A new German-designed swivelling slurry spreader unit that fits to most makes of slurry tankers is claimed to give less nitrogen loss and more even spreading, according to its recently appointed distributor, Dermot Tobin of Whitechurch, Carrick-On-Suir, Co Kilkenny.
Dermot, who is a beef, sheep and tillage farmer, picked up the idea when he visited the Agritechnica Show in Germany for the first time last November. Dermot is now the Irish and British agent for the attachment device.
The new slurry tanker attachment is called the Moscha swivel spreader and it was developed by a German farmer following 13 years of experimentation.
Helmut Mossmer was a cattle farmer and former engineering worker. He sought out a better slurry-spreading technique long before the splash-plate system was outlawed in his part of southern Germany.
The basic concept of the machine attachment is that it slows down the speed at which the slurry leaves the tanker and, with its unique nozzle design, allows the creation of larger slurry droplets.
It is claimed that these droplets retain the gases within them to a greater extent than when slurry is spread with a higher-pressure, conventional splash-plate system.
This feature is claimed to reduce the level of evaporation of slurry gases, in particular nitrogen gases, immediately following spreading.
Helmut claims that slurry leaves the tanker at a speed of 29km/h, compared with a 42km/h exit speed from a conventional splash-plate spreading device.
He recommends that the machine’s forward speed should not be worked at more than 7km/h to give an even spread pattern with no streaks.
The Moscha swivel spreader oscillates as it spreads, covering a spreading bout width of between 12m and almost 18m.
Wider working widths can be achieved where two of the Moscha spreaders are mounted on a type of T-bar to the rear of the slurry tanker.
The attachment can also be fitted as the spreader unit for an umbilical spreader, with equally good effect.
The appeal of the unit is enhanced by the fact that it does not require any additional power from the tractor.
You simply replace a female/male coupling splash plate with the Moscha unit by clamping it onto the 6in (120mm) diameter outlet pipe on the tanker, with the existing coupling system.
There is no additional hydraulic or electric power needed for the unit, as its oscillating action is powered by the slurry as it leaves the tanker under normal pressure.
The design of the Moscha swivel spreader is such that its internal diameter is smaller than that of the tanker outlet. This is claimed to slow down the speed of the slurry, which is pushed upwards through 90° and hits a swivelling toggle within the shroud of the spreader.
The unit has only three grease points for regular servicing.
There are wearing bushings and springs that are easily replaced and cost no more than €30 for a replacement set.
Dermot believes that the system leaves the grass surface cleaner than with a splash-plate spreader.
He also believes that, because of this, the system has special appeal for tillage farmers who want to spread slurry on cereal crops.
Helmut Mossmer has had the Moscha swivelling spreader tested in Germany by the DLG testing service.
It found that the unit was easy to attach to most machines and that it could handle slurry with a dry matter of up to 20%.
This would be higher dry matter than Irish slurry. They were happy with the evenness of spread using the Moscha attachment.
Where to get the Moscha swivelling slurry spreader
Dermot Tobin will be showing the new Moscha swivelling spreader at the FTMTA Grass & Muck event in Gurteen College next week. Dermot can be contacted at 087-2540357 or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org, where he will answer queries and arrange order deliveries.
He will be selling the device on a 14-day money-back basis, similar to what is being offered in Germany. The price of the unit is €970 plus VAT, excluding courier delivery charges. The unit can be easily assembled on-farm with the minimum of tools.