Fertilizer spreader sales on the rise

Global warming or no global warming, fact is we farm in the land of ice and snow. We don’t have the luxury of a large scenic picture window to do our seeding.

Sales of granular spreaders are up, and our climate is the reason.

As growers become more attuned to the importance of their seeding dates, they’re looking for ways to squeeze the most work out of their big seeding machines. One way of doing that is to put down most, or all, of their fertilizer before seeding, which is why spreaders are gaining popularity.

“Spreader sales are definitely increasing. It’s because guys are trying to save a little time in the spring,” says Patrick Grandmont of Leo’s Case IH north of Winnipeg.

“Down in the States, they seem to take their time seeding and putting down fertilizer. But up here it’s panic. It seems we have about three weeks to do everything.

“We’ve been doing a pretty good business on spreaders, especially in the wetter areas like the Beausejour area. There’s a lot of guys with these Salford floater machines putting on granular. Some growers are putting on ridiculous high rates. They don’t want to stop so often to fill the fertilizer tank, so they broadcast in advance of seeding.

“We’re selling a lot of the Bourgault disc drills with the mid-row banders. They put some dry granular down when they seed, but with their high rates, most of it has to go on prior to seeding. Otherwise they’re stopping every few acres for fertilizer. So we’re doing a lot of business with the guys over at Salford Valmar in Elie.”

Valmar spreaders, designed by Charlie Balmer 30 years ago, have become known around the world as the leaders in this market.

Over at Elie, Jason Janzen said spreader sales have increased 50 percent since Salford bought Valmar three years ago, and the trend continues its upward curve.

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