1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Custom Spreads Manure With Traveling Irrigation GunDennis Hefel, Dubuque, Iowa, provides an unusual custom service for farmers living within a 60-mile radius of his farm - he custom spreads liquid manure from their lagoons and pits, using a Farmstar traveling gun.
Hefel's equipment includes a lagoon agitator and primer, irrigation pump, 4,000 ft. of hose that runs from the pump to the field, a traveling irrigation gun and its 660 ft. of hose, and a 1,400 ft. cable attached to the traveler. Each customer supplies four tractors to run the equipment - two for the agitator and primer, one to run the irrigation pump, and one to keep the traveler's cable taut.
Hefel got into the business two years ago after buying out another operator. His customers are mostly dairy and swine operators. "Farmers like my service be-cause it saves them time and the cost of purchasing and maintaining their own manure handling equipment," he says. "Most fanners have chores to do, so using tanks and tractors they can haul only 15 to 20 loads a day. It can take them up to two weeks to finish a job, and all the while they're burning up a lot of fuel hauling loads and running a tractor to agitate manure. In contrast, I can finish most jobs in about a day. And, my traveling gun won't pack soil tractors do."
Hefel pumps 500,000 to 1 million gallons of liquid manure for each of his 60 customers. Most customers have the job done once a year, either in the fall or spring. His irrigation pump, which re-quires a 160 hp tractor, drains manure at 700 to 1,000 gal. per min. Counting "down" time, it takes Hefe125 to 26 hours to pump out and spread 750,000 gallons of liquid manure. He usually completes each job in one day, working around the clock if necessary.
The traveler is a 4-wheel cart with a "gun" that spews out manure on top of the ground. A 5-hp motor turns a winch, which pulls the "gun" along the 1,400 ft. cable, moving a few feet per minute. The "gun" turns 360?, shooting manure out about 200 ft. One pass covers an area 350 ft. wide and 1,300 ft. long. It takes the traveler three passes to cover 40 acres. Hefel shuts the system down to lay out each pass, moving the traveler's hose and the tractor that holds the cable.
Hefel charges about half a cent per gallon, which comes out to about $2,500 for a 500,000 gal. job.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Hefel, 12364 Circle Ridge, Dubuque, Iowa 52001 (ph 319 552-1576).
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