Described as a simple machine, the technique comprises one or two rows of contra-rotating hydraulically-driven wheels (two different tyre sizes cater for different row widths), to pull out a wide range of tall weeds, such as fat hen and bolters in sugar beet.
Suitable for both conventional and organic systems, there are currently three models; 3.0m (rigid) and two hydraulically folding 6.0m and 9.0m units.
It depends on a number of variables, including soil type and moisture content, root depth and weed height, but working speeds are suggested to be from 4-6km/hr.
Designed and built in Germany by Hermann Klünder, new on 2021 machines are the seven spokes inserted above each wheel to gather tall weeds.
Corona prevented Suffolk Farm Machinery’s Richard Carr from travelling to Germany last year to see machines at work, but he is now keen to demonstrate a 3.0m unit with two rows of tyres in the UK.
“The technique enjoyed a lot of interest on social media between Christmas and the New Year,” he says, “and we have received half a dozen demo requests from sugar beet and vegetable (carrots, potatoes and parsnips) growers.”
A 6.0m version has also been ordered and both machines are expected to arrive sometime April/May. As a rough guide a 100hp tractor will have sufficient hydraulic and lifting capacity for the 6.0m model (130hp+ for the 9.0m version).
Prices have not yet been released. More technical details on the new machines will be available on Suffolk Farm Machinery’s website next month.