Third Generation Farmer uses KUHN Axis® 50.2 H-EMC-W Fertilizer Spreader to Spread Sulfate Fines on Grain Fields
By Lynn Bartholomew – KNA Marketing Communications Specialist
In many families, farming genes run deep. For example, take a look at the Robertson family. They have been farming close to 70 years in northern Alberta, Canada. Nolan Robertson is currently the third generation farming his family’s land.
The Robertsons are predominantly grain farmers who grow canola, wheat, peas, forage seeds (such as alfalfa and clover) and barley. In total, they farm about 7,200 acres. Currently, Nolan serves as co-owner/manager alongside his father, Fraser, on their operation, Robertson Farms. Nolan, himself has been farming for 22 years in Fairview, Alberta.
People learn about and research farm machinery in different ways. Some talk to their friends in the farming community to learn about the different products available to assist their operation, others just discuss with their local machinery dealer, but Robertson went about it a little differently.
“My interest was spiked on a specific job for a (fertilizer) spreader. I went online and started looking at different brands,” explained Robertson, “I found a couple dealerships in Alberta that carried KUHN. Then, I started to research KUHN and their (fertilizer) spreaders more online.”
In September of 2016, after researching KUHN, the father-son duo purchased a KUHN Axis® 50.2 H-EMC-W fertilizer spreader to assist them in spreading sulfate fines on their fields.
After they made the decision to purchase the machine, they worked with their dealer, Central Alberta Hay Centre, in Red Deer to have it delivered. Robertson initially thought he would have a problem given his distance between his operation and his dealer, but that was solved with the help of the dealer salesman, Gary McConnell.
“We live over 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the dealer, which is a six-hour drive, but McConnell delivered and helped us setup our machine! However, we had some very unusual weather before we could continue spreading, and when we did start again I needed a bit of a refresher course on the machine. We ‘facetimed’ and he walked me through things again. After that, I had a follow-up phone call here or there from him.”
McConnell is just one of the dedicated personnel who is a part of the KUHN dealer network. KUHN’s most important resource is its people, as they are dedicated to the services that help you in your business.
With the machine set up, ready to use and weather again cooperating, Robertson got to work on spreading his fields, but in northern Alberta crop fields can be very oddly shaped.
“We have some irregular-shaped fields here so the section control really helped me with that,” Robertson explained.
Section control helps the Axis fertilizer spreader maintain the proper working width by changing the drop point or spreading disc speed. With this unique system the spreader automatically adjusts to minimize overspreading. The section control on the Axis 50.2 will also be contributing to Robertson’s cost savings as he pushes forward with the machine.
“When we came down to it, we were almost exactly at the amount of acres we had enough product for. We didn’t overlap. Just the benefit I get from being accurate on my overlap will definitely help out our operation. Of course there is going to be cost savings with the section control because of our overlap,” stated Robertson.
The section control was not the only feature Robertson was impressed with on his machine.
“I liked the way the ISOBUS connected into the back and it just connected up with our tractor. I really liked the fact that the ISOBUS allows us to have just one monitor in the tractor cab,” said Robertson.
KUHN’s electronic solutions for Axis fertilizer spreaders make use of proven technology to increase spreading accuracy as well as driver comfort. ISOBUS is a universal language which allows different equipment (tractor, machine, home computer) to communicate with each other. An operator can monitor and transmit information about different machines with one single terminal, the KUHN CCI 200 or any other ISOBUS compatible terminal. This allows compatibility with all ISOBUS tractors to simplify operation.
While Robertson has really appreciated the ISOBUS system, he has also appreciated the time savings the machine has been able to give his operation.
“We can link it to some time savings in the spring for our seeding operation. Sulfur is a large component of our fertilizer blend that we need to put on the seed for canola. By taking the sulfur and applying it in the fall, we gain some very big time savings for our seeding operation in the spring,” explained Robertson.
Time savings is crucial for any operation it allows you to get out of the field sooner and focus on the other important tasks at hand. There were still a few things left Robertson desired from the spreader. He wanted an easy-to-use spreader and he received just that.
“The ease of use was fantastic. Our spread pattern was very good. We were spreading about 70 to 80 feet which was what we were trying to achieve,” stated Robertson.
The Axis 50.2 H-EMC-W fertilizer spreader can spread anywhere from 59’ up to 164’ helping to ensure maximum efficiency and higher outputs from the machine. However, one final feature that Robertson commented on was the weighing system.
“It’s the only piece of machinery we have with scales on it on our operation, but it was easy to navigate through. It was easy to set it at zero when they (the weigh cells) had nothing inside. Compared to the amount of product we put on the ground, the scales matched up very well with that,” said Robertson.
Two weigh cells work together with an electronic terminal to adapt the application rate automatically while spreading. The terminal checks if the flow corresponds to the programmed rate and adjusts it for precision and control.
With all these great features and benefits, Robertson said he would definitely recommend the Axis 50.2 fertilizer spreader to his fellow agricultural producers.
“Our dealer relationship with Gary, the accuracy it spreads our sulfur fines for us and the ease of use have been major benefits to us. It’s a very nice, easy-to-use piece of machinery on our farm.”
As Robertson looks forward to the spring and even further into the future with his Axis 50.2, he already has plans of what he would like to do with it next.
“We’re looking at doing some in-season fertilizer top dressing. We can use it for many different aspects of the farm. If we ever run into a situation where our seeding gets really wet we can spread canola if we need to. It gives us a full range of operation and is one more piece to the farming puzzle.”