What is the potential issue with broadcast spreading of fertilizer?
Typically a single pass of a broadcast spreader produces higher application rates close to the spreader and lower rates further away from the spreader. Even application across the paddock is achieved by overlapping the spread pattern of the previous run. The distance between machinery runs to provide the overlap is called the bout width.
Uneven application means some areas of the paddock receive insufficient fertilizer and yield may be reduced in these parts of the field, while other areas receive more than the crop requires which both reduces profit in these parts of the paddock and significantly increases the risk of off-site environmental damage.
Most spreaders when first tested do not provide acceptable uniformity of spread at the typical bout width used.
What can uneven nitrogen fertilizer spreading cost in lost wheat and dairy pasture yield?
Independent agricultural economist and modeller, Chris Lightfoot said, "my analysis indicates uneven urea spreading on wheat can easily result in $25 - $40/ha reduction in wheat return for southern Australia."
A dairy pasture evaluation undertaken with funding from South West Catchment Council revealed uneven urea spreading on WA dairy pasture can result in $15 to 40/ha reduction in the value of dry matter for a single application. Multiple applications of urea over a growing season are common in dairy pasture systems. This means the cumulative effect of poor urea spread patterns over a growing season is likely to be much larger, particularly if the same tracks are followed.
Click on the below PDF for more information on how uneven fertilizer spreading contributes to farm profit in grazing enterprises.
SWCC Farmer Spreading Information 201505.pdf
What is the purpose of Accu-Spread?
The Accu-Spread® logo provides farmers and natural resource managers with peace of mind; knowing farmers are using professional contractors who are applying the correct rate of fertilizer exactly where they want it in the landscape.