Some Fertilizer Prices Dropping / Grain Cart Inspections

Fertilizer Update by Rob Fritz

The prices of some fertilizers are dropping as we go into fall. The price of nitrogen as urea and ammonia are both dropping. The lower prices of oil and the lower commodity prices are causing this drop. The big story is the pricing of potash dropping due to large inventories and lower commodities. We are currently able to buy potash at the Twin Cites terminals for $350.00/ton on October loads. We are also able to get even lower prices with direct-to-farm shipping from Canada, as compared to shipped from the Twin Cities.

Equipment Tips by Doug Gaspar

Have you inspected your Grain Cart for Harvest?

Although grain carts are simple in design, preventive maintenance can help maximize the opportunity to be effective and efficient at harvest. Efficiency is the key during the harvest hustle. Farmers need adequately sized grain carts that run smoothly and keep the grain flowing during harvest. By the time harvest rolls around, it may have been 10 months since your cart has been used. Carts get used hard at harvest and usually don’t get looked at again until the following year. When you rely on a piece of equipment this much, it’s imperative to take preventive measures to be certain there are no surprises in the field. Here are some general tips on what to inspect before harvest:
  • Inspect augers for noticeable wear – over time augers may become smaller in diameter, which will diminish their performance.
  • Check for proper adjustment of the drive belts and make sure serviceable parts of the power take off (PTO) shafts are greased or serviced.
  • If wheels carry your cart, reset the torque on the wheel nuts and check the tire pressure.
  • If tracks carry your cart, check the torque on various bolts and tension on the track itself.
  • Check the oil in the gearbox.
  • Look over the tarp to make sure there aren’t any tears or spots showing wear.
  • Confirm the accuracy of the scale system by checking the weight and load of your cart with the legal for trade scale at your local grain elevator.
  • Inspect the hydraulic hoses to ensure they have no visible wear spots or leaks.
  • Make sure the lights are working properly.
  • Check to see that the safety chains are attached securely and in good condition.
  • Make sure your “Slow Moving Vehicle” sign is clean and clearly visible.
Cameras on the unload auger and on the back of carts for road travel have been a nice feature, since every piece of equipment is getting larger, and drivers on the road seem to be in a bigger hurry these days. Give us a call at 1-800-274-3389 if you have any questions. Click here to send Doug an e-mail.