In the North American agricultural market, small family farms are widespread, growing a wide variety of crops on small plots of land and then selling their products through local fresh markets and in accordance with the sustainable '0 km' consumer philosophy.
In order to grow a wide variety of seed types, ranging from small seeds to lima beans, farms need precision seed drills with specific features including: high flexibility of use, the ability of the distributor to sow any type of seed and versatility that makes them suitable for direct and no-till seeding.
These are the needs of Bardwell Farm, a small farm located in Massachusetts.
WHO IS BARDWELL FARM AND WHAT ARE THE TILLAGE TECHNIQUES THAT ALLOW IT TO ACHIEVE MAXIMUM RESULTS WHILE RESPECTING THE ENVIRONMENT?
Bardwell Farm is a farm based in Massachusetts, in the north-eastern United States of America. It has 8 hectares of clay soil on which, in the period from May to October, it grows more than a hundred varieties of vegetables including corn, spinach, turnips and tomatoes. The products are then sold, according to the principle of 0 km distribution, to local restaurants and shops as well as through a retail shop located near the farm itself.
Bardwell Farm and MaterMacc are united by their focus on sustainability and their research and interest in agricultural practices and techniques applied in the field. Bardwell Farm's goal, specifically, is to identify techniques to improve the quality of their product and be as efficient as possible in working the land, all while respecting the soil and leaving the smallest possible footprint on the environment.
One of the company's mottos, which expresses these policies well, is: "Sustainability is the act of maintaining an ecological balance while avoiding the depletion of natural resources."
The company's annual cultivation plan is based on crop diversification, crop rotation, minimal or no tillage, cover cropping and the use of natural fertilisers. These practices are pursued by building sustainable ecosystems in the knowledge that this attitude towards the land will also lead to healthier, more nutritious harvests that end customers will appreciate.
THE ANSWER TO BARDWELL FARM'S NEEDS: MATERMACC AND THE MS8200 PRECISION PLANTER WITH EASY-SET SYSTEM
- Minimum tillage, respecting the soil and the ecosystem.
- Possibility of sowing several crops with the same seed drill.
- Great versatility in changing between rows depending on the crop, saving time.
With these objectives in mind, Bardwell Farm turned to MaterMacc and chose the MS8200 precision seeder equipped with EASY-SET System directly assembled on the main tool bar. This system allows to move the planting units simply by sliding them on the guide to the needed row distance, without using tools.
The fact that the machine was designed with press-folded and bolted steelwork, a structure that allows it to absorb the most intense stresses, allowed the customer to modify the machine to suit its purpose, so that it could also tackle unprepared soil (sowing on hard ground).
The customer's talent and resourcefulness made the results and effectiveness of seeding with the MS8200 evident, even on direct seeding.
The customer currently uses the machine on 3 rows, adapting it according to the crop and transforming it from 3 rows x 45 cm to 2 rows x 90 cm. All this is possible thanks to the Easy Set system, patented by MaterMacc in 1996, which allows the distance between the seeding units to be adjusted quickly and precisely.
The seeder is also equipped with a Variovolumex fertiliser with a stainless steel tank and double disc coulter elements: in this case the customer uses the fertiliser to supplement maize seeding.