By Farm Progress staff
You couldn’t walk very far on the show grounds at nay recent major farm show and not find a company offering a new fertilizer spreader or fertilizer tender. Odds are it bore little resemblance to the dry fertilizer spinner carts your father or grandfather used, except that it had room for fertilizer, and the cart rode on tires. Precision technology is influencing the engineers who design new fertilizer spreading equipment today and the people who make the carts. Some products were also designed for liquid fertilizer.
Variable-rate, on-the-go spreading has been around for some three decades now. It was first available primarily on larger custom application rigs — often on fertilizer beds that fit only on trucks. It’s available on spinner carts now. One new product this year offers section control with a dry product, not a liquid. You can apply different amounts on up to 12 different sections across the 120-foot spreading width of the spinner spreader. Talk about innovation at work!
Flexibility is still the name of the game for some new products in the dry application category. One offering allows you to either spread from the air boom or apply drop tubes to deliver the material closer to the surface on 30-inch centers.
There is a wide range of capacity and price for carts coming on the market. You should be able to find a dry fertilizer applicator which fits your size and price range. The new applicators introduced this year for 2019 join applicators released in the past couple of years that also featured precision-style technology. These new spreaders still will require calibration to ensure accurate delivery and application rates, but they should make it easier to get fertilizer where it’s needed most — in the field or an area of the field — compared to the spartan spinner carts of the past.