Kverneland Group Soest GmbH in Germany received the NRW 2021 Efficiency Award for its Pudama precision seeder. This machine was awarded since it saves resources and protects the soil against over-fertilization.
The “NRW Effizienz-Preis – Das ressourceneffiziente Produkt” is awarded by the Effizienz-Agentur NRW, which works on behalf of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of the Environment. The prize honours innovative products and services from North Rhine-Westphalia that combine essential efficiency factors – for example, resource-saving product development, environment friendly manufacturing and reduced environmental impact during the product’s life, as well as comprehensive recyclability. This years’ award was handed out by the North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser.
North Rhein Westfalen (NRW) Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser, Managing Director Hasan Kesek and R&D Manager of Kverneland Group Soest GmbH, Volker Schanzenbach, Dr. Peter Jahns, Head of Effizienz-Agentur NRW
Pudama achieves the same yield with 25% less fertilizer
The award-winning product, Pudama, was developed by Kverneland Group Soest GmbH in recent years in cooperation with the Institute for Construction and Agricultural Machinery Technology, part of the Technical University of Cologne. Pudama enables the precise sowing of maize and the targeted placement of a fertilizer deposit exactly underneath the respective maize seeds. This allows exact fertilizing, according to demand and thus in a resourceful and environmentally friendly way.
Precise fertilization reduces fertilizer use and protects the environment
Fertilization ensures the supply of nutrients to the crop, but over-fertilization often has undesirable effects on the environment and the ecosystem of the land. In the case of traditional sowing, the seeds are placed in the soil with a spacing of 15 cm, but the required fertilizer is “placed underneath” throughout in the so-called start fertilizer application. The amount is thus basically too high and cannot be completely absorbed by the plant. This over-fertilization has corresponding effects on the natural balance of the ecosystem.
“Pudama here stands for “Pinpoint fertilizer application during maize sowing”, explains Kverneland R&D Manager Volker Schanzenbach. ” In contrast to conventional precision seeders, which lay down a so-called fertilizer band in the soil, with our solution the nutrients only reach where the root of the grain can absorb them. In this way, loss and leaching is avoided and the production of fertilizer can also be reduced.”
High savings effects expected
With the aid of the Pudama precision air seeder, up to 81,000 tonnes of fertilizer could be saved annually in Germany, which means 16,200 tonnes less pure nitrogen and phosphate. This corresponds to a saving of 25 percent of fertilizer currently used annually at the same high yield level.
Relevance to agriculture convinced jury
The high relevance of this topic convinced the jury of the NRW 2021 Efficiency Award. “The resource-saving farming method of the precision air seeder can significantly reduce nitrogen and phosphorus inputs into the soil,” explained jury chairman Bernd Draser. “This innovation has great potential to make agriculture more environmentally friendly without restrictions at the expense of farmers.”
Kverneland Group Soest GmbH has applied for the NRW 2021 Efficiency Award with a tested prototype. The plan is to make the technology available to farmers in 2023.