1948 The company was established by Mr Anthony Cecil as a general farm contracting business operating from farm buildings on his father’s farm in Downham. The early emphasis was clearing the dung from local dairy farms’ cowsheds and spreading it back onto the land.
1955 Town gasworks were producing gas from coal. The gas was washed through water, and the gas board then needed to dispose of the resulting dirty water. Anthony realised that these washings contained nitrogen, and so the application of this gas liquor as a nutrient treatment for crops began. Supplies were sourced from the gas works in Essex and Suffolk.
1958 Initially gas liquor was all spread by BFS’s own contract spraying machines, but the potential could be increased if the farmers themselves were able to apply this product to their own fields. To achieve this Anthony designed and built a fleet of BFS hire sprayers.
1960 As the business grew, premises in Danbury were purchased.
Two activities were centred there – Nuffield tractor sales, and gas liquor developments.
Gas liquor only contained nitrogen, but crops also need phosphate and potash as nutrients to promote healthy growth. So Anthony built a plant to add these nutrients to the liquor.
With the arrival of North Sea gas, the town gas works were progressively closed. Nevertheless the fertiliser mixing plant rolled on with other sources of nitrogen being found to produce an ever increasing range of liquid fertilisers
1969 As farmers became better equipped some of BFS’s lesser activities were reduced. Only fertiliser, contract spraying, and the manufacture of sprayers remained strong.
Being skilled at handling liquids, BFS became an authorised distributor for Conoco/Jet heating oil, supplying homes in Essex.
1976 The fertiliser business now outgrew the Danbury premises and buildings were purchased in Woodham Ferrers known as IIgars, It was on this site that a new, sophisticated fertiliser plant was built.
1988 The first version of a BFS Dribble Bar – “The Trident” was produced for applying liquid fertiliser accurately across the full boom width, regardless of the boom height. Soon superceded with the 4 outlet flat version with a movable slide to select different apertures for various rate changes.
1988 Given BFS’s association with spraying, it was only natural that Anthony would invent an innovative spray nozzle. This ground-breaking device introduced air into the liquid stream as it was sprayed, resulting in spray droplets that contained air bubbles and reduced spray drift.
1990 Following further development, and independent testing of prototypes, the Air Bubble Jet was born and patents applied for. It was classed as a pioneering air induction nozzle which quickly became a favourite with farmers, when they saw the dramatic reduction in drift, and hence the lessened impact on the environment when spraying pesticides.
1995 The BFS Air Bubble Jet was soon established as the ‘Hoover’ of the air induction market and independent research confirmed its superiority over other alternative products.
1998 Though gravely ill Anthony Cecil celebrated BFS’s 50th anniversary.
A specialist store was built on the Downham site to cater for sales of all sprayer parts, accessories, and PPE equipment and clothing.
An approved AEA test centre was set up with a fully equipped sprayer repair, maintenance, and testing workshop.
2000 The millionth Air Bubble Jet was sold.
2001 Ilgars fertiliser plant was given a facelift with an improved production plant; better environmental protection; and increased storage.
2003 the BFS Danbury oil depot was renovated with new storage, new loading facilities, better environmental protection and greater security.
2005 BFS received the “Best new Product or Innovation” award at the LAMMA show for its new design liquid fertiliser applicator, the BFS Dribble Bar, with a quick “dial” rate change feature.
2006 BFS continue to operate from all three sites with ongoing research and development of fertiliser related products; oil delivery techniques; and advanced spraying technology.
2008 The suspension fertiliser plant was replaced with a new, higher capacity unit capable of producing high quality, stable suspensions, to supply our contract fleet applying suspensions across East Anglia.
2009 A new angle on crop spraying – BfS introduce the “Angled Cap” – a device to angle any standard or Air Inclusion Nozzle to achieve better coverage of the target.
2011 BFS introduce a true variable rate liquid fertiliser applicator, the BFS AutoStreamer. This allowed “on-the-move” rate changes from crop monitoring equipment.
2011 At the same time a nozzle version, called Trident, incorporating a single auto valve was released for operators needing a compact version for variable rate.
2013 The AIM or EasyJet was launched in Canada as a low drift nozzle, designed specifically for the new Pulse Width Modulation systems on sprayers, appearing across the USA and Canada at the time.
2015 The Trident was redesigned to have 5 outlet holes instead of 3 for more accurate output and called the 5Star. Again perfect for variable rate application where a bar can not be used.
2016 BfS FlowCheck nozzle checking device launched at Cereals event. Replacing a measuring jug and stopwatch it accurately measures nozzle output rapidly and without the driver having to get wet feet.
2017 The red disc, 5 setting, Dribble Bar introduced over 10 years ago, was revamped with 11 settings on the new Yellow Disc Dribble Bar II.
2018 Sees the launch of the ExRay XC low drift nozzle, with up to over 90% reduced drift compared to a standard flat fan. Also capable of use over a wider range of pressures making it a more versatile option.
2018 The PulZar was introduced to the UK market having been successfully marketed in the USA and Canada as the AIM and EasyJet. These systems now being offered as an option in Europe. This is the only 3* rated LERAP nozzle available for these types of nozzle body.
2019 4* LERAP approval was achieved for many of the 90% Drift Reducing, ExRay XC nozzles – the first to be registered for 4* with CRD.