Precision spreading with eyes that see what you do not see
Fertiliser spreaders go high-tech for precise application to optimise crop management and improve fertilser use
Most spreaders sold today are twin disc machines, but huge variations in their designs impact on how wide, evenly and precisely they can spread fertiliser.
The design of every aspect of the machine, such as the discs, spreading vanes, fertiliser drop point and many other technologies that are (or aren’t) incorporated, determine how effectively the fertiliser is thrown and consequently the shape of the spread pattern. There are substantial differences in spreading performance between machines from different manufacturers and even between models within one manufacturer’s ranges.
A technology which is now available in South Africa, known as ArgusTwin, optimises the lateral distribution of fertiliser at both spreading discs. Seven radar sensors mounted above both the left- and right-hand discs (14 sensors in total) monitor the spread pattern and then automatically adjusts the electric delivery system of each disc if any deviation from the settings is detected.
These “eyes that see what you do not see” are used to reduce the effects of many factors that affect spread pattern, such as fertiliser quality, travelling on slopes or hilly ground, changing tractor speed (during start-up or braking) or if the spreading vanes are worn. It also operates during border spreading or section control, ensuring the most effective use of fertiliser and ease of operation.
The ArgusTwin technology has been developed by Amazone, the leaders in German innovation and technology, and can be used on their Amazone ZA-TS or ZG-TS spreaders. It can be retrofitted to any model built from 2016 onwards. Due to its rigid attachment without moving components, the system is extremely robust and completely maintenance free.
Extensive research and field testing have shown this system to be highly reliable, regardless of dust levels. Since the system ensures optimum lateral distribution of the fertiliser, it greatly increases fertiliser efficiency and is the basis for optimum crop management. Even more precision, even more comfort!
Precise application of fertilisers – the basics:
- Invest wisely. Select a fertiliser spreader manufacturer with strong capability and experience in precision spreading, with a range of models for different needs and budgets. Understand all technologies available and additional extras that could optimise your results significantly
- Select fertiliser that has good spreading characteristics
- Use the spreader manufacturer’s resources such as instruction manuals, internet material, control centre or phone apps, to set the spreader accurately for the fertiliser being used. Always calibrate accurately using the manufacturer’s resources.
- Clean after every working day and protect from corrosion.
- Frequently check all the spreading components for wear and ensure wearing parts are replaced when necessary.