German dribble manure technology debuts in Canada

The Vogelsang unit is equipped with a knife and cutting screen,
turning manure into “liquid gold” that can be applied to a growing crop

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Manure application technology from Germany has arrived in North America.

Ole Beckmann, international sales manager with Hugo Vogelsang GBMH & Co., said dribble manure application was developed in the late 1960s in Germany and is now used widely in Europe. Vogelsang developed the first dribbler bar in 1978.

The technology caught the attention of Christine Brown of Ontario Agriculture and Bruce Kelly, environmental program manager with Ontario Farm & Food Care, who have been working with Vogelsang to introduce the idea to Ontario farmers.

“This is the first machine here in North America. It’s on demo and it’s a new technology to distribute manure evenly, with reduced odour. We think it will allow us to put more manure on living crops with less runoff,” said Kelly.

The equipment demonstrated at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock Sept. 16 was combined with a Husky tanker, built by Ontario-based Husky Farm Equipment.

Beckmann said Vogelsang is also co-operating with Cadman Power Equipment, another Ontario company, to combine the manure applicator with a drag hose system. Seven of these have been sold in Ontario and British Columbia, he said.

The Vogelsang technology uses rotary load pumps that remove manure from a lagoon and push it onto the field.

“Here in Canada, top loading is popular, but where we come from, self-loading is the way to go,” Beckmann said.

“You don’t need another machine, another tractor. One machine does both jobs. And you don’t need another tractor operator to load.”

Once a tanker is loaded or a drag hose system set up, the manure flow is directed to a pair of distribution hoses that send it to the wings of the machine.

A Vogelsang distribution unit, which comes with a knife and cutting screen, is located on each wing. These move the manure down tubes that dribble it onto the field.

Vogelsang distributors are also widely used for injection manure systems, which place them in a vertical configuration, Beckmann said. Only the dribble technology locates the outlets to the side of the distributor.

Hydraulics are used to fold up the unit’s wings against the length of the manure tank for road travel.

Distribution can be adjusted according to crop needs, such as dribbling manure into growing corn.

This can be accomplished by cutting off the flow to a given set of dribbler tubes.

The configuration demonstrated at Woodstock, with the tubes being a few inches from each other, is suited to dribbling manure on pasture, hayland and wheat.

“Why dribble? Because you can go into a growing crop and give the plants the nitrogen and energy out of the manure when it’s needed,” Beckmann said.

“We want to show people that it’s liquid gold that they have in their barn.”

Vogelsang was founded as a sawmill in 1929 by Hugo Vogelsang, who eventually shifted his focus to agricultural tankers.

His son, Helmut, developed a pumping technology suited to viscous fluids containing fibres and other solids.

The Vogelsang family is still part of the company, which also markets industrial pumps and other components for rail, waste water disposal, biogas and other industries.

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