A dramatic increase in working speed and efficiency is what you can expect when you use Bogballe and Valtrac to spread fertiliser. This fact was proven the past two years by four of Valtrac’s Bogballe L2W Plus fertiliser spreaders active on the Oribi Plain.

The Oribi Plain is a small, but very fertile agricultural belt 35 kilometres from Port Shepstone towards the inland.

Matt Flanagan of the farm, Ballymena, explains why the implement is so popular amongst farmers:

“Previously, we used a disc spreader that kept us busy for two weeks, but unfortunately this spreader was destroyed in a fire. As I am very interested in precision farming, field mapping and GPS applications, I decided to look for something more.

The grid and cone inside the fertiliser hopper protect the delicate agitators to work gently with the fertiliser in order to prevent pulverisation.

Matt’s other challenge was to apply  fertiliser to his sugar cane, macadamia nuts and teatree oil plantations alike with his new spreader. His local Valtrac agent, Bryan Taylor of MF Tractor Parts in Port Shepstone, suggested the Bogballe, but the name sounded strange and outlandish, and Matt was not interested at first.

Fortunately, he then did some homework to find that the brand originated from Denmark. Furthermore, he learned that Bogballe is regarded as one of the foremost fertiliser spreader manufacturers in the world today.

“We looked at all the various sizes offered by Valtrac, and initially invited them to come and demonstrate the smallest one on our farm,” Matt said. “It was a very nice machine, but I wanted functions such as section control, land-end control and automatic calibration to fully enter the age of precision farming.” The day when the L2W Plus was demonstrated on his farm, he knew …

Matt’s work speed and efficiency immediately increased dramatically.

His previous spreader covered 16 metres against the Bogballe’s 24 metres. That means the band covered is now 50% wider.

“With my previous spreader, I had to spend two weeks in the fields and orchards, but now I complete the whole job in only two days.”

This increased work tempo enables Matt to apply less fertiliser more often, in two or three sessions, thereby decreasing the risk of fertiliser washing away and increasing the effective period of nutrition. This practice increased his yield with 5 to 10%.

A Bogballe fertiliser spreader is versatile enough to work with a wide variety of third party monitors.

Matt can now single-handedly spread fertiliser on his whole farm if necessary. “I now order bulk bags and lift them with the TLB to fill the Bogballe spreader. As fertiliser is my main expense, I do all the spreading myself,” he says.

Half of Ballymena is used for sugar cane production, and the rest is planted with macadamia nuts and teatrees … and the Bogballe applies fertiliser to all the crops promptly and prefectly.

On his sugar cane and teatrees, Matt can spread the full width of 24 metres, and even make roads every 24 metres between the teatrees so as not to compact the soil in other places.

The macadamia rows are nine metres apart. For them Matt adjusts the Bogballe to its minimum spreading width of ten metres to place fertiliser up to just behind every tree.

Matt’s Valtrac dealer designed a screen that bolts onto the sides of the spreading discs to apply all the fertiliser to the area under the trees where it should go, and not onto the road.

The advanced weighing cells of the Bogballe L2W Plus constantly calibrates the spreader and continuously adapt the quantity of fertiliser spread, even when the tractor accelerates or slows down. “Another vital bonus is that the weighing cells, section contol and GPS function allow me to apply fertiliser exactly according to the previous year’s maps.”

The horizontal sections of the hopper can also be replaced or increased to increase the volume of the spreader.

This success story quickly spread in the area, and today three other farmers of the region also enjoy the benefits of accurate fertiliser placement with their own Bogballe L2W Plus spreaders. Matt says: “We have found a machine that makes our lives simpler, and makes us work quicker and more accurate.”

Call Attie de Villiers on (+27)083-261- 9863 or (+27)056-817-8006 or send an e-mail to attiedev@valtrac.co.za to take full control over your fertiliser placement. Also visit the Valtrac website at www.valtrac.co.za. In Zimbabwe you can contact  Graeme Flower at graeme@lomagagric.co or Jacques van den Bergh at jacques@lomagagric.co.za.