Different types of spreaders are available, and advantages and disadvantages exist for each. In addition, not all fertilizers can be spread with every spreader. For example, a drop spreader can damage the sulfur coating in sulfur-coated urea, essentially leading to an increase of soluble urea. Most importantly, accurately calibrated sprayers or spreaders are essential for proper application of fertilizers. Incorrectly calibrated equipment can easily apply too little or too much fertilizer, resulting in damaged turf, excess cost, and greater potential of nutrient movement off-site. An excellent resource for spreader care and calibration can be found at Penn State’s Department of Plant Science. Spreaders should also be thoroughly cleaned after use due to the high salt content that corrodes metal parts and in keeping with the BMPs for equipment washing.
Best Management Practices
- Calibrate equipment regularly.
- Use the appropriate type of applicator or spreader for the fertilizer.
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