When it comes to precise fertilizer and nutrient application, fuel efficiency, reducing field passes and covering more acres in less time, bigger is better. And Salford Group is emerging as the leader in the air boom application market thanks to the increasing size of their next-generation machines. “The new 80’ and 90’ boom size is what sets our latest 6700 models apart from the competition,” explains Troy Straatman, Commercial Application Product Manager with Salford Group. “But it’s the versatility of the machines that makes us stand out in the marketplace.” Building on the success of the company’s fertilizer spreaders and air booms, and combining it with consistent customer feedback, Salford Group recently redesigned their chassis mount air boom machines from the ground-up to deliver the highest performing machines yet – the AB200 and AB320 models.
Straatman says customer interest and uptake in the redesigned machines has been more than expected. “Retailers and growers are realizing the potential these air booms have for their businesses and what they are able to achieve with them.” In fact, when Salford previously released 72’ booms on a number of their models, customers immediately started asking for larger boom widths. And they listened. “This was a huge undertaking,” says Straatman, explaining the large-scale engineering that was required to be combined with in-depth knowledge of grower needs and changing crop nutrient applications and requirements. “It was a gradual evolution of the machines that was strongly based on customer feedback. We didn’t just increase the boom width – we took a ground-up approach to revamping the entire machine.” The result was dubbed, the next-generation of Salford machines. Salford’s 6700 chassis mount product line is broad, offering a variety of sizes and boom widths. The new AB200 is a 2022 model and was just released in June 2021 with an 80’ pneumatic application width. This model can cover more than 70 acres per hour at 10 miles per hour, achieving 14% more than the leading competitor and applying product at twice the competitor’s speed. The AB320 chassis mount model boasts a 90’ boom width and is currently available for four different OEM chassis. The new models also offer larger hoppers and multi bin options, making application on larger or multiple fields easier, faster and more efficient. “The flexibility and versatility of these machines is really making a difference for our customers,” says Straatman, noting customers in the US corn belt area were specifically looking for the ability to apply multiple fertilizer and nutrient products at the same time. So, Salford’s multi bins fit the bill, with configurations of four bins for maximum efficiency and flip gate features to adjust product settings. Once again, Salford is leading the market in application efficiency since they are the only equipment manufacturer offering this multi bin option.
“The ability to cut your field passes by applying three different variable rate products at the same time is one of the first things that attracts a lot of retailers to our machines,” explains Straatman. “They can reduce costs and minimize soil compaction, save on labor and fit all the work into a tighter window of application.” Straatman has helped a number of growers and retailers pencil out the ROI on Salford’s fertilizer application machines, and says customers continue to be impressed with how quickly they can justify upgrading to the larger machines. “It’s not hard to go from a 70’ to a 90’ boom width when you figure you can cover just as many acres with five machines instead of seven in a retail equipment lineup,” he says. And since the labor challenges many of Salford’s retail customers are facing aren’t likely to improve, upgrading to the larger machines can also save on the number of employees and training hours required. The drop tube kit for side dress applications is also a popular feature on the chassis mount machines, enabling customers to expand their application windows. “The ability to get into fields with taller corn easily extends the application season, saves money on nitrogen and opens more business opportunities for our customers,” says Straatman. The application booms can be equipped with optional drop tubes to apply granular fertilizer into standing crops. Straatman also notes the agronomic benefits of side dressing the fertilizer below the crop’s canopy because it prevents leaf burn in standing crops and delivers mid-season nutrients to the improve crop yields.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Healthy soils are the foundation of your pasture, but it’s the crop itself that you’re looking for. So, when it comes to
“Don’t forget that we have machines for everyone,” reminds Straatman. “The next-generation machines are just an example of our drive for continuous improvement that we apply to all of our models. The pull-types are ideal for our farmer market because you can just hook them up to a tractor and go. And they offer the same features Salford is known for, like precision, speed, accurate product placement, reliability and durability.” What’s next for Salford’s air boom lineup? Straatman says the company’s next focus is on improving their metering system. So, watch for upgrades to the diagnostics capabilities and new features to improve accuracy and reduce application overlap.