Fertilizer spreader calibration reduces uneven application
Check uniformity with a calibration kit
Calibration kits contain a series of pans with baffles, which are laid out across the path of the spreader. The spreader is then operated by spreading fertilizer over the pans, and a sample of which is caught over the width of the spread pattern and the compared. The baffles inside the pans are important because they keep fertilizer particles from bouncing out of the pan. While it is tempting to attempt to access uniformity in the field by observing material on the soil surface, this can be misleading. Crop debris, soil surface cracks, soil surface color and clods can make it difficult to see and compare particle distribution. Calibration kits can be purchased from many application equipment suppliers and may also be available though some fertilizer retailers.
Calibrating spreaders, having a good knowledge of equipment and checking uniformity of fertilizer to be applied to the fields will help producers avoid over and under fertilized sections of their fields.