26 October 2001

Improvised bowser is a wowser…

MORLEY Farms in Norfolk has created a safe, cheap liquid fertiliser bowser by fitting a purpose-built polypropylene tank inside a grain trailer.

The 13,000-litre baffled tank fits inside the farms 15t Warwick grain trailer and cost just £1700. "It is a very cheap bowser," says farm manager Andrew Thurston. "The tail-gate lifts up and the whole thing just slides out. It weighs virtually nothing."

The capacity dovetails with the 3000 litre Bateman sprayers volume, providing four fill-ups or enough for 33ha (81 acres) at the main winter wheat top-dressing rate of 357 litres/ha.

"It is important not to allow the pressure to go over 2bar with the dribble bars, which means keeping the speed down to 10-10.5 kmh. If the pressure goes up to 2.5-3 bar there is a much higher risk of scorching the crop."

Overall workrate of the liquid system is only 60% of that achieved with solids, but it is mainly a one-man operation, it is more accurate and there are more suitable application days with liquid, says Mr Thurston.

Pesticides always have priority over fertiliser applications and come harvest the trailer reverts to corn-cart mode. &#42

Low-cost approach to liquid fertiliser logistics – Andrew Thurston.