was at a conference around 2008. A panel was presenting on the growing problem of corn rootworm and other insects attacking corn.
“I asked them after, why don’t we put more chemicals on the seed? They said that we’re limited to how much we can coat the seed to 1% of the weight of the (corn) seed. That got me thinking, wouldn’t it be great if we could deliver at the time of planting more than just insecticide, but fungicide, nematicide, and different components that could go down at the same time?”
AMVAC’s SmartBox closed-delivery application system — originally acquired from DuPont in 2000 and used by thousands of U.S. Corn Belt growers ever since — while successful, is a one-trick pony, dispensing only soil insecticides.
Wintemute was able to turn that seed of an idea into reality.
SIMPAS builds on the SmartBox platform, upping the ante with sophisticated yet still simple-to-use metering and software and the ability to deploy an array of product that make it the “ultimate dispensing machine,” as Bill Kuser, veteran AMVAC spokesman calls it.
Bob Trogele, Chief Operating Officer, encapsulates the ultimate goal of SIMPAS: “We’re digitizing the production system of a grower, and we’re enabling precision ag.”
“A lot of our customers, partners, and competitors have invested a lot of money into ag data and other precision ag technologies. This is a device that allows you to actually apply it,” says Trogele.