Blog ILVO BLOGS from the Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke: Temporary grassland destroyed with minimal tillage

Frees van Kuhn
Schijveneg met kooirol van constructeur Steeno vernietigt de grasmat en legt het land zaaiklaar in twee werkgangen.

On July 30, 2020, at the Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke (PPAE Hansbeke) four techniques were applied on one plot to temporarily destroy grassland with minimal tillage. The agroecological approach tries to maximize the benefits of the less invasive soil treatments, as they don't disturb soil life as much. Vital soil life helps to break the sod down and transform it into organic matter, which in turn contributes to the fertility (presence of usable nutrients) of the topsoil. In many cases, you also have fewer separate tillage runs before sowing, which means a savings in use of fuel and time. On the trial plot in question, the farmer has planned spelt as a follow-up crop in the 2021 growing season. ILVO is monitoring the influence of the destruction methods on weed pressure and crop development, and will also map out the yield and quality differences.

Ecoplow for shallow tillage

Ecoplow for shallow tillage.The "ecoplow" or "ecoploeg" from Koeckhoven plows a shallow layers, at less than 10 cm deep. The ground is nearly sow- and plant-ready. In combination with the mulcher from manufacturer Moreni, mounted in the frondt, the cover crop can get incorporated in the same run.

Precision cultivator for destruction of the green cover crop

The Treffler precision cultivator destroys clover and green cover crops 100% a customized depth between 2.5 and 5 cm (1 - 2 inches).

Cutter for cutting and mixing the turf with the soil

Kuhn's cutter consists of a cultirotor with angled blades that cut the turf and mix it into the topsoil.

Disc harrow to cut and crumble the sod

Manufacturer Steeno demonstrates the disc harrow with cage roller. This equipment destroys and crumbles the sod and prepares the soil for sowing in two runs.

The Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke is a collaboration between ILVO, PHAE and RHEA. The 50 ha of organic fields offers a unique experimentation space for agroecological principles. We regularly blog about these experiments via the ILVO website and social media.

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