Schmotzer hoes

The perfect addition to the AMAZONE plant protection programme

SCHMOTZER hoeing technology in action

Plant protection is an important part of agriculture for securing high yields and optimum quality. Due to the increasing world population, both factors play an enormous role in securing food supply. However, the chemical plant protection sector is also facing a big challenge in future. On the one hand there is the problem of resistance and on the other side there is an increasing amount of legal regulation.

The focus is once again on integrated agriculture

The future of plant protection consists of a combination of many different measures. These include the method of cultivation, sowing, choice of variety, crop rotation, catch crops, undersown crops, etc. After the harvest, for example, high emphasis is placed on shallow soil tillage in order to maximise the emergence rate for volunteer grain and weeds. 

This will also introduce an additional shallow soil tillage step for mechanical weeding between stubble cultivation and primary soil tillage. Primary soil tillage will become more intense and it is possible that ploughs will increasingly be used.

When sowing, optimum sowing conditions and precise seed placement play an important role in promoting seedling development. Under certain conditions, the use of narrower row spacings for a faster canopy closure or targeted under-sowing can play an important role in preventing the growth of weeds.

Another approach is to increase row spacing to allow for mechanical weeding between the rows. Hoeing of grain is a definite trend in organic farming.

Plant breeding will play an important role for plant cultivation in future. Cultivation requires very healthy varieties that have quick seedling development. Consistent yields and quality assurance rate higher than achieving absolute maximum yields. The issue of “integrated cultivation”, which has been discussed for many years, is increasingly getting attention.

Future technical solutions for plant protection

Direct plant protection measures will always include a mixture of mechanical and chemical plant protection, depending on the application and the crops, with mechanical weeding gaining increasing importance due to very accurate camera and control technology and the work rate increases associated with that. The increasing importance of the hoe in the intelligent plant protection sector has motivated AMAZONE to adopt SCHMOTZER hoe technology and to benefit from their many years of experience in mechanical plant protection.

This combination of hoeing and band spraying facilitates a clean crop with a pesticide saving of up to 85 %. Band spraying can be performed in combination with the hoe in one pass or as second step in a two-step process using the UX trailed sprayer and the AmaSelect Row nozzle control. At this point, the competences of SCHMOTZER and AMAZONE are perfectly combined.

Traditional chemical plant protection will also be of greater importance in future. The demand for precision down to single-plant treatment will increase. As a result, AMAZONE offers a system with AmaSwitch or AmaSelect single nozzle control in combination with the GPS-Switch automatic nozzle switch-off which can provide an average pesticide saving of 5 % by focused switching at the headland and in wedge-shaped fields. Further increases in the level of sophistication for AmaSelect single nozzle control include the functions AmaSelect Row, AmaSelect CurveControl and AmaSelect Spot. These can help to improve accuracy and save on plant protection agents. 

Hoeing: An important part in plant protection

The acquisition of SCHMOTZER hoeing technology means that the AMAZONE Group now has another important pillar for the plant protection of the future. The portfolio includes the two hoe models Venterra and Select. As a result, SCHMOTZER offers hoes for rear, front or mid-axle mounting with working widths up to 12 m and row widths from 12.5 cm to 200 cm. The SCHMOTZER Venterra offers a unique frame clearance of up to 1 m, meaning that e.g. late weed infestation in tall maize crops can be removed without damage to the plants. Thanks to the innovative camera technology, driving speeds of up to 15 km/h are now possible without any problems. Even row spacings as dense as 12.5 cm can be detected by the camera. In this respect, our sliding frames guarantee that the hoe is perfectly positioned between the crop rows at all times. Farmers can choose between our our compact VR 2 linear sliding frame or the sensitive AV 5 parallel shift frame.

The new and innovative RapidoClip hoe blade quick-change system was developed to minimise downtimes during the season. RapidoClip is the only tool-free quick-change system for hoe blades on the market. This enables worn hoe blades to be replaced in a very short time. At the same time, the wear costs are kept as low as possible, since only the worn hoe blade is replaced and not the soil-loosening leg.

In addition to control between the rows, mechanical weed control within the rows is also important. The SCHMOTZER hoe can be equipped e.g. with finger hoe elements for this purpose. They are attached to a separate parallelogram on the actual hoe parallelogram, so that they are always guided in an optimum manner, and the best possible working result is obtained. However, earthing up is also a good method for weed control in the crop row. A wide range of different systems, such as shallow ridgers or ridging discs, are available here.

The hydraulic single-row parallelogram unit (Section Control) ensures minimum damage to the crop and weed control right to the end of the field, even in wedge-shaped fields and sloping headlands.

Apart from the mechanical treatment of the weeds in the row, there is also the option of band spraying with our RowSpray band sprayer system integrated in the hoe in combination with the AMAZONE FT-P front tank. Highly efficient fertiliser application directly in the crop row or also the sowing of an undersown crop between the rows of plants is possible with a distributor head on the hoe in conjunction with the AMAZONE FTender. When combined with the GreenDrill universal catch crop seeder box, catch crops, fine seeds and micro-granular material can be applied via baffle plates behind the hoe units.

The advantages of hoeing

In addition to mechanical weed control, the associated savings of plant protection agents and the option of successfully fighting even resistant weeds, hoeing offers even more benefits. Hoeing can break up the top crust of the soil, which promotes ventilation of the soil and therefore improved root growth. Opening of the soil also significantly improves the ability to absorb water. On the other hand, it also breaks the capillary water draw and thus reduces the evaporation of water from the soil. The worked soil warms up faster and thus promotes early development of a spring crop.

Further information and details of all products can be found at www.schmotzer-ht.de

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