3 tips for safer fertiliser spreading

It may be snowing outside and fertiliser spreading seems a long time away; but now is the perfect time to make spreading safer. Below are a few tips to get you started.

1. PTO guard

Make sure there is a safe guard on the power take off (PTO), which is covering the PTO shaft fully. The guard should also have a chain fitted. This chain should be able to clip on easily to the tractor.

2. Purchase or make a knife with a long arm

While you’re snowed in, do a bit of online shopping and purchase a Hayknife or – if you don’t want to part with a few bob – make up your own version.

A light piece of bar with a knife section welded to the end of it would also do a good job. However, a stanley-type knife might make it easier to cut the bag. Make sure the knife is secure on the arm and is not at risk of falling off.

Farm accidents have occurred when people have come entrapped between the bag and the spreader. Having a knife on a long arm keeps farmers away from the spreader, bag and tractor.

3. Having a secure top link secure

Make sure that your top link is safe, secure and that the threads are not worn. There have been instances where the weight of the fertiliser has resulted in top links collapsing under pressure.

Online shopping

Online shopping isn’t just for clothes. A PTO cover, Hayknife and top link can all be purchased online. If the children are on snow days from school, they might even help you. So, order tonight and the postman will bring them when the snow has melted away.

Tips thanks to Teagasc’s Francis Quigley and Brendan Burke, who spoke at the Precise Application of Fertilisers event in Teagasc Oak Park recently.