Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Accuracy saves you money


If all the inaccurate fertiliser spreading across New Zealand was added up, farmers would be looking at millions of dollars in lost potential profit every year. Here at Ravensdown, we work hard with our skilled teams and joint ventures to put our knowledge to use and hone the craft of spreading.

So what do we mean by spreading inaccuracy? Coefficient of Variation (CV) is the key term used in the spreading industry to quantify spreading accuracy. The higher a CV value, the larger the variation of the spread. In practice, high CV equal lower yields and therefore lower farm returns.

Independent studies have identified the main sources of application inaccuracy as being:

  • Driving at incorrect spreading widths.
  • Unintended variability in application rate, due to changing spreader speed.
  • Vehicle repositioning in paddock.
  • Irregular shaped paddocks.
  • Poor spread from incorrectly set up equipment.

While irregular shaped paddocks are a reality of the land we farm, technology and industry best practice can give you some confidence that your fertiliser investment is working for you.

All our spreading ventures are Spreadmark certified, ensuring industry best practice standards are the minimum. Differentially-corrected GPS (DGPS) means correct widths and repositioning is done with accuracy to 20cm. This allows for maximum production and minimum environmental impact. The service also comes with proof of placement maps which provide you with the certainty of knowing where your product has been applied.

Even if you don’t have a Ravensdown spreading venture in the area, check that your local operator has (and uses) GPS, and is a member of the Spreadmark programme.