Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:16

Machine’s multi-functionality surprises farmer

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The Metalform Tow and Fert liquid fertiliser mixer/spreader is good for much more than spreading fertiliser, says Northland dairy farmer James Brady.

Brady milks 250 cows off 130ha just out of Wellsford. He spreads magnesium on pastures ahead of the herd to supplement his cows’ diet. 

Getting the Tow and Fert made it possible to spread supplements on the pasture faster than a previously used quad and hopper says Brady. “If you compare a small quad-bike hopper to a 8m boom with an even 18m spread then it’s really a no-brainer. Spreading magnesium is much faster, which is important given the fairly low labour pool I have on this farm.” 

The Tow and Fert takes liquids and solids, mixes them together with a patented system and then sprays them out with a 14-20m spread via a recirculating boom system.

Metalform says the Tow and Fert is able to mix fine ground lime flour to a mix ratio of 60% lime flour, 40% water and has an application rate of 50 L/ha at 25km/h with TF15 nozzles to 650 L/ha at 5km/h with TF50 nozzles. This means you can mix 1 tonne of lime flour with 650L of water in one load.

Liquid inputs are pumped in and measured with onboard scales, the dry material is added into the premixer chute at the rear of the machine where the product is then kept mixed by the in-tank agitation system until it comes time to spray onto the pastures.

Brady initially purchased the mixer/sprayer to spread magnesium and fertilisers like urea onto pastures and is impressed with how much he can save on fertiliser. “I can get the same response out of 50kg of urea that I would from 80-90kg spread in the hopper. Because it’s liquefied, the grass leaf takes it up that much better and there’s no leaching or run off.” He has since discovered the implement has many more uses.

So far Brady has used it to put urea and 24D onto crops in the spring, spray out effluent, hose down the cowshed and oversow clover seed in the spring. “I use it for all sorts and it’s surprising what you can do with it.”

Functionality comes partly from its easily adjustable design. All piping and components are held on by a simple Camlock fittings, allowing for easy removal and spray-nozzles are kept in a holder at the front of the sprayer. Brady says this comes in handy when spreading fertiliser over different paddocks.”

Tel. 0508 747 040 



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