A prototype air-boom spreader on display at Salford’s Canada’s Farm Progress Show exhibit in Regina was the result of the brand deciding to accommodate a special request from a customer, says Dave King, the company’s director of sales and marketing.
“Last year at this show we were showing a MagnaSpread big spreader and we also had Valmar air boom systems,” he explains. “A Valmar customer came in and said I want that (a large spreader), and I want an air boom on it. Basically, what they were after was a large-capacity air boom system.”
“At the customer’s request, we started looking at this. We took a 20-ton spreader and redesigned the (Valmar) boom a little bit. We started working with this farmer to run a demo in the field.”
The result of that work was a completely new offering from Salford, a fertilizer spreader with a 20-ton box capacity and 66-foot air boom, which is meant to appeal to western Canadian growers. Salford expects this machine should create new interest in the market for dry product spreaders across the prairies, which has lagged over the years.
“The units that were here in the past had less technology and features,” King notes. “And the sizes weren’t big enough. Today, we’re offering a lot higher technology in spreaders.”
With the increased versatility offered by an air boom spreader over a spinner box design, this new offering should meet the needs of a wider range of growers and overcome some spinner box limitations.
“As a general rule when you get to about 25 m.p.h. with wind, an air boom will perform better than a spinner,” King says.
Development of the new spreader displayed in Regina, which was still a pre-production model, was the result of Salford recently taking over both the BBI and Valmar brands. It allowed the company to integrate technology from both firms and create the new, high-capacity air boom spreader.
“Last fall we had some issues with the boom,” says King. “It was bouncing. So we took some of that out and field tested it this spring and got those issues resolved, and we’re now ready to start factory production. We’re going to build them to order. It takes about eight weeks to build it.”
Retail price for a base unit is $142,275. The tarp and scale options included on the display model at the show add about $11,000 to that.
The company expects to further increase the efficiency of these models in the future by offering a wider boom width.
“We want to make a 90-foot boom,” he adds. “We’re going to be doing some work on that.”