Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The NutriDose IIb controller performs a similar function but is a batching controller. Instead of adding the fertiliser on-the-fly during an irrigation, a batching controller mixes a complete batch of fertilised water into a batching tank which is then used for irrigation. This is a simpler process and tends to be a little lower in cost and is also easier to set up to get really high accuracy. In other respects it is the same as the NutriDose IIi and can be used in multiple batch – multiple trigger, single batch – single trigger, single batch – multiple trigger and multiple batch – single trigger modes. The down side of batched irrigation is that time is used in mixing the batches and in a large installation or one where very frequent irrigations are required, it is possible to run out of time and triggers may start to queue up and causing excessive delays in the irrigation of some stations. Link : http://www.autogrow.com/index.html
- Save Time & Money - Automated and efficient, the FertiGator will reduce the amount of time, money and materials it takes to keep your property looking its best
- Create Beautiful Grass & Plants - Your grass, plants and flowers will develop healthier root structures, need less water, and will be more resistant to disease and insect infestation.
- Better for the Environment - Fertigation delivers only what the plant can use and absorb so there's less run off available to affect streams, rivers and ground water.
Fertigation has been used in agriculture for more than 40 years, but it's still a relatively new concept in the landscape industry. Therefore, some landscape professionals are still sketchy about what it is and how it can benefit their business. To clear up the issue, we posed 10 questions to Dave Cross, President of Fertigator, one of the leading fertigation companies in the United States. The following questions and answers will give you a good idea of how to make it work for you.
LM: What is fertigation? DC: Fertigation is the process of applying fertilizer through an automatic, in-ground irrigation system. Ideally, true fertigation is applying small, consistent amounts of fertilizer continuously through an irrigation system to achieve the ultimate benefit.
LM: How much does a landscape or lawn care pro have to invest to add this service?DC: The cost would run from $150 to $300 including all accessories on a residential account. On the low-end, you're getting some type of passive fertigation device that uses the irrigation system's flow to push the fertilizer into the line. On the high-end, you're getting an injection-type device that's electronically activated by a control mechanism that lets the injector know how much fertilizer to apply, and it can be varied by irrigation zone.
LM: How much can an installer expect to make by installing this type of system? DC: The potential profit is $150 to $300 per installation. But the real profit potential lies in the ability to sell the fertilizer needed on a continual basis to the customer. On a typical landscape, the profit potential for selling this fertilizer is $50 to $150 a year. You might sell the fertilizer for $100 and make $50, but you're only paying the cost of delivering it to the customer. Then either you or the customer refills the container.
LM: Is this service a better fit for the lawn care provider or landscape contractor? DC: The business that can benefit the most is a lawn care company that's already going to the property to provide fertilization on a regular basis. They already have a customer who wants that service, and they have the infrastructure built in to service those accounts regularly. They also have the route density, serving many customers in a small area.
LM: What would be the cost to the lawn care provider's client? DC: The range of installation price is $300 to $600. Some companies are installing these systems at a more reduced price, though, just to gain a customer that they can sell fertilizer to each year and get their money back through an ongoing revenue stream.
LM: Do you need any specialized training to install this system? DC: Anyone who has installed irrigation systems or other service systems won't need specialized training. But it's important to learn how to install the system properly.
LM: Is the system an easier sell to commercial or residential clients? DC: Residential customers are an easier sell because they're easier to access. You know who you need to communicate with to make the sale. In commercial accounts, the decision maker is harder to reach. Plus, residential customers are often looking for the next cool thing.
LM: What are the benefits to the landscape contractor? DC:This is new technology they can offer to the consumer that does a traditional service and applies that technology to give the consumer more benefit at lower cost. There's also an opportunity to save labor and therefore lower their cost to maintain these properties. You won't necessarily make less visits to the properties but you'll spend less time there.
LM: What are the benefits to the client? DC: The main one is agronomic. You take the human factor out and reduce the chance of misapplication and damaging a property. Fertigation results in a more consistent release of fertilizer that's ideal for plants, and 90 percent of it will get to the plants and not be washed away by heavy rain. Plus, it's safer and more environmentally friendly.
LM: Why isn't fertigation more successful or popular? DC: We believe it's because the consumer as a general rule doesn't know about it. But the consumer likes the idea based on the feedback we've received, and it registers as a good concept with them. Most companies don't develop a business model around it adequately to make it a thriving profit center; they just install a few systems.
- The fertigation system has it owns superiority compared to other conventional system:
- Better for Plants.
- Plants need less water
- Plants have healthier roots
- Thatch problems reduction makes plants more resistant to diseases & pests
- Solve the problem of unarable land.
- Increasing the outcome of unit per area.
- Work force reduction lowering total cost spent on labour.
- Producing better quality harvest
- Reducing pesticide usage
- Higher production rate, reaching as high as 700%
- The plants’ maintenance is more systematic with slow, precise feeding and even application
- Less run-off into streams and rivers, better for environment
- Uses Less Fertilizer, increases microbial populations, better for soil health
- High starting funds.
- High risk of loosing and the need of intensive labour force.
- The needs of good quality water.
- The needs for the right medium, temperature and humidit