Mixing Made Even Easier

Sackett H.I.M. Blender

In spite of challenging economic conditions, blender manufacturers are staying plenty busy this winter as dealers and growers gear up for the spring. “The blender market for the last 12 months has been very good,” says Bruce Hinkeldey with Ranco Fertiservice. “Our company’s sales have been steadily increasing, and we see this trend continuing through 2009.”

Sales at Doyle Equipment Manufac­turing could rate an “8” or “9,” says Mark Baggett, North American sales team. At R&R Manufacturing, inside sales manager Marilyn Cox calls the rush “a good problem to have — and we hope it stays that way.”

Anne Sheehy, with international sales and marketing at Yargus Manufacturing, says volatile fertilizer prices have made everyone more cautious. “But we are starting off 2009 with high dollars in sales already on order for the year.”

Speed And Accuracy

One reason for the demand is that equipment makers continue to answer the call for what buyers want, particularly speed and accuracy — with product claims confirmed not only by dealers themselves but by independent government and fertilizer industry officials who check mix loads.

“Our customers always ask for speed and accuracy,” says Hinkeldey, whose company’s most popular blenders are the Ranco DW (declining weigh) and Ranco Volumetric Multi-blender. “They tell us they are amazed at the capacity and accuracy of our blenders as well as the ease of operation.”

Yargus’ Sheehy says the company is constantly updating hoppers, belt widths, and software packages, enabling it to provide the fastest, most accurate Volumetric/Declining Weight machine possible. She describes how at one customer’s operation, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture has sampled eight to 10 loads of fertilizer per year. “Every one was the exact formula we had sold the farmer,” says the dealer, who moves about 25,000 tons of fertilizer per year through his volumetric blender. All over the world, 2008 was a big year for Yargus’ volumetric blender sales and installations (the company also sold more Tower Blend systems than in previous years as well).

As for speed, Jim Crane, marketing manager, says A.J. Sackett & Sons is excited about its H.I.M. (High Intensity Mixer) because it can blend a whole batch of fertilizer in 30 seconds, then discharge it almost instantly via twin bomb-bay doors that empty the whole batch at once. “Ideal for high-speed blend towers, these mixers have been tested by the International Fertilizer Development Center and found to give excellent results in terms of blend quality and granule integrity,” says Crane. And because of the fast mix time and gentle mix action, fertilizer granules are not damaged by the machine, he says.

Waconia Manufacturing’s TA-Series Tapered Auger Vertical blenders promise thorough, fast, and consistently accurate blends, thanks to the steepest hopper slope in the industry and the tapered 40- to 22-inch diameter auger, notes Rob Henderson, sales manager.

Durability, speed, and accuracy are key during heavy mixing times. The TA-Series’ units are supported by heavy-duty, 6-inch steel I-Beam frame construction, plus the double-reduction gearbox is specifically designed for heavy service applications.

Important Choices
This season’s blenders are now available with important options for dealers to take advantage of, including:

Micro capabilities. Crane has found growing demand from dealers to add liquid for dry fertilizer enhancements effectively in the blender, including urea release inhibitors and micronutrients.

For consistently good additive coverage, accurate blends, and lump elimination, Crane says A.J. Sackett has introduced the optional built-in Bulk Conditioner for its TriTon tapered screw vertical auger. “The screen under the rotor can be tilted down for cleaning in about five minutes or can be entirely removed in about 10 minutes, without any tools,” he describes. “The mixer’s three-load-cell design is more accurate than mechanical knife and pivot scales and requires much less maintenance.” And, he says that because the load cells are 42 inches above the floor, their lifetime is increased — and this set-up makes the blender very stable.

Yargus has debuted a new micronutrient feeder with a lower rate for powders, because the company is getting more and more inquiries from people using more powdery materials, says Sheehy. “So we’re adjusting our machine to handle both granular and powders.”

Stainless steel. More and more buyers are going with stainless steel scales and skids for longer life, says Cox. “With our extra little riser on the skid, they’re able to clean underneath.”

Useful add-ons. One of the newest and most popular options at R&R is a pivotable undercar chain belt, says Cox. “If you have a chain belt feeding into the leg and you have a track or rail, you can swing it out of the road.”

For environmental protection, dealers are getting discharge socks to put on conveyors to prevent fertilizer fly-away, she says.

All Sizes Moving

In the past few years, CropLife® has tracked growth in large-scale blending operations. “It seems high capacity machines continue to be in demand,” says Sheehy, “and our bigger models were more popular this year.” Due to customer demand, Yargus is offering larger models in its Tapered Vertical Blender. “We now offer 13- and 16-ton models that can be bought as stand-alone blenders or incorporated into the Tower Blend System,” describes Sheehy.

But Doyle’s Baggett sees a strong demand for smaller units. “I think the market has turned back to smaller capacities,” he says. “Because of the volatile fertilizer market, dealers and growers are reverting back to doing blending themselves.” Baggett also sees this past season’s high fuel prices playing a role, with blender users reluctant to drive 100 miles to a mega-plant for loads.

Units with lower power needs are also selling. Cox points out that R&R’s Minuteman 2 uses lower horsepower motors, and “gives significant savings in electrical usage.” The Minuteman 2 utilizes two motors, one at the inload and one at the top: 5- and 20-hp motors on the 6- and 8-ton units; 5- and 25-hp on the 10- and 12-ton blenders.

Leave a Reply

Blenders Stories

Waconia building
BlendersFertilizer Blenders Facing Unprecedented Demands
February 14, 2015
Manufacturers are stepping up to help retailers deal with ever-tighter windows and new additives. Read More
Blenders13 Fertilizer Blenders For 2015
November 12, 2014
Dealers can find a fertilizer blender to deliver any speed, volume and custom mix they want. Read More
Waconia Manufacturing
BlendersWaconia Manufacturing To Hold Open House
May 19, 2014
To celebrate and show off its new state-of-the-art, 67,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, Waconia Manufacturing is having an open house on June 19. Read More
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
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More
ManagementConsolidation hits and a miss; And a look at China’s ch…
August 28, 2015
As Monsanto suspends its pursuit of Syngenta, consolidation news at the retail and distribution level heats up. CropLife magazine’s Executive Read More
Corn Field
MicronutrientsHuma Gro Introduces New Boron Liquid Nutrient Formulati…
August 28, 2015
BORO-MAX, a new boron (B) 10% liquid nutrient formulation, has been added to the Huma Gro product line. This new Read More
Crop InputsNFU: Monsanto Decision To Withdraw Syngenta Bid ‘…
August 26, 2015
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the organization was very pleased by the news that Monsanto has withdrawn Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto Withdraws Bid For Syngenta
August 26, 2015
Monsanto Co. abandoned its latest effort to acquire Syngenta AG, the world’s top maker of pesticides, after a sweetened bid Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Comments On Monsanto Announcement
August 26, 2015
The Board of Syngenta confirms that it received a verbal proposal from Monsanto to acquire the company at a price Read More
Case IH Patriot 2250 Sprayer
EquipmentHigh-powered Case IH Patriot 2250 Sprayer Pushes Throug…
August 26, 2015
Engineered with more muscle, the new 660-gallon-capacity Patriot 2250 sprayer features best-in-class horsepower, along with the fuel efficiency that comes Read More
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Eric SfiligojPrecision Ag Could Shine In Increased Spotlight On Agri…
August 24, 2015
By any measure, 2015 is turning into one of the most challenging years agriculture has ever experienced. All throughout good Read More
ManagementCrop Conditions In Minnesota and Traveling Time
August 21, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiilgoj discuss the crop outlook from a field trip to Minnesota and upcoming travel plans. Read More
HerbicidesREUTERS: Anti-GMO ‘Scientist’ Calls For New…
August 20, 2015
EDITORS NOTE: We feel that it is important to note that there are those that believe one of the lead Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Announces Seedcare Application And Resource Ce…
August 19, 2015
Syngenta recently announced the Seedcare Application and Resource Center, a collaborative new website designed exclusively for Syngenta Seedcare customers to Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces Two New Regional Sales Man…
August 19, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced Steve Vining and Phil Reding have each accepted new positions as Regional Sales Managers. Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names Vice President, Crop Prot…
August 18, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC have appointed Warren Hragyil to VP Crop Protection. Hragyil comes to Aligned Ag Distributors LLC with Read More