Machinery: Double action - twin disc fertiliser spreaders
Twin disc fertiliser spreaders are now the norm as farm sizes increase and farmers look for increased accuracy on spreading
Nearly every farm on the country has a fertiliser spreader of one kind or another. It is a fundamental piece of farm machinery regardless of the main farm enterprise, so unsurprisingly there is a huge choice of spreaders available in terms of manufacturers and specification level.
Regardless of type, fertiliser spreaders must essentially perform two functions. The first is to meter the flow of fertiliser to the spreading mechanism. Secondly, they distribute it across the spreading width to produce a uniform application.
So what is the most common seller in terms of machine size, and what can you expect to pay for a new spreader? In years gone by the oscillating spout and single disc type spreaders were widely used with many still to be seen on farms around the country.
But according to trade sources, as farm size increases the demand for bigger machines with greater output means twin disc machines are now the norm. Your average twin disc spreader will hold 2x600kg fertiliser bags with comfort, tends to have good accuracy levels and fairly modest pricing at entry level spec. Manufacturers of twin disc spreaders available on the Irish market include Amazone, Rauch, Sulky and Bogballe.
These well-known makes are imported into Ireland by Farmhand Ltd, Cork Farm Machinery, Farmec Ltd, and Atkins Farm Machinery, respectively.
There is a wide array of prices, ranging from just €1,000 for entry level single disc spreaders, right up to €35,000 for the most cutting edge spreader, depending on model and specification.
But the average dairy farmer can expect to pay between €4,500 and €7,500 including VAT for a good spreader.