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Farm Show (Vol. 29, No.2 2005)                                                                           

Roger Montag of West Bend, Iowa, recently called Farm Show to tell us about his new high-capacity fertilizer caddy that “steers” itself to precisely follow in the tracks of any implement.  The two-wheeled unit is designed primarily to deep band granular fertilizer, but can also be used in any row crop application – liquid or dry.

“It has a capacity of eight tons and rides on big 6-ft. wheels, which makes it easy to pull,” says Montag.

The cart has two tongues that connect it to the toolbar.  Angle changes between the tongues and cart cause the wheels to pivot, holding the cart in position behind the tillage bar.

The cart features a simple air delivery system that Montag invented several years ago for deep placement of fertilizer.  It has an oversize fan and two augers that deliver the fertilizer through hoses to the toolbar.  It can be used with big 16 and 24-row toolbars.  And it can be equipped with lift assist cylinders which help carry the back end of the toolbar.

“So far we’ve built four prototypes which we tested last fall on farms in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  They worked great,” says Montag.  “The reason we built this unit is that a lot of strip-till farmers are putting down all their nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium during the fall at rates up to 550 lbs. per acre.  At that rate, with a 16-row toolbar you need a high capacity tank so you don’t have to refill so often.  Toolbars aren’t designed to carry eight tons.”

Norm Johnson of Spirit Lake, Iowa, tested one of the 8-ton carts last fall on about 500 acres.  He used his Deere 8510 front wheel assist tractor to pull the unit behind a 16-row, 3-pt. mounted toolbar.  He deep banded fertilizer on strip-tilled soybean ground at a rate of 370 lbs. of urea per acre.

He built his own 16-row toolbar.  He started with the toolbar off a 12-row Hiniker row crop cultivator and lengthened it to 40 ft.  Then he mounted Remlinger row units on it.  He also reinforced the toolbar for extra strength.

“We were well pleased,” says Johnson, who ran the machine over about 500 acres.  “We found the cart trails much more closely behind the toolbar than a gooseneck-type, which reduces the hose length and blowing distance.  The short distance increases the application rate capacity and also the accuracy of the air system.  Another advantage is that the steering system keeps the cart from pulling to the left or right.  That allows it to follow directly behind the implement instead of lagging downhill or in the direction you’re turning.

“I use a Raven controller with the toolbar.  The two augers at the bottom of the cart that feed product into the hoses are tied in with the controller so as I speed up or slow down, the augers speed up or slow down, too, which keeps the application rate uniform.”

Montag says there are many other uses for the versatile caddy.  “You can hook the cart behind an anhydrous bar or behind a planter or cultivator.  He plans to introduce a new model next fall which will have four or five compartments and be able to blend fertilizer on-the-go.  It will also be compatible with Global Positioning Satellite systems and mapping technology.

Montag says he expects the 8-ton cart to sell for $28,000 to $35,000 depending on options.  A smaller 6-ton cart is also available and is expected to sell for $24,000 to $30,000.

“Both the 8 and 6-ton models are available in the original 2-in. delivery systems and also in a higher output 2 ½-in. design for higher speeds and higher application rate,” notes Montag.


*** The article is reprinted with permission from Farm Show (

Farm Equipment Manufacturing Assocation

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Montag Manufacturing, Inc.
  3816 461St. Ave.    Emmetsburg, IA 50536M
Phone: 712-852-4572   Fax: 712-852-4574