Latest News

Target Fertiliser - The Terra Range

Target Fertilisers is committed to providing high-quality, dust-free products to Irish farmers and growers. Our goal is to help customers achieve high yields and quality outputs through the use of our fertilisers.

1: In order to achieve optimum performance for your speciality crops, care must be taken to ensure that the soil has the main nutrients required to succeed. The Target Fertilisers team is available to provide technical advice and product recommendations through your local merchant or Co-op for a range of issues including crop yields and fertiliser planning for catch crops and potato crops. This is as important a consideration as your essential machinery/equipment checks.

2: How will your fertiliser be delivered? According to Teagasc specialist Francis Bligh: “The bulk or big bag option minimises the need for manual lifting if you have appropriate equipment.” How many hands you’ll have in the yard when you require delivery of your fertiliser will determine both the manner and quantity of delivery. Use safe mechanical lifting equipment or, if moving manually, use safe lifting techniques.

3: Take your time: rushing never improved farmyard activity or productivity levels. By and large, fertiliser is spread at busy times so the hiring of a contractor may be required.  

4: Safety remains the ultimate priority for every family farmer and contractor so before entering the cab, a machinery check is essential. As Teagasc essentially and regularly advises, a farmer must ensure that the tractor’s Power Take Offer (PTO) shaft is in good condition and that the PTO cover is in place. In addition, ensure the safety chain and O guard is also in working order, that oil levels are sound and that the machine is sufficiently greased. The operator’s handbook should also be retained.

5: Have a Hayknife/’long knife’ to hand: this tool makes light work of opening fertiliser bags – in addition to silage and hay bales. A home-made version – a light bar with a knife securely welded to its base – will also do the job. Using a long handled knife avoids reaching underneath the base of the bag. It is also best practice to cut above the bag base. All this is particularly important give that such work is quiet often solitary. The tool can also be stored in the tractor.

6: Ensure that the tractor’s top link is secure and that the threads aren’t worn. This needs to be checked when setting up the fertiliser spreader prior to application, given the weight of fertiliser in the hopper.

7: When attaching the spreader, again prioritise safety. The space between the tractor and spreader is a high risk area so apply the handbrake whenever you leave the cab. The spreader needs to be attached while on a stable base. Once back in the cab, controls should only used once anyone else who has been in proximity of the vehicle is safely clear from any potential crush zones. Such consideration is essential on a daily basis. Why? According to the to the Health And Safety Authority (HSA), crushing was cited in four of the 14 machinery fatalities recorded between 2013 and 2022.

8: It’s essential to wear protective gloves when handling fertiliser given its corrosive nature. One should also wear long sleeved clothing or overalls (with zipped pockets), all the more so should one have cuts/grazes on the forearms. Protective glasses/goggles and a dust mask should also be worn to maximise safety. Avoid wearing loose or tight clothing when engaged in such work. Steel toe-capped safety boots are also recommended on such jobs.

9: When applying fertiliser on slopes, drivers must pay particular attention to avoid a tractor or spreader overturning. The level of slope – and the level of associated risk – must be considered before application. Driver experience – and common sense – are essential.

10: The importance of precision: This is essential given the cost of fertiliser and the need for sustainability. Remember the four “R’s”: the Right product in the Right place at the Right time and at the Right rate. The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) can also prove helpful in this regard. This facilitates turning off the spreader as a tractor approaches a headland while section controls on such a system can also reduce overlapping within a field.

For more, visit  Terra Range | Sustainable Fertiliser | Target Fertilisers