FERTILISER SPREADERS with built-in weigh-cells improve accuracy, save time spent on calibration and provide a record of spreading operations to satisfy farm assurance scheme requirements.

Calibrating a spreader with little more than a button press appeals to operators, especially where cropping involves frequent switches between different fertilisers.

“Fill the spreader, enter the application rate and get to work,” says KRM”s Keith Rennie. “By repeatedly weighing the hopper contents, the reduction in weight relative to the area covered is calculated and the outlet adjusted to achieve the required rate.”

Repeating the process means operators can routinely check the accuracy of their work through the day, notes Reco”s John Sadler. “Fertiliser applied on a chill, dewy morning will flow differently once the sun comes out and any fine-tuning needed is automatically carried out,” he comments.

This is a particular advantage with bulk fertiliser and blends which may have variable spreading characteristics, adds Simon Brown of Amazone. “You can”t be sure about how much you”ve put on without weighing it,” he says. “A spreader that records each hopper fill provides that information.”

An electronic record of the amount of fertiliser applied – which can be transferred to crop records manually or electronically – is another attraction. Add a GPS satellite link and records can even show precisely where the fertiliser has been applied.