I need a seeder, and there’s not one around that is appropriate for the job………. So I’ll make one myself!!
In 1981 a farmer in Germany started his business of making seeders which has now expanded to be a major world player of excellent quality machinery. Michael Horsch farms in Germany and Czech Republic and his success has been through identifying the thing most limiting his farming business, finds out what he needs to overcome this problem……and implements it.
This has been true with various pieces of machinery Michael is now manufacturing – he produces products for a purpose to fix a problem.
Michael would be up there with the best thinkers I’ve ever met. With such foresight, vision and practicality, his business is a true representation of character – quality and innovation!
During the discussion, Michael shared some of his thoughts with us.
Making the decomposition engine work:
Crop residue in wheat is much different to crop residue from legumes and will take a lot longer to breakdown in the ‘decomposition engine’ (soil and it’s contents). 10T/Ha wheat yields in European soils create a large bank of material that is very slow to decompose. This means it is near impossible to plant next years crop which can be planted from one day to one month after harvesting.
Discing this residue into the soil gives more horse power to the ‘decomposing engine’ to breakdown the high carbon content wheat stubble. He doesn’t believe there is one right cropping method as long as it’s the best way of making the decomposition engine work the hardest and therefore maximising soil health. Temperature and rainfall will help determine the best way for this to happen and is why best practice in one country may not be best practice in another.
Precision management through controlled traffic and no till in Australia is allowing our ‘decomposition engine’ together with rotation of legumes, brassica and cereal to operate at its maximum capacity.
– Europe is becoming nutrient rich while other countries are becoming nutrient poor:
Consider this – The chook manure from holland is spread on European soils that comes from chickens, fed grain imported from the US or Brazil!…………..
Being a major export country ourselves, do we need to start thinking about the cost associated with the amount of minerals we are also exporting from our country along with the grain and meat? Are we applying the true value of nutrients back onto our soils that is necessary for long term farming operations?
Some very thought provoking discussions were had this particular morning and I can’t thank Nuffield and Chris Graf Grote enough for lining up such a wonderful and worth while meeting.