Improvement and evaluation of BARI USG applicator
Keywords:field capacity, efficiency, payback period, USG
Urea Super Granule (USG) placement in 6-10 cm depth in wet land rice field can save 30% of nitrogen than broadcasted prilled urea. But, deep placement by hand is more time consuming, labor expensive and also hazardous to health. To solve the problems of USG placement, a manually operated push type two-row fertilizer applicator for puddled rice field has been developed in Farm Machinery and Postharvest Process Engineering (FMPE) Division of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) in 2009. The applicator was modified for variable row spacing (17-25 cm) reducing weight from 9 to 6 kg by changing the construction material of skid and drive wheel from steel to plastic. To reduce the moving resistance, the length of the skid was reduced from 760 to 610 mm. Based on farmers' demand; the hoppers were modified to hold 1 kg of USG in each hopper instead of 0.5 kg. Field performance of BARI USG applicator was evaluated in four different location of the country during the boro season (January-April) of 2011-12. Average field capacity and efficiency of the applicator were found to be 0.139 hah-1 and 81% respectively. Considering custom hiring, the net income per year was US$ 915 (Tk 75,000) and the payback period was 3 days. The price of the applicator is US$ 43 (Tk 3,500). Use of the applicator ensured similar yield of rice to hand application of USG in all locations. Higher yield of rice was obtained from USG applied plot than granular urea. This improved USG applicator may be used for application of USG in puddled rice field in the rice growing countries.
Keywords: field capacity, efficiency, payback period, USG