The first-ever national vegetable farmer’s day, attended by visitors from across the country, was held at the JSF farm in Gauteng. Joe Spencer was there.
Rebelo Agricultural Machinery, Zuiderwint Mechanization and Joined Specialised Farming (JSF) have instituted a farmer’s day to showcase as many implements as possible to vegetable farmers.
The venue of the recent inaugural event was the JSF farm near Bapsfontein in Gauteng.
The turnout of both exhibitors and visitors exceeded all expectations, and plans are already underway to make this a biennial event.
The following specialised implements caught my eye:
The robust build of the Struik RF rotary cultivator makes it ideal for thorough soil preparation in difficult conditions. This rigid-tine cultivator can be used either as a full-field or row cultivator.
The Forigo Roteritalia stone burier was introduced in South Africa by Rebelo Agricultural Machinery in 2012. The rotor rotates opposite to the direction of travel, and the blades throw the soil over the top of the rotor through a grid, burying stones, crop residue and clods under a fine tilth.
Struik claims to be the leader in soil preparation equipment for potatoes. The ZF range is designed for inter-row cultivation for mechanical weed control and rebuilding ridges. The ZF is available in 750mm and 900mm row widths for two, four or six rows. It breaks down the clods in potato ridges for easier harvesting, allows better irrigation uptake, and enables more oxygen to enter the ridge.
FALC Equipment is distributed by Zuiderwint Mechanization, based in Meyerton Gauteng. The company, founded by Betsie Zuidersma and Tjasse Winter in 2010, adapts machine concepts from Europe to South African conditions. In the configuration seen here, the FALC Vigneron 1300 power harrow is forming a perfect seedbed. It is available in widths from 800mm to 1 500mm.
Inter-row rotary tiller
The Comeb PTO-driven inter-row rotary tiller from Zuiderwint weeds, rotavates and breaks up capping caused by heavy rain. It operates between rows of crops under all soil conditions. The machine, which is used mainly for vegetable cultivation, can be custom-made in any width up to 6m. On the model shown, the toolbar is steered hydraulically for precision weeding.
The Ferrari Remoweed automatic hoe detects and removes weeds from between the rows as well as between plants in the same row. A series of scanners differentiates between weeds and plants, and the former are then cut by two hydraulically operated blades. The blades can cut weeds as close as 10mm from the plants and the working height can be adjusted.
Fine seed planter
The Agricola Italiana pneumatic fine seed planter, available from Rebelo, sows all types of vegetable seed. Designed for double-line sowing, it features two tandem seeding units with row widths adjustable up to 90mm. The Italiana can be equipped with as many seeding elements as required. The tool bar allows the elements to move easily to obtain the specified distance between the rows. Seen here is the SNT-2-290.
Heavy duty sub-soiler
The Niubo Kansas sub-soiler is imported from Spain by Inttrac Trading. It has shear bolt protection for the legs and
the seven-shank model has a working width of 3,5m. Under-beam clearance is 550mm. It requires a 135kW to 150kW tractor, depending on soil conditions.
The Agro-Masz SR seed drill, imported by JSF from Poland, operates independently or in conjunction with a cultivator. The disc model seen here works through a fair quantity of crop residue in minimum-till or mulch sowing operations. The working depth of the disc coulters is controlled precisely by rubber press wheels, while the seeding rate is easily adjusted via a convenient lever.
This leek planter, imported by Zuiderwint, can plant up to 300 000 plants/ha at a depth up to 150mm. It can also be used to plant high population chillies or paprika.
The Zuiderwint crimper roller is used for crushing cover crops when preparing land for no-till planting. The machines are built to order, with the farmer specifying the width to match his planter.
The FPA Evolution transplanter plants plug and square block seedlings up to 70mm in diameter. It can work through plastic or paper film or on bare ground. Row width is adjustable from a minimum of 230mm, and the distance in the row can be varied from 190mm to 1 860mm, according to the number of cups.
Joe Spencer is the mechanisation editor of Farmer’s Weekly.
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