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Grass and Muck 2017: Muck and slurry equipment demonstrated

Filled with the latest equipment, the muck area saw slurry equipment on parade to demonstrate applicators, while solid spreaders were put through their paces with FYM. Richard Bradley and Jane Carley report. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli.

Richard   Bradley

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Grass and Muck 2017:

Check out the latest machinery from the event:

There was plenty of new equipment to look at in the muck area where solid spreaders were put through their paces with FYM and slurry equipment was paraded to show applicator folding and tanker transport systems.


The emphasis of many developments was increasingly on the ability to control applications in order to better make use of the nutrients in muck and slurry, and record those applications for traceability and future nutrient planning.


The growing trend to engage contractors to spread muck has also led to machinery becoming higher in capacity and increasingly heavy duty to cope with increased workloads and more powerful tractors.

Vogelsang Compax dribble bar

Vogelsang showed its latest Compax folding dribble bar which is now available in an 18m version, folding to 3m wide behind the tanker from the cab via a solenoid and with full hydraulic shut off.


A new option is a conversion kit which allows trailing shoe boots to be fitted in 30 minutes, and the dribble bar is fitted via a standard three-point linkage to a self-propelled outfit or via a pulling arm to an umbilical system.


The company suggests that 12 and 15m versions are proving popular with contractors who swap between tankers and umbilical spreading to suit ground conditions.

Bauer Profiline tanker

Bauer has added steel tankers to its range, showing the 20cu.m Profiline, which uses the company’s positive displacement pump and can be specified with GPS application control equipment and auto filling via a switchbox or IsoBus terminal.


Bauer offers dribble booms up to 30m and cultivator applicators up to 6m for its tankers, which feature internal baffles to minimise liquid surge in the field and when travelling on the road.


A weight transfer system empties the rear two-thirds of the tank first, to ensure weight is kept on the drawbar and the tractor’s rear wheels, before automatically switching to emptying the front compartment.

John Deere Manure Sensor

Joskin demonstrated its Xtrem 18500TS tanker fitted with John Deere’s Manure Sensor, having its first UK outing after extensive testing.


Developed from Deere’s Harvest Lab sensor, first introduced on its foragers, it uses near infra-red technology to measure N,P,K and NH2 in slurry as it is applied in real-time. Based on data from yield mapping, soil sampling, N-sensors or other sources, the required application rate can be input in the Greenstar in-cab display, and the flow of slurry is adjusted automatically to deliver the quantity of nutrients required.


If used in conjunction with Deere’s tractor implement automation system (TIA), tractor speed is adjusted to automatically control application rates and ensure targets are met.


John Deere’s product sales specialist Ross Skimming comments: “HarvestLab can now be used for three applications to sense nutrients - in silage on a forager, slurry on an applicator and for ongoing analysis of silage on a test bench as it is fed out through the winter.”


John Deere has worked with three slurry specialists in the UK so far – Joskin, plus Slurry Kat and Tramspread on umbilical systems.

Veenhuis drag hose applicator

Designed to offer the capability to work in standing cereal and root crops. Veenhuis has developed a trailed umbilical applicator system.


Fed via an umbilical system, the trailed unit features a large reel, which lays out and picks up pipe via a trailing arm as the tractor progresses across the field, rather than dragging it across the ground. Slurry is applied via a disc injector.


Veenhuis’s Hans Lambers says set up time is reduced compared to planning a hose layout, he adds: “Hose is placed precisely between rows so there is less risk of crop damage. Also, the system has a wider working window than a tanker as it is less weather dependent, and offers double the output.”


The firm’s range of slurry equipment is now being marketed in the UK by Suffolk company TWS.

Veenhuis Nutri-Flow NIR sensor

Veenhuis is also developing a near infra-red (NIR) sensing system, called Nutri-Flow, which can be used to measure nutrients in slurry at the lagoon as well as on applicators.


The sensor analyses the slurry for N, P and K levels, and applies slurry according to set application rates. Data can be combined with application maps from other sources and ‘as-applied’ maps can be produced. Nutri-Flow is designed for Veenhuis tankers, but a stand-alone version can be supplied for third party machines.


Veenhuis is also looking into developing a one-pass fertiliser application system by combining the NIR system with a front linkage mounted liquid fertiliser tank.

K-Two Eco spreader

K-Two has introduced a range of simple specification spreaders in five, six and 7.5 tonne (7.8, 9 and 10.8cu.m) capacities, aimed at farmers who wish to take control of their spreading.


Using lighter rotors, pto and gearboxes than the company’s other spreader ranges, the Eco machines also use two floor chains rather than four. Options include a wide angle pto and slurry door.


Power requirement is from 75hp for the 5 tonne model, and overall width of 2.56m makes for easier transport in narrow lanes and gateways.


Prices are keen too, from £13,500.

HiSpec Xcel 1250 spreader

HiSpec now offers the option of weigh cell and application rate monitoring systems for the Xcel 1250 manure spreader.


This machine, which uses a rotary chain and flail system to break up the material, and spreads material using a pair of spinning discs, can now be fitted with the firm's IsoBus compatible RDS iSOCAN Apollo spreader control system.


Weigh cells are used to measure the weight of manure in the spreader, and bed chain speed is also monitored and adjusted to ensure correct application rate is maintained, irrespective of forward speed. Hi-Spec also offers Digi-Star's GT400 weighing system to monitor total application rate.


The 14.5cu.m spreader which HiSpec says can spread to widths of 24m and apply 12 tonnes of muck in 3.5mins can now be fitted with a sprung drawbar.

Richard Western D4150 spreader

Richard Western’s Delilah 14.5cu.m D4150 spreader made its working debut.


The spreader features a 2m wide body with flared sides for improved filling, with hydraulic lines run within rigid pipework and 6mm floor and 4mm sides for increased durability.


Hydraulic-driven floor has variable speed control leading to 1,100mm diameter rear beaters, with paddles fixed to discs at their base to spread any loose material. The firm says a 248hp rated gearbox has been selected to match the bigger tractors often used for spreading.


Richard Western has also added folding rear doors, which can be opened for spreading FYM or left closed for lighter materials.

Harry West Maelstrom spreader

Also new this year, Harry West’s Maelstrom 14cu.m spreader is aimed at a similar market, with 5m long and 2.2m wide Y-shaped body for ease of loading.


Heavy duty credentials include Hardox tips on the two vertical rear beaters, high capacity gearbox and wide angle pto with slip clutch for protection against shock loadings, plus multi-leaf sprung drawbar.


Beaters rotate at 400rpm to handle a wide range of materials, and options include a slurry door, and electronic weighing and control systems.

Teagle Titan 15 spreader

The third in the ‘beefy’ category, Teagle’s 15.4cu.m Titan 15 is one of the Cornish Manufacturer's new line of high capacity spreaders.


Beaters are 900mm diameter and deliver high tip speeds, with shallow pitch augers featuring deep tip overlap for an improved chopping and mixing action. The Titan can be fitted with weigh cells and GPS spreading control or electronic bed speed control.


Braking is a dual air over hydraulic system and mudguards are fitted as standard; the LED lights have tailgate operated protection while spreading.


Retail price for a Titan 15 with electronic bed speed control is £35,550.

Rolland Rollforce 6119 spreader

Rolland’s Rollforce 19cu.m capacity 6119 horizontal beater spreader is fitted with a new TCEi spinning deck unit.


Rolland says the new unit has been angled to provide an improved spread pattern and features new style discs with three or four paddles. The drawbar features hydraulic suspension via an accumulator, which the firm says keep the spreader level to maintain spreading consistency.


There is a choice of electric controls, including an RDS dynamic weigher for accurate spreading records. The horizontal spreading unit can easily be swapped for a twin-vertical beater, offering additional versatility, and options include a hydraulically operated headland deflector.

Fliegl ADS 120 spreader

Fliegl’s ADS 120 spreader uses a hydraulic push-off headboard to send muck to the beaters.


The firm says the push-off design allows the spreading unit to be swapped in place of a hydraulic door for use as a trailer, a design it says is proving popular with farmers who cannot justify the investment in a dedicated muck spreader. Fliegl also says the curved slurry door design is especially suitable for biosolids, where the material can stick between beaters before falling off in lumps, providing shock loadings to the discs.


ADS spreaders are available in 6,10,12 and 20cu.m versions, with a tandem axle featured on the latter machine.

Samson back in the UK

Samson muck and slurry equipment is to be distributed via a small network of dealers, with MP Hire of Shrewsbury and R.Hunt of Stockbridge already appointed.


The company continues to focus on premium equipment, suggests export manager Svend Skov Olesen. “We have customers with machines that are more than 20 years old in the UK, and we are advancing technology on our new machines. This ranges from automatic filling, to computer controlled dribble booms, and the ability to automatically adjust application rates to speed or set volumes. We have also been working on the development of the John Deere Manure Sensor and have three machines using this system in Denmark.”


Showing a 25cu.m tri-axle tanker which is the biggest seller in the firm’s home country, Mr Olesen suggests that twin axle 18-20cu.m tankers will be more popular in the UK. Tanks are epoxy treated inside and out, said to make them even more resistant to corrosion than galvanising.

AgriSandmaster sand separator

Designed to separate sand from slurry in sand-based cow bedding systems, the AgriSandmaster allows sand to be re-used and protects slurry handling and application equipment from the abrasive effects of sand.


In the tank water is pumped through the slurry, causing clean sand to settle to the bottom where it is drawn off via an auger. Slurry solids float to the surface where they are scraped off by rotating brushes before being removed to a hopper.


Manufacturer Sand Separation Systems says the system is able to treat fine sand, as it does not rely on the settling speed of the sand. The firm also suggests the system’s £140,000 price tag can be recouped in 18 months for a 200 cow herd, given the savings on sand costs and the availability of up to 40 per cent grant funding.

Grass and Muck 2017:

Check out all the latest machinery and technology showcased at the event:

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