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
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More
Mature Waterhemp in Corn
HerbicidesGenetic Literacy Project: There’s No Such Thing A…
April 17, 2015
Read the latest “analysis” on GMOs from Consumer Reports and you’ll “learn” that glyphosate, the chemical developed by Monsanto (its Read More
HerbicidesNew Resistance To 2,4-D Discovered In Australia
April 17, 2015
In a world-first case of herbicide resistance, researchers have confirmed that sowthistle weed in the south east of South Australia Read More
ManagementNews From RTP Company Visits and Growers Buying Older S…
April 16, 2015
Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss recent trips to the Research Triangle Park area and market seed sales trends. Read More
soybean field
StewardshipNew ASABE Standard Establishes Framework For Sustainabl…
April 16, 2015
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has initiated a project to develop a new standard to establish Read More
MicronutrientsSouthern States: An Inside Look At Our Tissue Sampling …
April 15, 2015
Remember learning about the food pyramid in school? The nutritional diagram recommends the proper amount of nutrients you need on Read More
Industry NewsArysta Adds New U.S. Fungicides Marketing Manager
April 15, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently hired Deneen Sebastian as its Marketing Manager for U.S. Row Crops, Fungicides. Most recently, Sebastian Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Launches Phosphite-Based Cereal Fungicide
April 14, 2015
A new, phosphite-based fungicide designed for improved suppression of deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat and barley infected by Fusarium head blight Read More
Mature Waterhemp in Corn
HerbicidesSURVEY: Close To 90% Of Growers Battle Weed Resistance
April 14, 2015
Herbicide resistance management continues to be a priority for corn and soybean growers, and they’re working together more effectively to Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
StewardshipFMC Corp. Joins Sustainable Agriculture Alliance
April 14, 2015
FMC Corp. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder initiative working to define, measure and Read More
Industry NewsArysta Adds Two To Goëmar Sales Team
April 14, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced two new additions to the Goëmar sales team: Steve Kelly, Technical Service Manager – Read More
Valley Variable Rate Irrigation
Precision AgVariable Rate Irrigation Gains Followers
April 14, 2015
Irrigation systems have had the ability to apply different amounts of water throughout a field for decades, using timers that Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Gr…
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsThree Ag Co-ops Poised For Possible Merger
April 13, 2015
Following months of study and preparations, the Board of Directors for United Farmers Coop (UFC), Farmers Elevator Cooperative (FEC) and Read More
Eric SfiligojAgriculture Braces For More Belt-Tightening
April 13, 2015
Spring is in full bloom across the U.S. and ag retailers and their grower-customers are busily getting into high gear. Read More
ManagementPollinator Health and Washington, DC
April 9, 2015
CropLife America’s Kellie Bray speaks with CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj regarding bee health and proposed Beltway regulations. Read More
InsecticidesValent Takes On MGK Insecticide Portfolio
April 9, 2015
As of April 1, Valent U.S.A. Corp. became the exclusive provider of the MGK crop protection line of insect control Read More