Achieving Uniform Spread Patterns with Mid-Grade Sulf-N® Blends
It's no secret that a good, even application of fertilizer granules is essential to delivering the proper amount of nutrients to each plant in a field. A recent test by Highway Equipment Company, the manufacturer of New Leader dry nutrient applicators, demonstrated the great importance of properly adjusting the applicator to achieve proper spread width with mid-grade Sulf-N®. In this test, some key granule attributes were found to have the greatest impact on spread width from the broadcast spinners:
- Density. The greater the mass of a particle, the more energy the spinner can impart on it. Heavy granules can achieve a wider spread pattern.
- Shape. Round granules encounter less friction than angular ones, which slide off the spinners. A sliding motion can absorb more energy from the spinner.
- Crush strength. Equipment operators determine adequate spinner speeds for fertilizer products based on their crush strength. Powerful spinners rotating at higher-than-adequate speeds can pulverize granules. For Sulf-N® ammonium sulfate, a spinner speed of around 700 RPM is advisable.
The test performed with a blend of mid-grade Sulf-N and urea on a New Leader® L3020G4 spreader yielded the results and conclusions below:
- Don't over-reach. Operating spinners at a speed of 850 RPM in an effort to create an 80-foot spread width pulverized the Sulf-N granules, resulting in a non-uniform pattern.
- Slow down. Slowing the spinners to 700 RPM allowed for an even distribution curve.
- Blend for a boost. Blending mid-grade Sulf-N granules with phosphorus and potassium sources extended the swath from 60 feet (with straight product) to 70 feet (with blends) without compromising the even distribution of nutrients. The angular, heavy phosphorus and potassium granules swept the Sulf-N the extra few feet.
The test concluded that mid-grade Sulf-N is a viable alternative in fertilizer blends, in lieu of the more traditional granular size product.
For more information on mid-grade Sulf-N and to contact our sales and technical teams, visit www.sulfn.com.
Agronomy Manager, Honeywell