YUMA, Colo. – Gary Newton remembers the very moment the concept of chemigation came to him. "In 1969, I was swathing some hay next to one of my sprinklers I had just installed. I looked back and saw the sprinkler covering the entire field with just one pass," he said. "I thought that had to be better than making multiple passes across the field to apply fertilizer or crop protection products."

That epiphany eventually led to the official establishment of Agri-Inject, Inc. in 1983. Thirty years later, Agri-Inject continues to define and refine the concept of fluid injection technology-helping growers around the world improve efficiency and effectiveness of crop inputs by applying them through irrigation systems.

Today, Agri-Inject is on the cutting edge of fluid injection technology and accuracy, bringing precision agriculture to pivot irrigation. Newton’s first system was a bit less sophisticated.  "I built a makeshift unit out of a spare 150-gallon fiberglass spray tank and used a Norpac pump to apply herbicide on the irrigated grass.  That was my first so-called ‘chemigation’, I guess," Newton said.

Over the years, Newton kept experimenting, designing and refining his concept-creating parts, connecting with engineers and manufacturers, and testing, testing, and testing.  He also had to do his own figuring on application rates and determine which parts and components could stand up to the conditions of chemigation.

The Agri-Inject line-up includes a wide variety of systems for application of insecticides, fertilizer, herbicides and fungicides. There are large capacity systems that can apply soil amendments across an entire field.  he new BoundaryRider targets the perimeter of a field to prevent pest infestations. New variable rate Agri-Inject systems are being introduced that are aligned with precision technology rapidly being adopted and enhanced in irrigation and crop management.

Agri-Inject units are in place on six continents, applying inputs on everything from corn to potatoes to blueberries to lettuce to turf. Over three decades, Agri-Inject has proven that irrigation is for more than just water.  

Newton stepped down from the company in 2005. When asked what makes him most proud about his company and its products, Gary Newton puts it simply: "I’m happy to have helped agriculture. That’s what makes me proud."

Caption: Gary Newton of Eckley, Colo., began Agri-Inject in 1983.