Group Title: ARC-A research report - Agricultural Research Center-Apopka ; RH-80-17
Title: Equipment available for application of fertilizers to commercial ornamental crops
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 Material Information
Title: Equipment available for application of fertilizers to commercial ornamental crops
Series Title: ARC-Apopka research report
Physical Description: 5 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Henley, Richard W
Agricultural Research Center (Apopka, Fla.)
Publisher: University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center
Place of Publication: Apopka FL
Publication Date: 1980
Subject: Fertilizer equipment -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Fertilizers -- Application -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Plants, Ornamental -- Fertilizers -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: R.W. Henley.
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065987
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71126240

Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


R. U. Henley /
University of Florida, IFAS P.I s .
ARC-Apopka Research Report RH-1980-17 --- of R orc

Fertilizer application equipment selected by commercial nurserymen depends upon
several factors including: nursery design, stage of nursery development,crop plants
and their value, cropping system (container, in-bench or in-ground), fertilizer
formulation, existing irrigation system, technical ability of nursery personnel, and
versatility and cost of equipment. Fertilizer application equipment can be
categorized into six or more types including: measuring spoons or similar devices,
drop-tube applicators, spreaders, dilution tank and pump systems, liquid proportioners,
and liquid metering pumps. In the following paragraphs each of the six application
systems is discussed and a partial list of equipment items and sources listed.
Measuring spoons and similar devices are used primarily for applying dry
fertilizer products, especially slow release fertilizer, to container-grown plants or
plants which require a "spot" application. Spoons are inexpensive and can be used to
dispense fertilizers easily. Some nurserymen use a funnel plus an extension tube
which delivers the spoon-measured amount of fertilizer to the container surface at
ground level. Measuring spoons are available from a number of sources including two
manufacturers of slow release fertilizers:

Scotts Sierra Chemical Company
Marysville, OH 43040 1001 Yosemite Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035

Drop-tube applicators partially automate the "spot" application of dry granular
or encapsulated fertilizers which eliminate a certain amount of motion-by nursery
personnel and can be regarded as a convenience, but not necessarily a labor saver
when contrasted with the spoon and funnel method. Drop-tube applicators are very
consistent in the volume of fertilizer delivered with each stroke and most units are
adjustable to deliver different volumes of fertilizer. Some applicators are also
adaptable to application of granular pesticides, such as Temikg). Since drop-tube
applicators are rather expensive, nurserymen may have to limit the number of individuals
assigned to apply dry fertilizers at a given time. Several manufacturers of drop-tube

rtilizer applicators are listed below:

E-Z Feeder Perfect-A-Feed
Plant nurturing Service Phytotronics, Inc.
P. 0. Box 12683 P. 0. Box 8658
Salem, OR 97309 St. Louis, MO 63216

Fertilizer Applicator Gun Pro Grow Drop-Tube Applicators
Nurserymen's Sur-Gro Corporation Scotts
P. 0. Box 355 Marysville, OH 43030
Sebastian, FL 32958

Fertilizer spreaders are used by some nurserymen for broadcasting dry fertilizer
products over plant beds or blocks of closely-spaced, container-grown plants. Spreader
designs include wheel mounted units, units which are strapped to the operator, and
tractor-mounted, power-take-off-operated spreaders for large areas. Practically all
fertilizer spreaders used in nurseries employ whirling horizontal paddles which propel
the fertilizer granules out in a fan-like pattern, as drop spreaders are usually not
wide or high enough to straddle nursery beds. Several types of rotary spreaders can
also be used for application of granular pesticides in nurseries. Two spreader
manufacturers are listed below:

Cyclone Spreaders Pro Grow Spreader
The Cyclone Seeder Company, Inc. Scotts
Urbana, IN 46990 Marysville, OH 43030

Liquid fertilizer dilution tanks and pumps are used by some nurserymen,
particularly greenhouse operators. Large tanks, usually several hundred gallons, are
used to dilute either liquid fertilizer or soluble fertilizer to the desired
concentration for application to plants. Proponents of the large tank and pump systems
feel it is nearly foolproof in terms of achieving the proper concentration of
fertilizer. The large tank and pump system is bulky and lacks versatility when
nutritional program changes are needed in different sections nf a nursery. The large
tanks are usually constructed with concrete building block sides on a concrete slab.
A sealant is used inside the tank to prevent leakage of fertilizer solution and avoid
deterioration of the mortar joints. Several pump companies manufacture centrifugal
pumps which resist corrosive solutions and are suitable for pumping dilute fertilizer
solutions from dilution tanks.

--. -3-

Fertilizer proportioners are now in wide use by nurserymen who enjoy the
versatility of using relatively low volumes of concentrated liquid fertilizers which
are diluted mechanically as the crops are fertilized. The term fertilizer
proportioner in this discussion is limited to those devices which rely on the flow rate
of water through the equipment to dispense a predetermined volume of fertilizer
concentrate. The simplest form of proportioner utilizes the venturi principle to
create a pressure differential in the water flow pathway and permits a given amount
of concentrated fertilizer to be drawn into the irrigation line. The non-modified-
venturi-type proportioners are inexpensive but usually have low water flow rate, are
not adjustable and are influenced markedly by back pressure created by proportioner
to nozzle distance and nozzle type. Modified-venturi-type proportioners such as the
Gewa have both increased flow rates and adjustable dilution ratios.
Another major category of fertilizer proportioner employs a water-motor-operated
piston which injccts a specific volume of fertilizer concentrate into the water line
with each cycle of operation. Most of the water-motor-operated proportioners have
fixed dilution ratios. Water-motor-operated proportioners usually dispense liquids
very accurately. Several fertilizer proportioners and their manufacturers are listed

Venturi Type Proportioners:
Hozon Proportioner
Thet" ;)any
P. 0. Box 703
Cleveland, OH 44122

Modified-Venturi Type.'Proportioners:
Gewa Liquid Fertilizer Injectors
(several models)
Manufactured in West Germany

Water-Motor-Type Proportioners:
Commander Proportioning Pump
Merit Industries, Inc.
P. 0. Box 8075
Cranston, RI 02920
Fert-O-Ject Automatic Liquid
Fertilizer Injectors
Fert-O-Ject Company
4701 Old San Jose Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95050

Hyponex Brass Siphon Mixer
Hyponex Company, Inc.
Copley, OH 44321

MP Precision Mixer Proportioners
severall models)
Distributed by:
Global Irrigation Corpo
7341 Whittier Avenue
Uhittier, CA 90602

Smith rMeasuremix Liquid Fertilizer
(several models)
Smith Precision Products Company
P. 0. Box 276
Newbury Park, CA 91320

Profcl Liquid Dispensers Ratio:Feeder
severali ;,iodls) (several i.odels)
Profel H. E. Anderson Company
8141 Austin Avenue P. 0. Box 1006
Morton Grove, IL 60053 Muskogee, CK 74401

MetcriiU piiprs are the most versatile of all the devices used to dilute
concentrated liquid fertilizers, but they require a kno;:,edgcable operator to insure
the proper concentration of fertilizers is being delivered to crops. Metering pumps
are normally adjustable and will deliver a specific. volume of fertilizer concentrate
per time unit into the water line. The pump operator r.must coordinate the pump
delivery rate with the irrigation system flow rate to obtain th- desired fertilizer
concentration at the point it reaches the crops. One of the most desirable aspects of
systems which employ metering pumps is the concentration of diluted fertilizers can be
changed rapidly by adjusting the length, and with some units, the frequency of the
pump stroke.
Since miny m:etering pumps operate most reliably with a back pr assure of 100 psi
or more, it is desirable to obtain advice from the metering pump company technical
rci:.;esentative regarding the ideal range of pressures their unit should pump against.
Since most nursery irrigation systems are operated at approximately 40 psi, it is
usually desirable to install a preset back pressure valve between the metering pump
and point where the fertilizer is injected into the water line. Monitoring equipment
is available from a few manufacturers which will indicate changes in the soluble salt
concentration, and ini some cases pH, of the diluted fertilizer applied to plants.
Several metering pumps suitable for liquid fertilizer application are listed below
with their manufacturers:

Chp.i-Tech Chemical Pumps Jceco Fertilizsr Injection Pumps
[several irmodels) T 'ra models)
Chem-Tech. International Jaeco P,!mp Co":-pany
P. 0, Bo.- 1217 539 Apple Street
Low2ll, MA 01853 West ConshoKcken, PA 19428

Clearwater Agripumps mRoy CDrrtyoilcd Volume Pumps
(several models) (several models)
C'iearwater Milton Roy Company
El Cajoin, CA 92022 P. 0. Box 12169
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
Electronic Cheiicdl Metering Pumps
(several models)
Liquid Metronics, Inc.
a3 Olthu; Poa
Waltham, NA 0C154

Hydroflo Cheminjectors
(several models)
Hydroflo Corporation
112 Maple Avenue
Dublin, PA 18917

Hydroflo Hydromyte Proportioning
(several models)
Hydroflo Corporation
112 Maple Avenue
Dublin, PA 18917

Neptune Diaphram Pumps
(several .models)
Neptune Chemical Pump Company
Lansdale, PA 19446

Pro Minent Electronic Metering Pumps

(several models)
Pro Minent Fluid
503 Parkway Vievw
Pittsburgh, PA

Controls, Inc.
r Drive

The information given here is supplied with the understanding that no
product discrimination is intended and that no endorsement of a product

is implied.

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