Most spreaders deliver a high level of variation in spread pattern which can compromise pasture or crop profitability due to some areas of the paddock receiving too much fertiliser and some areas too little. A new machine is no guarantee that an acceptable spread pattern will be achieved.
7 April 2017
Agriculture Kangaroo Island: Jenny Stanton.
Many spreaders do not give an even spread pattern, resulting in increased costs and poor crop growth.
A calibration workshop was held at Parndana.
The objective of the project was to hold a calibration workshop demonstrating to Kangaroo Island growers the importance of understanding and calibrating spreaders to obtain an optimal spread pattern.
In the field
Twenty producers attended a Spreader Calibration Workshop held at the Parndana Showgrounds led by Accu-Spread Testing Officer Russell Nichol. The three spreaders tested were a three-point-linkage Accord, a truck-mounted Southern Spreader and a tow-behind Marshall.
All owners discovered that their spreaders were not spreading as wide as they thought and require additional investment to increase their spread width. The owners are now aware of what distance to drive between passes to produce an ideal spread pattern.
Product quality also has an influence on the spread pattern with inferior products such as those that have a lot of fines (smaller than 2mm) reduce the spreader bout width. Urea was reported as the most troublesome product to spread, especially over large distances.
Value for growers
Key findings in this project have been: