For Lincs grower Tom Baxter, the route to greater application accuracy started with a change of fertiliser spreader in 2018.
“We had one eye on GPS for greater precision, and the solution came from a Kubota DSX-W with GEOSPREAD,” explains Tom Baxter of Campaign Farm, Louth, Lincs.
With 24m tramlines through 1,300 acres of combinable crops at its Louth and Horncastle locations, the business saw significant savings during its first year with the GEOSPREAD.
“Our field sizes range from 10 to 55 acres, none of them are square, and being in the Wolds, none are flat,” he says. “I must admit, I was surprised to see our first year’s savings with the DSX to be almost eight tonnes of fertiliser. We buy around 220 tonnes/year to cover both farms so it won’t take long for the savings to cover the cost of the spreader.”
Operator Michael Szollosi (pictured left, with Tom Baxter) says the increased accuracy helps with logistics too.
“We don’t need to carry extra bags to and from fields – we just take what we need,” says Michael. “You can see what’s going on with the spread pattern, and when you’ve nearly finished a field, there’s usually just 5-10kg left in the hopper. You need to trust the information on the terminal, and we’ve never run short.”
He says the auto start-stop and section control has prevented crop lodging, and enabled the farm to deliver a far better job.
“We also use the Autoset App with new fertiliser products – it’s an easy reference point to get you started,” he says. “The DSX couldn’t be any simpler to use. For anyone considering it, don’t be frightened by the technology, because it will easily pay for itself and save you money.”
Bought through Irelands Farm Machinery, the spreader was supplied with an IsoMatch Global GPS receiver and a Tellus GO terminal. Though gradual updates with the tractor fleet has enabled direct connectivity through the an ISOBUS socket, which means one less terminal in the cab.
“Our next step forward is to look at making variable rate applications, and that alone makes our investment in the spreader a future-proof purchase,” explains Tom. “With such capability, the spreader has the ability to deliver even greater efficiencies for us. I’m extremely pleased with what it’s done for our farm already, and I wouldn’t hesitate to have another one.”