It is far more impressive when others discover

your good qualities without your help.

- Judith Martin

A KERNAL

OF WISDOM

Chapter 11:

Custom Spraying And Spreading

Many years ago, there was a demand for custom crop-spraying. We started with a Terra Gator. The booms were up pretty high, so we went to an AG Shield. This was a big, cumbersome machine. Andre was the best at operating it. From there we started to buy high-clearance sprayers. We had some very good operators. We believed that operators should be year-round employees so they would gain experience and get to know the customers and their fields.

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Custom spraying can be a frustrating job. It's subject to wind, rain, mud, and tired operators. The past few years, SVF has contracted out most of the St. Albert and Legal spraying to Charles Hepfner and his boys. We keep a sprayer at both locations, with competent, experienced operators available to help Charles, if necessary. So far, the program has worked very well for SVF, Charles and, most importantly, our customers.

There has always been a need for custom spreading, although we have many spreaders to rent at St. Albert and Legal. The first operator was Rolly Verbeek. This truck was rough and hard on the back and head. Better equipment was being developed. We started buying the latest and best available. Urea and liquid Avadex was popular. The latest equipment now has GPS and steers itself except for turning at the end of the field. Before GPS, we used foam markers. They worked off and on. If they worked, the wind often blew the foam away. Thank goodness for GPS.

 

A growing part of the business is farm delivery. We have several tandems and three bulkers equipped to put fertilizer in the customer's truck in the field when he is seeding. This saves him manpower and time spent coming to the plant unless, of course, he would like a hot dog or popcorn. These trucks also haul to our Terra Gators. Terry Dulaba is our ace sprayer and spreader operator at St. Albert, and Trevor Borduzak Legal. Many customers have their own sprayers, but we still keep four sprayers busy.