Liquid fertilisers are becoming increasingly popular, with many farmers currently choosing them over their solid equivalents. Whilst both forms contain the nutrients and ingredients needed for healthy growth, liquid fertilisers offer a faster response, as solids must first dissolve in water in the soil. Liquid fertiliser is absorbed quickly through the roots, and begins correcting deficiencies or boosting crops almost instantly.
There are many benefits to using liquid fertilisers – they are more efficient, and can effect soil types that solid forms may not respond to. Liquid fertilisers are convenient, and require less labour at crucial stages, such as planting. Pumps and application tanks are often much more efficient than bins and augers, and provide precision application.
Mixing liquid fertiliser on-farm is a relatively simple process, however it is necessary to reduce any risk involved, especially given the large quantities of components that will be involved. It is important to know what order to mix in ingredients, as well as when they should be diluted – not doing so could result in, for example, uncontrolled heat producing reactions.
All liquid fertilisers are somewhat corrosive – some at higher degrees than others. For example, fertiliser solutions with an Ammonium Nitrate or Ammonium Sulphate base will rapidly erode copper, brass, bronze and carbon steel. After choosing the liquid fertiliser which you wish to apply, it is essential to find the right application and cartage equipment for the job.
It is important to test materials against the fertiliser that you wish to. Nylon pipe fittings or components, for instance, are generally not suitable for use with liquid fertiliser, and will crack and damage easily. In general, it is best to use polyethylene tanks with high grade stainless steel accessories (including the pump, where surfaces are exposed to the fertiliser) – choosing high quality fittings when purchasing your liquid fertiliser application or cartage tank will be a sound investment.
Trans Tank International (TTi) stock a number of polyethylene options suitable for your cartage and application needs. Made with 15% more powder than their water cartage tanks, their liquid fertiliser cartage and application tanks are impact resistant with a load rating of up to 1.6 Specific Gravity (SG). The UV stabilised polyethylene used is resistant to most chemicals, and all units incorporate a sump for the complete drainage of tank contents. TTi offers a 15 year warranty on their tanks, which are Australian made for Australian conditions.