Farm Trader puts the Abbey Tri-App to the Test

Tester and Dairy Farmer, Jaidyn Drought, looks at how the Abbey Tri-App helps farm smarter, not harder.

Watch the video here.

With the recent media attention around ‘swimmable rivers’ and water ways needing to meet certain standards, Farmers play a big role in the environment and how we look after it. And spreader choice plays a part. Traditional splash plate systems lose up to 80% of the nitrogen in the effluent, and up to 40% of the phosphorus within the first 12 hours. That’s why some countries, like Germany and Ireland, either ban splash plates or restrict how they can be used.

Abbey’s a world leader in effluent spreading technology. They have combined three of the most efficient spreading technologies in one device to reduce nutrient losses and odour, the Tri-App applicator.

  • Disc applicator: The discs slice through the soil, with effluent injected into the cuts. But the method demands high horsepower – and that also limits machine width.
  • Dribble bar with trailing boot: This dribble bar is fractionally above the ground, while rubber trailing boots fan the effluent.
  • Dribble bar with trailing shoe: The steel shoe creates a groove in the ground, into which effluent flows.

Abbey’s Tri-App applicator can either fit to the rear of an Abbey slurry tanker, or directly to a tractor using an umbilical system (slurry pumped to the tractor from a pond or similar source). Either way, it combines the functions of a dribble bar, trailing boot and trailing shoe, hence the name, Tri-App.

A trailing shoe helps lower CO2 emissions. This is achieved by the crop’s canopy closing over the slurry – creating a ceiling that eliminates smell.

A dribble bar system could be slow and frustrating, with thick slurry clogging up small pipes. However, Abbey’s smart design avoids that.

The 7.5 metre wide, three-section folding rear attachment has a 40mm heavy-duty hose with no internal restrictions. This means there’s no interruption to flow from the tanker, through the chopping macerator and out the 30 droppers to the ground.

The operator, who controls the Tri-App from a multi-function, in-cab keypad, can choose dribble bar or trailing shoe operation, depending on assessments of contour, grass cover and the like.

The Tri-App’s main frame is rigid, but the subframe where the hoses are mounted follows paddock contours.

The working of the machine is straightforward. Spring-loaded paired legs are pressed to the ground, and as they trail they part the foliage canopy and open a slit in the ground. Slurry runs into this slice through a rubber boot, fed from a Vogelsang Exacut macerator pumping through 50mm reinforced hosing. In this way nutrients are evenly supplied through all outlets.

Vogelsang, like Abbey, is known for quality. The slurry is pumped from the top of the tanker through the hydraulically reversible macerator – with stone trap – and out through the hoses.

Auto reverse averts potential grief. If a foreign object is caught up in the ‘Exacut’, the machine reverses the macerator by changing the flow of oil, helping to free the blockage. A relief valve prevents over-pressure.

Click here to learn more about the Tri-App features and optional equipment.

Jaidyn’s verdict is that the Tri-App is a versatile machine with high build quality and an excellent finish. Its 7.5m width allows for a high work rate, its contour-following ability is very good, its easy pulling, has better manoevrabilty and allows for constant effluent flow.

The main reason to choose a Tri-App over your traditional splash plate is that the nitrogen losses are less than 20% vs 80% with the splash plate. It also looks after P and K. When stock effluent is spread efficiently and effectively, Farmers can reduce costs and also help the environment.

Read the full article in Farm Trader Magazine.