Carrington Research Extension Center


| Share

Spreader Pattern


The 2019 North America Manure Expo has ended. Last week while I was in Indiana, the landscape in North Dakota changed colors. As I flew home on Friday, what was solid green when I left is now green and golden with yellow sunflower heads adding accent. The color change not only means harvest, but also that it’s almost time for fall manure spreading in our state. Information about manure spreader calibration and the importance of it can be found here:

Today, I want to discuss one thing we learn and see each year at Manure Expo: spreader pattern. Spreader pattern describes the pattern in which manure leaves the spreader and is applied across the field. Uneven, inconsistent spreader patterns result in uneven, inconsistent fertilizer placement. So, what can potentially cause an uneven, inconsistent spreader pattern?

  1. The first thing to check is the beaters. Whether they’re vertical or horizontal, twine and net wrap will wrap around them. Clearing debris from your beaters helps the equipment work at full potential.
  2. If the beaters are clean, the next thing to check is the floor chains. Is everything working in unison? Is something broken? If the manure is not being evenly moved to the beaters an uneven spreader pattern will result.
  3. Finally, how is the manure being loaded into the spreader? If one scoop is bedded pack and the next scoop is bunk scrapings you are likely going to cause an inconsistent spreader pattern because the products are very different in surface area.

If you run into inconsistent spreader patterns this fall while applying manure, remember to consider the simple issues listed above. The North Dakota Custom Manure Haulers List as well as manure testing labs can be found here:

Happy hauling!

Mary Keena
Extension Specialist, Livestock Environmental Management

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.