A NEW fertiliser and manure spreader invented by a Bundaberg manufacturer has the potential to revolutionise how cane growers deliver nutrients to their crops.
The machine uses new direct-drill technology to deliver nutrients deep down into the root zone and will help farmers reduce agricultural run-off and boost fertiliser retention.
The prototype was finished in June.
We've outlaid a lot of money for this, so to see it working, and performing well, is really pleasing.
It was developed over eight months, in a collaboration between Ag-Culture Enterprises and Bullseye Precision Farming.
Ag-Culture Enterprises' Peter Watson said the machine would help farmers make their fertiliser go that little bit further.
"By putting raw manure and fertiliser directly in the ground it makes sure it is at its most effective," he said.
"And (it) prevents run-off in the event of rain."
The direct-drill technology features a cutting disk that forces the nutrients about 15-20cm under the ground. Trailing press wheels seal the soil back over and stamp it down.
The three-row injector is set up to allow product to be placed in the ground, either side of the cane row.
It is the first electronically controlled liquid and granular injection machine to be developed.
The speed the machine is capable of defies its hulking stature.
If row conditions are favourable, it can reach a cruising speed of up to 23kmh.
"When people see the size of the machine they're usually a bit surprised but, when you see it in action, it's amazing how fast it can go," Mr Watson said.
He said the machine had surpassed all expectations in a series of trials.
"We've outlaid a lot of money for this, so to see it working, and performing well, is really pleasing."
Mr Watson said the fertiliser was a good option for growers to reduce agricultural run-off and access Reef Rescue funding from the Federal Government.
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