A good spread - Our machinery expert looks at the latest in affordable spreader options
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; meter the flow of fertiliser and distribute it across the spreading width to give a uniform application.
So what can the average dairy or livestock farmer expect to pay for a new mounted fertiliser spreader?
These days the demand for bigger machines with greater output means twin disc machines are now the norm, even for entry level.
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.
A farmer can typically expect to pay between €4,500 and €7,500 including VAT for a good 1500-2000 litre capacity fertiliser spreader.
The large range of spreaders on the market leads to a wide array of prices, ranging from just €1,500 for the smallest single disc spreaders, right up to €35,000 for the most cutting edge mounted spreader, depending on model and specification.
Let’s look at Amazone and Sulky – two popular sellers on the Irish market - by way of two examples.
Currently the Amazone ZAM is the main seller according to importers Farmhand.
It is currently available on the Amazone Finance 1+9 payments schedule, which makes it €775 plus nine further payments of €775 including VAT, giving a total of €7,750.
That price includes a cover and lights. Farmhand currently have a promotion running where any Amazone spreader bought before February 21st will include a free folding cover.
The most popular Amazone spreaders to suit the average dairy farmer are the ZAM Stockman 2 and Stockman 3 models.
The Stockman 2 from Amazone fitted with extension will hold 1,500l (2 x 600kg bags) with comfort. The Stockman 3 will hold 2200l, or two tonnes of fertilizer. Both of these machines are supplied as standard with sieves, a folding cover, safety rail, rear lights, a calibration bucket and instruction books. Importers Farmhand say these machines are fitted with double shutters and can be supplied with either 10m-16m or 18m-24m spreading discs.
There are several options for border spreading to maintain compliance with schemes, ranging from €150 to €1,100 plus VAT. All parts of the spreading system are made from stainless steel.
SULKY DX & X
Turning to another popular seller in Ireland, Sulky importers Farmec Ireland Ltd will this season be promoting the DX and X series, a new range that provides increased accuracy, higher capacity, more spreading widths and increased operator comfort.
Hopper capacities range from 900 litres up to 3000 litres, and spreading widths range from 9m up to 36m. Two simple and logical controls set the application rates and working widths (a Sulky patent).
Accuracy and consistency is assured with full width overlap between inward and outward passes with high tolerance to setting errors, cross winds and low quality fertiliser.
The outlet shutters are located on the sloped hopper wall and with the pulsating rate regulator, a constant and consistent flow of fertiliser is assured irrespective of the weight of fertiliser in the hopper.
According to Farmec, all working parts are made from stainless steel, and the one piece stainless steel hopper bottom ensures a constant delivery of fertiliser and total emptying of the hopper. Gearboxes carry a three year manufacturer’s warranty. The Sulky DX20+ range retail selling price starts at €5,310 plus VAT.
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