Horsch's flexible Focus is spot on for strip tillage
Most strip tillage in western Europe has been based around the establishment of oilseed rape (OSR). But, as the benefits of strip tillage continue to grab growers' attention, many are looking at flexible solutions that will enable them to drill a wider range of crops.
One company which claims to have put a lot of development work into strip tillage systems in the past six years is Horsch.
"Where conditions are right, farmers are seeing some good yields.
"We have some excellent trial results from Horsch's own farm and on our customers' farms," claimed Stephen Burcham, Horsch general manager.
"It's clear that the weather at seeding time and the placement of fertiliser is as important as choosing the right fertiliser.
"Dry or moist conditions should affect where you place the fertiliser. If you take the time to consider these variables, you will see yields increase," he added.
By cultivating only the seed rows, Horsch claims strip tillage promises increased work-rate while reducing costs with deep soil loosening, precise fertiliser placement, seedbed preparation and sowing in one pass.
Horsch has developed its strip tillage machine, the Focus TD, along this principle with the removal of harvest residues from the root area and precise and deep fertiliser placement below the seed rows.
Customers who have the experience of strip tillage for OSR now want to use it for other crops, such as winter wheat.
However, multiple drills for specific roles may be a burden some farmers don't want.
"We are continuing to research flexible solutions that enable the drill to do different jobs, but the key is still the ability to apply fertiliser," said Mr Burcham.
"The Focus system is the proven strip-till drill that we have had on test. We will have a new, more flexible version working this autumn, and this looks like it will give us the flexibility to get the best results."
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