New online tool aids more accurate slug pellet application

A new online tool hopes to help operators set up slug pellet applicators to apply pellets with precision, minimising cost and potential environmental impact.

Calibration Wizard

Developed by pellet manufacturer Certis, in partnership with SCS Spreader and Sprayer Testing, the ‘Calibration Wizard’ compliments manufacturers’ instruction manuals and takes the labour out of calibrating.

SCS director Rob Foxall said: “There has never been anything specific to a range of pellet products applied through different applicators, so producing the online tool is a big step in the right direction for the industry.”

The Calibration Wizard is based on data created from spread pattern, flow and application rate analysis of seven of the most common applicators applying each of Certis’ eight slug pellet products.

The inputs operators can enter into the tool are pellet product, applicator type, spread width and target application rate.

In response, it recommends disc speed and feed rotor settings, where applicable, plus aperture settings and appropriate forward speed.

Settings for optimising spread pattern are also provided in PDF form, along with expected bait point density upon application.

Armed with this information, operators can quickly and easily set up an applicator to achieve a uniform spread pattern and accurate dose of their chosen Certis pellet.

The company’s northern technical specialist Harry Raley (pictured top) said the Calibration Wizard will take the guesswork out of applicator set up and improve slug control.

“It will help farmers maintain accuracy between professional checks and when switching between products of different sizes.

“This is important because standard-sized pellets such as Sluxx HP flow from the hopper and spread differently to mini pellets such as Menorexx.”

The introduction of this mini ferric phosphate pellet last autumn has given growers the flexibility to apply the same dose as Sluxx HP and increase baiting points or maintain a Sluxx HP equivalent baiting point density from a lower dose of Menorexx.

Raley added: “The tool will help users understand the baiting point densities that can be achieved with different rates of each product, and their suitability for different spread widths.

“With the right applicator, setup and field conditions, we will confidently back Sluxx HP to spread accurately to 36m and Menorexx to 24m.”