Fertilizer Update by Rob FritzThe fertilizer market has continued to remain stable. At this point, the most limiting factor to bring fertilizer back from the Twin Cities is trucking. Otherwise, supply is good at this time. There are no expectations of any product supply issues for this fall. We are still unable to price any 10-34-0 and have no idea when we will see it priced. Call me at 1-800-274-3389. Click here to send Rob an e-mail.
Equipment Tips by Jim Goodale
Is Your Sprayer Winterized?I realize many of you may still be working hard on harvest or may be trying to get some fall tillage work started, but I have to ask this question: Is your sprayer winterized, and is it winterized properly? Here is a checklist for an end of the season sprayer inspection and winterization.
- Thoroughly clean and rinse the interior of the tank and flush out the plumbing. Use a quality tank cleaner. Allow for circulation through the rinse balls and agitation plumbing.
- Drain as much water out of tank and plumbing as possible. The success of your winterization process is dependent on the amount of water removed. Excessive water left in the system will dilute antifreeze and reduce its effectiveness. Drain the solution tank and clean water rinse tank. Remove all inline strainers and clean them out. Drain agitation lines and rinse ball lines. Remove the drain plug from the pump, but remember to reinstall it after the pump is drained. To drain your line, elevate the spray booms and remove a nozzle check valve at bottom end.
- Change all plumbing with RV antifreeze. Use a minimum of 15 gallons of RV antifreeze on most sprayers. On some machines, extra large tanks or booms may need more. Do not use automotive antifreeze. Some automotive types can damage seals, gaskets and hoses on sprayers. I like to load the antifreeze in the rinse tanks and move it from there to the product tank through the rinse ball lines and agitation lines. Then, I pump it from the product tank to the booms one section at a time until I see it spraying out the nozzles.
- If you have a foam marker or chemical inductor, these must be winterized too.
- Verify that the antifreeze has been circulated through the whole system.
- Disconnect the electrical connections and apply a coating of dielectric grease on all the terminals to prevent corrosion.
- Wash the sprayer off and use a tank cleaner or a sprayer washdown product. Chemicals can damage a sprayer from the outside in just as bad as from the inside out. Inspect the complete machine for repairs for next season.
- Grease all pivot points and lubricate any other moving parts.
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