"SmartSilo Turns Fertiliser Spreading into 30 Minute Job"
A Plastic SmartSilo has turned urea management from a major chore into a 20 minute job says Reefton Dairy Farmer Stu Bland. Stu & Debbie Bland milk 230 Jersey/Friesian Cross Cows on their 90ha property on the West Coast of the South Island.
With the farm being on river flats with a stoney, silty soil structure and receiving 1800mm of rain a year the couple have a policy of putting on a little urea after cows have been on the paddock to prevent nitrogen leaching and keep up nutrient levels.
The Blands us 30 tonne of urea a year which gets delivered in three to four lots throughout the year. The Blands use a 4 tonne trailed Sam Spreader.
Two seasons ago the Blands took delivery of urea in bags and stored it in their calf shed but this turned out to be very time consuming according to Stu Bland. " Loading the fertilizer was time consuming as was unloading the truck"
Bland says that he also came up against space concerns during peak seasons of the year. " Having enough spare room was a challenge at certain times of season like spring when the shed are full of calves."
The couple had to deal with moisture issues for urea stored in bins. "If it was stored for a while in wet weather it got damp and didn't flow through the spreader as well."
Durability in wet weather with urea was one of the reasons that the couple decided on SmartSilo says Bland with good results.
"I have not experienced any problems with moisture getting into urea."
Bland says that now the SmartSilo is installed spreading fertiliser behind cows can be done in half the time.
" It takes a very short time to load. Maybe a couple of minutes for 2-3 tonne."
"Its great we're not personally required to help unload the truck anymore."