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Extension calls for fertilizer pattern data

Extension calls for fertilizer pattern data

Fertilizer spreader

The USDA estimates that 80% of Missouri corn and more than 75% of Missouri soybeans are in excellent or good condition as of Oct. 6.

This is the best in the past five years for both crops.

For many people, the fertilizer spreaders will be running not far behind the combines, University of Missouri Extension nutrient management specialist Peter Scharf says in a news release.

In most fields, P and K will be applied using a spinner spreader. This type of applicator can do a lot of acres quickly and is easier to maintain than an airboom spreader.

The main issue with spinner spreaders is the potential for uneven applications of fertilizer across a field.

Over the past few years, Scharf says Extension has tested a number of spinner spreaders with catch pans and found that it’s fairly common for the spread pattern to be less than what farmers want.

There is no good way to verify that these machines are spreading the pattern that you want except to catch the fertilizer and weigh it, he said.

A problem found in measuring a spreader pattern is for the pounds per acre being spread to spike above the intended rate at the beginning of the operation before falling well below the intended amount.

“We are running a test program, funded by the Missouri Fertilizer Board, to test the spread pattern of spinner spreaders and verify that they are right, or help people to get them right,” Scharf says.

If you’d like to have the spread pattern tested for your machine or in your fields, contact Scharf at 573-808-5396 or Larry Mueller at 573-289-1748 to set up a time. Best to text either first to set up a call.

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