With pressure building in Europe for a ban on glyphosate, equipment manufacturers are thinking ahead to assist farmers in removing weeds mechanically.
LEMKEN recently acquired the Dutch company Machinefabriek Steketee B.V. as a step in expanding its crop care product portfolio with implements for mechanical weed control and future-oriented camera-assisted machine control.
“At Agritechnica in November of 2017, we saw numerous companies in many different crops focused on inter-row cultivation” says RealAgriculture founder Shaun Haney. “It’s innovation that makes sense in vegetable crops, for sure, but there is definitely a desire for companies, such as Lemken, to bring it to large-scale row crops as well.”
Machinefabriek Steketee B.V., a manufacturer of mechanical weed control implements, is headquartered in the Netherlands and employs about 50 staff. Its proprietary camera technology supports farmers in controlling their machines precisely and facilitates both conventional hoeing between rows and hoeing between plants within a row.
Accuracy of inter-row cultivation remains the key piece that farmers require to fully embrace the technology. Removing weeds without having to apply a herbicide will gain the interest of organic and conventional farmers. Whether it;s regulations or public pressure, inter-row cultivation could be an answer for growers.