Fertilizer equipment is an expensive investment. Whether you rent your ag fertilizer equipment to local farmers or you’re a farmer who owns fertilizer handling equipment, you know you want to get the most value from your investment. Because this is a piece of equipment that only gets used certain times of the year, it’s one you must get the most value from when you do need it.
Making the most of fertilizer equipment involves being proactive in caring for it. Some of the things you should do to maximize the usage from your fertilizer equipment include:
1. Using the best fertilizer supplies you can afford. While the initial cost may be higher, you can expect better results from the fertilizer product.
2. Getting the right fertilizer blending equipment, to get the right mix for your fields.
3. Learning the proper handling techniques to insure your safety, and to make sure you don’t burn crops by overexposing them to chemicals.
Choose fertilizer handling equipment that allows you to practice minimum tillageIf you can combine the fertilizer application with planting or one pass of tillage, you are not only making the most of fertilizer equipment, you are also saving money on fuel and minimizing wear and tear. Farmers and commercial fertilizer companies are finding more attachments for existing equipment available to help them reduce the number of passes they must make to plant a crop.
Set your fertilizer equipment to the correct spread patternWith spread pattern, you don't want to overlap chemicals as this wastes fertilizer. In addition, overlap can apply fertilizer too heavily in one strip of the field, while not applying enough fertilizer in another. Technology is improving and now you can get an even spread pattern as you apply fertilizer.
Monitor the amount of fertilizer used by your fertilizer equipmentWhether you apply wet or dry fertilizer, the ag fertilizer equipment sometimes clogs. The monitor can alert you instantly on the tractor or from the truck cab if something is not right, so you don't wind up with part of the field fertilized and part of it not. Markers are another way of making sure you distribute the fertilizer evenly in your fields.
- More and more farmers are using GPS systems to help make their fertilizer equipment more efficient and to make sure they don't miss parts of the field. As this technology becomes less expensive, look for more equipment to have GPS.