The evolution of broadcasting fertilizer


When it comes to fertilizer a lot of things are changing — not just prices.

At Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS), held at Woodstock, Ont., last week, fertilizer broadcast spreaders took to the field to showcase how the technology is evolving, where broadcasting fits on the farm and what farmers need to consider when investing in a spreader.

Independent agronomist Pat Lynch, and long-time COFS field demonstration host, says many farmers are looking at fertilizer spreaders to help them farm more land efficiently, apply variable rate applications and give them the ability to better manage their fertility needs as demand puts increasing pressure on custom applicators to meet farmer needs.

For Lynch, variable rate nitrogen is a “no-brainer. That’s fairly easy to do. But we’re also doing variable rate phosphate and potash and even micronutrients.” He notes that sectional control also gives farmers a tremendous advantage when purchasing and applying fertilizer products.

“If you buy a blended product from a fertilizer retailer, they have to put it through their plant, they have to blend it, and there’s a significant blending fee,” Lynch says. “If a farmer has his own spreader, he could apply one product by itself variable rate, and then the second product by itself. And then they’ll save the cost of blending, plus be more fussy about when and how that fertilizer goes on.”

Timely application, rate control, the ability to top up micronutrients — broadcast spreaders can play a key role in a “whole farm” approach to fertilizer management, says Lynch.

Check out the full conversation below filmed at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, brought to you by PRIDE Seeds.

Tap here for more 2023 COFS coverage.

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