Bank On The Perfect Blend

As vital cogs in the fertilizer delivery machine, blender manufacturers have had much at stake in recent market variations. But many say they’ve fared well. “Buying decisions are more guarded and analytical, but dealers are still eager to upgrade and improve their facilities,” says Bruce Hinkeldey of Ranco Fertiservice Inc.

Lloyd Derowitsch, industrial sales with Speed King, has seen more repairs to older equipment over the last several months — “but we’ve been quoting equipment at a steady rate. I believe most dealers are weighing their options whether to buy new or repair old,” he says.

Business has, in fact, been booming for Yargus Manu­facturing, says Anne Sheehy, head of international sales and marketing. “We’ve been busy for the last 2 ½ years solid now,” and production for 2010 is booked into the summer so far, she says. Sheehy says sales on all batch blender models (four in all) have been up, with retailers turning to the volumetric styles as well. “More retail places that had a single unit blender for the last 20 years are upgrading to the larger volumetric machines,” she says. “And depending on the number of hoppers, size of the conveyers, and scope of the project, they can get as expensive as a tower.” Thanks in part to a building expansion, Yargus is also able to handle more higher-capacity projects for barge and ship unloading.

Economical, smaller-capacity units are still needed, though. The Doyle 6-Ton Vertical Blender “is still one of our most popular size blenders,” says Mark Baggett of Doyle Manufacturing. And the energy efficiency of R&R Manufacturing’s Minuteman 2 is a selling point in its 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-ton models.

Evolving Needs

Manufacturers are sensitive to the demands of new fertilizer products — and are designing features to create the blends growers want:

Micro capabilities. Equipment makers continue to add options for micronutrient blending. Sheehy says Yargus just introduced a new volumetric feeder for the company’s volumetric and declining-weight blending machines. Designed for handling lower capacities, the feeder is efficient and accurate at metering materials at a much slower rate.

Liquid capabilities. But some manufacturers say the bigger need these days is to impregnate liquid products on dry fertilizer. Ranco offers a variety of pumps that accurately impregnate the liquids during the continuous flow blend process, according to the company. The system can treat individual fertilizer such as urea and phosphate before they are blended with other products – or it can treat the entire blend.

Jim Crane, marketing manager at A.J. Sackett, says his firm has done quite a bit of research in liquid enhancers such as Agrotain, Nutrisphere, and Avail — and has developed “some exciting processes” for its high-speed H.I.M. (High Intensity Mixer) in treating fertilizer with the products.

Speed/accuracy/efficiency. Manu­facturers say this demanding triad of features will continue to gain importance. More tons are being blended by fewer people, Crane points out, so equipment needs to be as reliable and efficient as possible. He says Sackett’s Multi-Dose In Weight system is enjoying good success due to its advanced computer control system, scale accuracy on all hoppers, high speed, and ease of installation and maintenance.

Speed and efficiency will be particularly important in 2010. “Dealers are gearing up for a big spring in many areas of the country due to the late harvest and lack of good weather to apply fertilizer last fall, says Rob Henderson, sales and marketing director for Wa­conia. Waconia’s tower blenders are designed for individual customers and can handle up to 200 ton per minute of output, while the company’s tapered-auger vertical blenders come in seven different sizes, from 6 tons to 18 tons.

Leave a Reply

Blenders Stories

BlendersFertilizer Blenders Keep Up With Growers
February 3, 2014
Specialty fertilizer add-ons and ever more demanding growers pose real challenges for blending design and technology. Read More
BlendersNew St. Marys Fertilizer Building Is Built For Speed, Efficiency
October 1, 2013
With its precision blending facility, J.B. Pearl embraces the company’s past while setting the stage for its present and the future. Read More
Blenders10 Dry Fertilizer Blenders For 2013
November 16, 2012
Blender units are getting faster and more efficient than ever, plus some manufacturers are taking advantage of new technologies. Here Read More

Trending Articles

Matt Hopkins15 Best New Agriculture Apps Worth Downloading In 2014
December 16, 2013
These latest agriculture apps are sure to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2014 and beyond. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
October 14, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Purchases Six Grain Elevators, Four Agron…
October 14, 2014
The Andersons has acquired Auburn Bean and Grain of Auburn, MI, which will increase the storage capacity of its Grain Group by about 13%. Read More
StewardshipThree Ohio Ag Retailers Honored With 4R Certification
October 13, 2014
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced its first three agriculture nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Eric SfiligojEntering Agriculture’s New Phase
October 13, 2014
The market’s giddy ride the past few years might be coming to an end in 2015, warns one industry insider. Read More
Eric SfiligojWar And Green Peace
October 11, 2014
A one-time member of Green Peace recently explained why he left the organization after 15 years. Read More
StewardshipCover Crops Add To Farm Sustainability
October 10, 2014
Farmers nationwide find cover crops to be a tool that helps groundwater, prevents erosion, builds soil quality and complements existing best management practices. Read More
EquipmentMeeting Changing Liquid Storage Needs
October 10, 2014
Tank and containment choices are expanding with shifts in farming practices and the economy. Read More
StewardshipEDF Launches Initiative To Reduce Fertilizer Pollution …
October 9, 2014
The effort will engage farmers and businesses throughout the supply chain to transform the way fertilizer-dependent grain crops are grown and sourced. Read More
ManagementMACA 2014: The State Of The Agricultural Industry, And …
October 9, 2014
The trade association’s annual gathering featured speakers from across agriculture and beyond. Read More
FertilizerASA: Drainage Tiles A Big Part Of Phosphorus Problem
October 8, 2014
A pair of studies published in the Journal of Environmental Quality today indicate that the buried network of drainage pipes known as the tile system can carry away as much phosphorus as surface runoff. Read More
FertilizerCompass Minerals Debuts Phosphorus Blend For 2015
October 8, 2014
The makers of Wolf Trax DDP Nutrients designed Nu-Trax P+ with the CropStart Nutrient Package, a blend of phosphorus (25%), zinc (20%), manganese (5%) and nitrogen (4%). Read More
ManagementIndiana Certified Crop Advisor Of The Year Nominations …
October 8, 2014
Indiana Farm Bureau and the Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Program are seeking nominations for the Indiana Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communit…
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
FertilizerJ. R. Simplot To Build New Ammonia Plant In Rock Spring…
October 7, 2014
The new plant will supply both the Rock Springs, WY, and Pocatello, ID, phosphate fertilizer production locations while having the capacity to meet the company’s next phase of anticipated phosphate expansion plans at Rock Springs. Read More