JOSKIN’s spreading implements reduce cost and nitrogen loss from fertilisers

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JOSKIN understands the potential of slurry for growing crops and meadows, and the problem of spreading it evenly

The latest generation of implements reduce the cost of purchasing additional mineral fertilisers. (Image source: JOSKIN)

The company has introduced technically advanced spreading implements for the past 30 years that offer a range of spreading implements for a more profitable, durable and responsible agricultural trend. There are two main families of products— the spreading booms and the injection implements. 

Spreading Booms

The spreading booms make it possible to spread slurry more quickly over larger areas. By applying it close to the target, the spreading boom avoids splitting it and thereby reduces contact with air; which results in significant reduction in ammonia losses through volatilisation. The efficiency of the nitrogen is considerably increased and the odour nuisance is significantly reduced, and the operations become more precise and homogeneous.

With a boom, the spreading lines remain precise and regular, regardless of the wind conditions. The slurry is distributed from pipes with a regular line spacing (25-30 cm) over the entire width of the implement. In order to guarantee the homogeneity of distribution, and to avoid the clogging of some pipes, these booms are equipped with one or more macerator(s). A system of self-sharpening circular blades fitted on blade holders, that improves the flow of highly fibrous slurry, by systematically cutting all the foreign materials it may contain.

There are two main types of spreading booms; one with line hoses and the other, a spreading boom with skids.

The line hoses are flexible and run at ground level. They apply the fertiliser directly at the foot of the plant, without slowing down its growth. In this process, only a small part of the grass is soiled by the slurry. These are particularly suitable for fertilising crops, as well as meadows. The reduction in air contact reduces volatile losses of nitrogen by more than 35%.

The spreading booms with skids exert a constant pressure on the ground, by means of a system of spring leaves. By moving apart the vegetation, these skids ensure a precise distribution of the nutrients, close to the plant base, without dirtying the leaves or fodder. These are ideal for fertilising meadows. Although the slurry remains on the surface, their permanent contact with the soil ensures a significant reduction in grass soiling, as well as a reduction of volatile losses by 50%. 

These booms can also be used later, when the grass is taller, and the foliage is more developed. The line hoses with their metal blades, do not bounce off stems; and the skids help them effectively spread the grass without flattening it, and apply the slurry precisely at the base of the plant. The fertiliser thus, remains covered by the foliage, in a much more humid and cooler environment, sheltered from the wind and the sun, and does not mix with air that easily.

Injectors

Alongside these booms, there is another category of implements: the injectors. They inject the slurry directly into the soil, and ensure that the fertiliser is delivered directly to the plants, which get the nutrients they need to grow at their roots. Ammonia losses and odour emissions are brought to a minimum with this method. Injectors are the optimal solution, in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness. 

Depending on their use, injectors can be classified into two categories. The first category fertilises the first layer of soil, while preserving the present plant cover. These include free-steering elements, which maintain a permanent contact with the ground and exert a constant pressure on the cutting discs or conical discs, so that they cut the soil.

The cutting disc has a maximum working depth of 3 cms, which is arranged at regular intervals, in order to ensure an optimum cross-distribution. They cut the grass and make a slight groove in the ground. The slurry is then applied in the heart of this groove, by means of injection cones, to guarantee a precise application. Only the base of the plant is lightly soiled over a small width. Approximately 85% of volatile losses and odours can be reduced with this method. 

Based  on  the  same  process,  injectors  with  conical  discs  allow  a  deeper  injection  of  the  slurry (usually 6 cms, depending on the adjustment and pressure on the discs), while guaranteeing a faster penetration into the roots. The discs first make a groove, in which the injection cones then apply the fertiliser homogeneously; without soiling the vegetation. As it is below the soil surface, the slurry is absorbed more quickly by the roots, and ensures a higher and faster yield from the vegetation. 

This injecting of the fertiliser directly into the soil, prevents the release of more than 95% of odours and ammonia losses and also reduces the risk of slurry leaching by unexpected rainfall.

Depending on the adjustments made on the machine, it will be possible to use it for surface work (with less pressure on the ground) on taller grass. In this case, the discs will act as a grass spreader, allowing the injection cones to apply the slurry cleanly at the base of the vegetation. The fertiliser thus remains covered by the foliage and sheltered from the wind and the sun, in a more humid and cool environment.

The second category of injectors consists of the arable models. They are designed to create the most favourable conditions for growing crops. They carry out complete stubble ploughing, while simultaneously burying the slurry in the soil. Usually used before sowing, these injectors apply the fertiliser as close as possible to the plant. The slurry is mixed with the soil and spread over the first few centimetres below the soil surface. The nutrients are therefore brought directly within the sowing area, where the plant will generate its first roots. It ensures fast growth, with no ammonia loss or odour pollution and no risk of leaching. 

Depending on the type of soil encountered, these injectors can be fitted with rigid tines, spring tines or discs. The models with tines can work up to 15 cms deep, while rigid tines are more suitable for sandy soils. The spring tines are preferred for heavier or stony soils. These tines first plough the ground, while the injection cones located immediately behind the tines apply the slurry, thus guaranteeing an excellent loosening work, while keeping the injection depth constant. 

The disc injectors are equipped with two rows of curved and toothed discs and they work up to a maximum depth of 10 cms. While the first row opens the ground, creating a groove in which the injection cones placed next to the discs apply the slurry; the second row covers up and buries the slurry. Although these models require more power, they guarantee an even more homogeneous mixing of the fertiliser and earth.

The latest generation of implements considerably reduce the cost of purchasing additional mineral fertilisers, and help preserve the fertilising properties of the slurry. As a result, the machine keeps providing ever-shorter returns on investment.

African Farming

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