Research and development into Strip-Till continues and Väderstad’s latest research in the area was presented to the European press recently at the Holkham Hall Estate, which is three hours’ drive north of London. Interest in this new technology is massive and Väderstad plans to launch Spirit Strip-Till during the coming year.
Väderstad is working equally hard on development of the seed drill and the tillage concept, with the overall target of achieving stable, high yields. During this autumn, both machine and method are being tested in Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Germany and England.
“We are carried out formal trials under the direction of SLU at both the Alnarp and Ultuna campuses. We will be conducting extensive demonstration trials in Västergötland during the coming year to investigate the possibility of draining away excess water in the field”, said Bo Stark, Director of Marketing at Väderstad.
“The Strip-Till tines are only 25 mm wide so that they open as small a furrow as possible and decrease the energy requirement. These narrow tines, which are coated with a hard metal, contribute to the high capacity of the machine, which can easily drill at 15 kilometres per hour”, explained Crister Stark, Chairman of the Board at Väderstad-Verken.
”We place great emphasis on demonstrating that the Väderstad form of Strip-Tillage can help produce high yields in the future. A well-developed root system gives the crop better opportunities for developing in dry conditions, while in wet conditions there are better opportunities for excess water to drain away from the soil surface through faster infiltration”, added Crister Stark.
A number of trials, including some in Southern Sweden, have shown that oilseed rape can produce higher yield after deep loosening of the seed furrow, which promotes strong root development.
“Väderstad is also working to demonstrate that the same method can give higher and more stable grain yields. That is why we have initiated fairly intense research work with SLU Ultuna and various other research institutes abroad, This is a very exciting area of development, which I am observing closely”, said Crister Stark.
A great deal of research work has been concentrated on the Gut Gransevitz farm [in Germany] in collaboration with estate manager Nis Lassen. Nis Lassen is also the man who first brought Strip-Till ideas to Europe from North America back in 2005. Since then, he has been working intensively on its development, partly by himself.
Holkham Hall with its 3400 hectares of arable land is a historic old English estate. In fact, much of modern agriculture has its origins in an early form of agricultural system developed at Holkham Hall. A few hundred years ago, scholars travelled from large parts of Europe to Holkham Hall to learn. The lessons learned were then transferred to e.g. German agriculture. Holkham Hall is credited with ‘inventing’ the modern crop rotation and with recognising the importance of crop rotation at an early stage.