Farmers are under increasing pressure to control fertiliser use.

With over half of the country classified as a Nitrate Vunerable Zone and prices following a continuing upward spiral, there”s more of an incentive than ever to restrict inputs.

Invariably fertiliser is delivered to the farm in bulk bags. But that presents a problem – once the bag is cut all the material flows out, whether it”s needed or not.

The amount of nitrogen spread on a field therefore tends to be a multiple of 600kg bags rather than the exact amount required.

A Finnish firm has developed a product to allow farmers to dispense measured quantities of fertiliser, seed or even feed from big bulk bags.

The Raimo discharge chute screws up into the bottom of the bag as it is suspended. As it is twisted in, blades cut a hole in the lining which is immediately sealed by a sliding plate. This is then used to control the flow of material out of the chute.

Once the required quantity has been dispensed the chute itself can be detached, leaving the slider in place. The bag can then be lowered to the ground.

Available from Somerset-based Nordic Star, the Raimo Big Bag dispenser costs 63.