Mike Meier, QLF Regional Sales Agronomist NE IA
Handling QLF L-CBF Agronomy products may be different from handling more traditional types of fertilizer products and we want to make sure of your success from the start by providing useful insight on handling and storing these products. Properly equipping your farms to be more efficient when handling liquids will ensure product consistency.
First things first, what size is right for your farm? Most people think storage tanks may be costly. While it is important to be able to justify the cost of storage tanks, it is also important to think about future growth and “down the road” needs. Too often our tank capacity selections fall short of your need. Simple calculations of usage rates, acres covered, and seasonality of each product consumed helps provide basic estimates on the best sizes and how many tanks you need to manage your needs. For Example: The average consumption for BOOST™ per crop spread across multiple applications is between 4-6 gallons per acre annually. Farming 500 acres at an average usage rate requires a storage tank for half a load (12 tons or ~2,160 gallons). Each time a tank needs to be refilled it’s helpful to have extra space for the next shipment, justifying the need for a 3,000-gal storage tank. To save money and buy at the best pricing available, tiered pricing and incentives have been offered to improve efficiencies in transportation. If a full load is delivered to one-stop (mix and match multiple products totaling 24 tons) you can recapture a savings of $420 per load, eliminating a $180 drop charge and picking up the full load discount of $10/ton. Perhaps a second 3,000-gal storage tank could accommodate a full load of BOOST, or help utilize two products at one time, such as QLF Starter 7-21-3 MKP or Foliar Nitrogen blend Amino15. QLF Agronomy offers a generous Tank Rebate Program ($30/ton for 3 years) on quantities equal to or larger than 3,000-gal storage tanks. This incentive coupled with savings can help pay for your storage.
Most first-time growers start out trialing one L-CBF product, on one crop, focused on one application. After seeing the results and experiencing the versatility, they usually trend toward more applications and uses. For example, that same 500-acre grower using one application of 2 gallons per acre uses 1,000 gallons per trip and pays $30/ton more for BOOST on a 6-ton (1080 gallons) delivery. Eventually, they trial more applications and realize multiple benefits using BOOST as an in-furrow placement, liquid nitrogen additive, and sometimes a couple of spray passes also. Many QLF Agronomy customers utilize 6 gallons of BOOST per acre on. their soybean program. Ultimately that 6-ton partial load dropship becomes multiple trips back to the farm. Costing the end user $540 more for the 18 tons used. This is a good example to plan ahead and utilize a 3,000–3,500-gallon storage tank rather than settling on an undersized 1,650-gallon storage tank. Ordering extra product is efficient for multiple reasons. A major benefit to using L-CBF products is their ability to winter over and store long term, if you are set up properly for recirculation and agitation.
Next step, how do you get set up correctly? An obvious and often overlooked decision is to pick a spot on your farm that is accessible by tractor trailer. It is important for trucks to get in and out easily in all weather conditions. Also, provide clear directions to the storage area and label tanks appropriately. Always recirculate L-CBF products before use. To make this process simple and easy to accomplish, your storage tanks and load-out setup should include 3-way gate valves to avoid disconnecting and reconnecting as well as potential resulting contaminations. We recommend a 3-inch Y strainer with nothing smaller than 30-50 mesh. Never recirculate product through a screen, however always have a large strainer at each load out to catch and identify any problems. There are several effective ways to move and agitate L-CBF products. The placement of mixing educators and bubbling tanks with air are very effective methods. QLF Agronomy can help you design the optimal recirculation configurations. Contact your local Regional Sales Agronomist for assistance.