With more and more farmers looking to apply fertilizer blends other than during seeding, spreader boxes and floaters are garnering more interest in the marketplace. But SeedMaster engineers think they have developed a product that allows producers to do that job without making another relatively large machinery investment.
The brand introduced its Nova Flex applicator earlier this year, which allows the Nova SmartCart to do double duty. The applicator bar hooks up to any Nova air cart just as a regular air drill does and can fall apply or top dress granular fertilizer.
“The Nova Flex fertilizer and nutrient applicator really came out of the idea that people were sinking $300,00 plus into floaters, when they already have a highly accurate, highly technologically advanced metering system and holding tank in their yard,” says Trent Meyer, director of sales and marketing at SeedMaster. “They already have the power to pull it. Why are we going out and spending money on another engine and everything else to take care of.”
“What it allows you to do is time your fertilizer application, if you chose not to apply 100 per cent at seeding. With new products coming out from the fertilizer companies, this really is a cost-effective way of utilizing the assets we have on the farm.”
Connected to a Nova cart the Flex applicator is capable of delivering 350 pounds of product at working speeds up to 10 m.p.h. And the Zone Control feature of the Nova carts allows for up to 10 zones to reduce application overlap.
“For a lot of floaters, if they have any zone control, it’s half width and they’re not blending,” he adds. “Not everyone’s going to apply multiple products at the same time, but at the end of the day there is the opportunity to do that (with the Flex).”
Inside the tractor cab, operators use the same monitor, so they don’t have to learn to use yet another system.
The Flex applicator bar is available in a 70-foot working width and in a trailing or tow-between configuration to match both models of Nova carts. “We tested it in the field in the spring and it’s really, really durable, stable and easy to run,” he adds.
Trailing versions of the Flex retail for about $45,000, while tow-between models sell for around $60,000. These types need heavier hitch and frame to support the cart, so that accounts for the price difference.
“We really believe we’re providing a strong value to the farmer,” says Meyer.