A clear yes to the dribble bar system

Why Dirk and Hubert Schulze Roberg opted for Vogelsang dribble bar technology in response to the German law on fertilizers

On agricultural plants, the German law on fertilizers is making itself more evident than ever. In order to protect waters, vegetation and the environment, specifications on the spreading of liquid manure are
becoming increasingly stringent. Longer blocking periods are creating an increased demand for spreading technology since more work needs to be carried out in a shorter time. Therefore, two years ago, Dirk and Hubert Schulze Roberg made a decision with respect to this challenge for their pig-fattening plant in the Münsterland region of Germany. The farm’s mechanization was to be retained since a bottleneck was often occurring with contractors on a desired spreading date due to high demand. Requirements in the German law on fertilization led to the two plant managers deciding to purchase a new liquid manure tank. Particularly in the spring and after the end of the blocking period, it is important to spread liquid manure on fields containing barley, triticale and wheat at the right time.
This service can be purchased from a contractor, but in reality the high demand on the desired date often
means this will not be possible. In addition, the plant’s own equipment minimizes the risk of diseases and
pestilences being introduced to the pig-fattening sty when flushing out channels, for instance.

First fit, then retrofit 

Investment in two stages 

Spreading technology is essential and vehicles are required to not only provide precise dosing and spreading but, according to the new law on fertilizers, the liquid manure must also be low in emissions, spread close to the surface and spread in strips. A 12 m³ tank was purchased for the spreading of around 2.500 m³ of liquid manure. In order to avoid having to fund the high acquisition cost  for the new technology upfront, the Schulze Robergs opted for a two-stage investment. First, the tank was ordered with a wide
spreader. The two farmers allowed for the later retrofitting of a linkage system in their initial planning so that the tank would suitably fit this model. Hydraulic and power lines as well as the four-point hydraulics were already installed, while the axis was moved to the rear for better weight distribution. With regard to retrofitting, there was just one question remaining: dribble bar or trailing shoe? To determine which of
these systems best matched their plant, the two plant managers analyzed the conditions more precisely
including crop farming, pig fattening, sandy soil and rounded areas. All of these arguments favored
the dribble bar system. The spreading technology is deployed in spring or the release of nitrogen, among
other things, according to the calculated fertilizer requirements. Here liquid pig manure is spread with precision into the existing stock.

Both the fact that the dribble bar technology had already proven its worth with well-known contractors and the lower follow-up costs were also advantages of the dribble bar system. One argument in favor of the trailing shoe spreading would have been funding; however, the agricultural disadvantages such as the high scraping pressure and hence the risk of damaging the crops were sufficient counter arguments. Likewise, the pig farmers feared the liquid manure might be too unevenly distributed if earmarks, for instance, became trapped at the tapered outlets. Additionally, maintenance costs for changing shoes are several times higher when compared with those for replacing hose ends.

Dirk and Hubert Schulze Roberg“The dribble bar system places the liquid manure and all its nutrients directly under the crop.
This means there is no need to make trenches in the earth, thereby avoiding the risk of
damaging the crops.”

Dirk and Hubert Schulze Roberg


Brand technology and its substantial advantages

A decision in favor of the dribble bar system was therefore made. But which manufacturer were they
to choose? Dirk Schulze Roberg asked contractors about their experience of various types – independently of any consultants or company reps. The feedback he received on the Vogelsang dribble bar was very positive, and this was one of his favorite options due to its linkage construction and low dead weight.
With a working width of 15 meters, immense forces act on the pulling jaw and hence on the tractor, not
just during spreading but also when driving on roads.The plant managers were also highly impressed by
the ExaCut ETX distributor, with eccentric technology, since its operating method promises low wear
leading to lower maintenance costs. For an optimal setup during liquid manure spreading, the two pig
farmers from Sassenberg selected DN50 end hoses from the options catalog.
Within just two and a half days, the tank was upgraded with the Vogelsang dribble bar system in the
workshop of the agricultural engineer Anton Terörde in Warendorf. After the first day, he and farmer Schulze
Roberg had completed the initial assembly work. The rest of the time was spent adjusting the assembly –
connecting the lines and fitting the equipment.
“The upgrade measures need to to be planned well and with a sufficient time buffer. With the initial assembly work, you can quickly see progress but the fine adjustment tasks are the most important aspects of the job. Precise, careful working is essential here so that the equipment can be used during day-to-day work without any problems,” the young farmer advises us.

SwingUp dribble bar system by Vogelsang in actionSwingUp dribble bar system by Vogelsang in action

Experience is the best recommendation

The Schulze Robergs are delighted with their decision to opt for the two-stage investment with retrofitting of the linkage and would recommend this without reservation to any agricultural colleagues currently considering investing in their own equipment. Many experienced farmers and experts from large-sized companies would fully endorse this recommendation too.

More opinions on dribble bar technology by Vogelsang:

Norbert Köffer, Norbert Köffer Agrarservice & Transporte, Kamp-Lintfort
“Our customers expect a spreading technique that is close to the surface, gentle and compatible with their
crops. For us as a contractor, spreading also needs to be economical of course. Using a durable, low-maintenance dribble bar system by Vogelsang, we are able to achieve both – regardless of the type of liquid manure.
The technology works without malfunctions at all times, spreading the liquid manure precisely and close to the surface. We use the SwingMax linkage by Vogelsang with a working width of 27 meters. Its ease of use on the field and the variable working widths due to the part-width section cut-off enable us to cater optimally for the requirements of all our customers. The supply of spare parts by Vogelsang is also quick and reliable – yet another benefit of the SwingMax dribble bar system.”

Anton Reetz, Agrarservice Rügen, Garz
“Our customers on the island of Rügen not only expect high precision standards with spreading technology, they also required a working width of 36 meters. The SwingMax dribble bar system enables me to handle all these demands without any problems. The unit is excellently finished, durable and versatile in use. Maintenance is rarely required and completed quickly by Vogelsang’s service team, so long periods of downtime never occur.”

Further links

See a video of the dribble bar system

More on Vogelsang dribble bar systems



Vogelsang GmbH & Co. KG, Holthöge 10-14, 49632 Essen (Oldenburg), Germany

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