GRIMME: Prevention of erosion, mechanical weed control and haulm destruction
21 November 2019
Growing potatoes have suffered losses during harvest and tuber quality has been reduced in recent years, due to extreme weather conditions. New regulations for the use of herbicides also require alternative use for haulm destruction. For these objectives GRIMME will present a multitude of innovations and proven technology for an ecological and sustainable agriculture at Agritechnica 2019.
Mechanical haulm destruction
To ensure a good skin set on the tubers, herbicides can be applied two or three weeks before harvest. The withdrawal of the approval of herbicides containing the active substance "Deiquat", such as Reglone, by the European Commission, means that farmers are looking for alternatives to haulm destruction. GRIMME offers the most cost-effective and sustainable solution by means of mechanical haulm topping. By using a haulm topper, the haulm of the potatoes is mechanically crushed and deposited between the ridges. It is important to place the potato haulm precisely between ridges, especially if the stems of the potato plants are subsequently to be treated with other herbicides. GRIMME offers very robust and powerful haulm toppers for 2-, 4- and 6-rows and has more than 30 years of experience in this area.
Best protection against soil erosion
The most serious risk of soil erosion occurs during heavy rainfall on slopes and especially during the period when the potato has not reached the state of complete canopy establishment (a closed "haulm-shelter" covering the ridges). In the event of soil erosion, the potatoes are partially exposed to sunrays which than lead to a green surface of the tubers so that they cannot be marketed. In extreme cases, when entire ridges are rinsed away, the emergence of the potatoes is completely prevented at these areas. In order to minimize soil erosion, GRIMME has developed the TerraProtect system. TerraProtect, consists of one loosening tine with integrated stone protection and a subsequent small dyking device, which works between the ridges. It can either be used in combination with a potato planter or with ridging tillers. The loosening tine loosens the underground and increases the capacity of water absorption of the soil. The dyking-share, adapted to the contour of the ridges, generates traverse-dams (so-called dykes) for water storage. Various setting possibilities are available for a perfect adaptation to the specific soil conditions. This protects the productive soil and ensures an even water supply for the crop.
TerraProtect is available in two versions. In the basic version, TerraProtect is operated directly via double acting hydraulic control box of the tractor. The desired spacing of the dykes is simply set by an adjustable valve on the machine. The creation of spraying tracks is possible by manually switching off certain rows. The TerraProtect Pro works together with an intelligent control for comfortable operation from the tractors cab.
The different versions of the TerraProtect system are now available for different machines of spring technology.
Mechanical weed control
The potato does not tolerate much "competition" from weeds until the end canopy establishment. For this reason, effective and accurate weed control is necessary to achieve a good yield. Using the 2-, 4-, 6- or 8-row ridging hillers of the series "GH Oeko", it is possible to perform mechanical weed control in crops which are grown on ridges up to the vegetation stage of canopy establishment without further chemical treatments.
Weed control is achieved using cutter elements fitted to the frame and parallelograms guided via feeler wheels. Thus, both the left and the right knife adapt themselves to the shape of the ridge independent of each other, so that the weeds on the ridge flanks are always precisely cut. The cutting system actively destroys the weeds and prevents regrowth. On light, dry soils, harrows can also be used instead of cutting blades to care the ridges. For improved water absorption and reduced compaction a loosening harrow can be used on the ridge crown. The single row shaper following the cutting system forms a stable and even ridge.
The blade-elements can be lifted. This means the ridging hiller option "Oeko" can be changed to a conventional ridging hiller, which combines two machines in one basic machine.
Source: GRIMME Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG