Fertilisers, Spreaders & Applicators
Power on the land Design features to increase distribution accuracy as well as bigger hopper capacities to boost output are available in the latest batch of tractor-mounted and trailed fertiliser spreaders. Mike Williams reports. contents to maintain the correct application rate. The Easytronic options also include a border control spreading adjustment, and variable application rate control technology can be added by using GPS and an Isobus link.
Flagship model Amazone’s SG-TS 10001 ProfisPlus trailed spreader has a 10,000-litre hopper capacity.
Amazone has been making fertiliser spreaders for more than 100 years and its production total is now well over the 1m mark with both mounted and trailed models currently available. The range includes the ZA-TS series twin disc mounted spreaders offering hopper capacities from 1,400– 4,200 litres and a 54m maximum spreading width. The list of TS features includes a weighing system with twin cells plus an inclinometer, there is an electrically operated agitation system for the hopper contents and the unique AutoTS border spreading control provides a sharply defined cut-off point. A new development introduced last year on TS series spreaders is WindControl with an anemometer to check the wind speed and direction. The data is used to adjust the spreading action from each disc to compensate for the wind affect, and an automatic warning signal tells the operator when the wind strength is too strong for the compensation system.
British-made The single and twin disc XT series models are made at the Teagle Machinery factory in Cornwall and are the only tractor-mounted spreaders currently made in the UK. Designed mainly for use on small to medium acreages, they are available with hopper capacities ranging from 234–1,350 litres and the maximum spread width is 12m. Teagle also offers the Centerliner spreaders made by Tulip Industries in Holland. These include the recently introduced SXe and SXi models available with hopper capacities up to 3,650 litres and equipped with the Easytronic spread control technology. Easytronic automatically adjusts the spread rate to compensate for variations in travel speed, and the SXi models are also equipped with a pair of weigh cells that constantly check the hopper
Centerliner SXe and SXi series spreaders with speed monitoring technology are a recent addition to the Teagle range.
The tractor-mounted Axis series twin-disc spreaders from Kuhn Farm Machinery are available with hopper capacities from 1,000 litres, and they include the recently introduced flagship 50.2 model with a 4,200-litre maximum hopper capacity and up to 50m spreading width. Special Axis features include spreading pallets with a wear resistant coating, and the fertiliser flow rate is controlled automatically by the Kuhn Electronic Mass Control or EMC feature. EMC constantly measures the drive torque to both spreading discs, and this information is used to regulate the flow rate needed to maintain the required application rate.
The recently introduced Axis 50.2 twin disc spreader from Kuhn has up to 4,200 litres hopper capacity.
As well as a comprehensive range of mounted spreaders, Kuhn also offers high capacity trailed versions including three models in the AGT series with the spreading action through a full width boom. All the AGT spreaders have a 6,300-litre hopper capacity, and using boom application aims to boost distribution accuracy by minimising exposure to wind while offering even distribution across the full bout width with all types of fertiliser.
Fertiliser and lime There are eight trailed models in the Agri-Spread range of fertiliser and lime spreaders, as well as truck-mounted self-propelled versions. Hopper capacities for the trailed models range from 3.2– 14.6m3, equivalent to 4.5–20.4t when level loaded with lime. The 6 models up to 10.6m3 capacity have single axles, and the tandem axles on the top two spreaders can be equipped with a steering option. The top 6 models have a sprung drawbar and air brakes are offered as an option. All new spreaders are supplied with a user-friendly test kit including a set of 13 trays to check the spreading accuracy and the options list also includes a GPS link for variable spread rate control. Agri-Spread is based in Ireland where the company was established in 2006, and its spreaders
are available throughout the UK. As well as fertiliser and lime they can also be used for spreading a wide range of materials including composted waste and poultry litter.
Application kit supplier Last year was the 70th anniversary of Billericay Farm Services or BFS, the Essex based company that started as a farm contracting service but grew to become an international supplier of application equipment for liquid fertiliser and crop protection chemicals. Major milestones in the development of the BFS equipment range include its first dribble bar applicator which was originally designed for use in the liquid fertiliser spreaders operated by its own contracting service. An improved version of the dribble bar with a new application rate adjustment feature won ‘Best New Product Award’ at the 2005 Lamma event. Other BFS application equipment successes include the first air inclusion jets into the market, called Air Bubble Jets, introduced in 1990 to minimise spray drift. The current range of BFS Air Bubble Jets are offered in 10 versions covering application rates to suit any required volume. Many of the nozzles have achieved a LERAP 3-star rating. BFS has a more recent introduction to its Low Drift range; BFS ExRay XC nozzles. Some of these achieve over 90 per cent drift reduction and were the first to be listed on the new 4* LERAP rated equipment list on the CRD website. The company says that it is continuing to research further concepts in the ultra low drift jet market. The BFS FlowCheck nozzle checking device, announced in 2016, is designed to simplify nozzle output measurement by replacing the traditional stopwatch and measuring jug process. A simple visual check shows if a jet is within the 10 per cent tolerance of the stated output, at 3 bar pressure.
Crop nutrition Using organic materials including livestock manures efficiently can make a major contribution to crop nutrition, reducing or in some cases completely replacing purchased fertilisers. The Vogelsang company has a long history of developing specialised equipment for managing liquid manures from livestock units, including the original version of its elastomer coated rotary lobe pump introduced in 1970. Current versions of the pump are a popular choice on farm slurry tankers and are also used for a wide range of industrial applications. Vogelsang’s slurry equipment also includes shredders and macerators for homogenising the liquid to avoid blockages and assist even application. Vogelsang technology is also prominent in liquid manure application equipment, offering a range of spreaders and distributors that help to maximise crop benefits while reducing wind interference. The company was among the pioneers of dribble bar development and the equipment range also includes trailing shoe applicators, strip tillage systems and incorporation equipment that can be used with cultivators and harrows on arable land. ■ July 2019 www.farmersguide.co.uk 107