View from the Tractor – Fertiliser spreading

It’s a gloriously sunny day today, the kind that gives you hope that maybe winter is coming to an end. We’ve even been lucky to string enough of these sunny days together* to get onto our paddocks and do some work. So I’m out on the tractor today spreading fertiliser on one of our wheat crops.

This is the view looking forward in the tractor:

You can see that I’m driving down previously existing tracks in the paddock. This allows us to minimise crop damage & is where our GPS auto-steer really pays for itself. Without it we’d probably have to get a plane in to spread the fertiliser. The fertiliser I’m spreading here is known as ‘Urea’. It’s a solid form of nitrogen, which dissolves into the ground when rained upon. It looks like the polystyrene balls that you fill beanbags with. But it is of course much heavier.

The view from behind shows the 2 ‘whale tail’ spreaders that we use to do the spreading:

It works via 2 big fans on the air-seeder blowing the fertiliser out the spouts. We aim to cover 30m (98.5 ft) with each pass, but if it’s windy we struggle.

The end result is fertiliser spread over the whole paddock, where it will soak into the soil to be absorbed by the wheat plants and used to increase both the yield and quality of harvested wheat.

*It rained this afternoon.

Jonathan

Web developer turned farmer. Interests include: my faith, my wife, technology, cricket, farming, ice cream & world events.

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