Root-and-branch approach to plant nutrition

In the fields of Okhotno in Bryansk oblast, an agricultural holding engaged in beef and dairy livestock farming, AgroCentreLiski has held a demo show of a Güstrower GFI 15-4 – a machine designed for injecting liquid mineral fertiliser.

Lately, European farmers have been favouring liquid plant food more and more often as this type of nutrition is more available to crops, especially during a draught season, and the concentration of active substances in liquid forms is higher than in pelleted options.

A number of methods of applying mineral solutions are known today but the most popular method in Europe is incorporating them directly into the soil with the help of injector wheels. This system allows the Güstrower GFI to inject dissolved nutrients into the soil at a depth of 6 cm right into a plant’s root system.

‘The Güstrower GFI 15-4 is distinguished by a maximum working width of 15 metres in the respective line-up’, says Yevgeniy Lazutin, Sales Representative in Bryansk branch of AgroCentreLiski. ‘Although the tank capacity is eight thousand litres, it takes no longer than 10 minutes to fill it with fertiliser due to the built-in pump. Most similar machines do not have any pump at all, and their owners use an individual motor pump instead, which extends the filling period twice or even thrice as much resulting in a loss of time and money.’

The injector wheels are manufactured from aluminum and stainless steel and fitted with spokes covered with a hard-alloy coating which prevents them from premature tear and wear. Each wheel has 12 spokes spaced 13 cm apart thus ensuring thorough application. The system for liquid distribution inside a wheel is unique and patented by Güstrower Maschinenbau.

‘During the demo show, this model operated in fields planted with winter varieties of rapeseed and wheat and it was also showcased in a field tilled last autumn for cultivating maize later’, continues Yevgeniy Lazutin. ‘The optimal operating speed of the Güstrower GFI 15-4 made 8 kmph while its performance equaled to 10 hectares per hour. We also varied the fertiliser application rate from 160 to 300 litres per hectare in order to calculate the necessary parameters for the maximum result.’

The Güstrower GFI 15-4 works in the following way: forced by the pressure, plant food penetrates the soil through the built-in valves inside the wheel hub. The exact amount depends on a speed and a given application rate (from 50 to 3,000 litres per hectare). So, the nutrients are supplied to the root system and the plant takes them up during the entire vegetation period absorbing the wholesome substances according to its growth needs.

‘It is safe to say that other Bryansk enterprises do not have such machines at their disposal’, relates Aleksandr Shvedchikov, Chief Agronomist of Okhotno. ‘Modern agricultural tendencies make us move forward as the market offers more and more advanced novelties. That is why we invited AgroCentreLiski for arranging a demo show of the Güstrower GFI 15-4. Our European colleagues have long been utilising the system for liquid fertiliser application – I suppose, it is high time we did the same. This model left us with a pleasant impression – now, we’ll be expecting to see the positive results of the presentation in autumn.’