Graham Willoughby was the first to put GEOSPREAD through its paces in the run-up to its 2012 launch.
Back then, as spreader operator for Bishop Stortford-based Scantlebury Farm Services, he recalls that the accuracy of the spreader was unlike anything he’d ever seen or used. “I remember thinking to myself, I never thought fertiliser spreading could be this good,” he recalls.
“And it has gone way beyond what I ever thought possible for a spinning disc spreader, and is now a well-proven machine.” Now farm manager at the 1,000ha Maces Farm near Saffron Waldon, Graham says that Kverneland’s spreader technology was quickly adopted in the guise of an Exacta TL GEOSPREAD.
“When I joined the farm, fertiliser spreading was a backward step,” he says. “Past experience told me we could save at least 2-3% by changing to an Exacta TL with GEOSPREAD, and the savings quickly paid for the spreader.”
Bought in 2015 from local dealer Tuckwells, the improvement in application accuracy on 30m tramlines, along with a useful reduction of the farm’s annual fertiliser spend, were immediately tangible from a reduction in overlaps. He says that operator Mark Gemmill uses the spreader on a JD6215R, with ISOBUS connectivity loading the spreader controls into the tractor’s universal terminal.
“A Command Pro joystick means we don’t need to use the touchscreen – it’s simple and intuitive,” adds Graham. Output is typically 200-250ha/day at 14-16kph. “Every application is precise. I know that every bit of fertiliser is going exactly where it should,” he says. “We invest in high quality fertiliser - Double Top or Nitram – for a consistent product, and it pays off.”
He says base fertilisers are applied at variable rates, while all nitrogen doses are carried out using fixed rates. “With auto section control and auto start/stop, the accuracy of GEOSPREAD is every bit as good as a sprayer applying liquid with regular section control,” he says.
Mr Willoughby reckons that it’s now more important than ever to consider where costs can be controlled, or reduced. “The current high price of fertilisers makes it even easier to justify Kverneland’s GEOSPREAD,” he says.