German farm machinery specialist, Horsch, is looking ahead to when farmers will no longer be able to use glyphosate weed killer with what it calls its 'hybrid farming system'.

Being launched at the forthcoming CropTec Show, which is being held on November 27 and 28 at the East of England Shpwground at Peterborough, this, said Horsch –which ironically is also a major manufacturer of sprayers – would combine the best practices of organic farming and conventional farming to provides a solution to weed control without resorting to the widely used herbicide.

Four new products will start its Hybrid Farming System, with more planned. These are designed to meet the needs of farmers looking for mechanical weed control, yet retain the high productivity expected of modern conventional farming.

Those elements include stubble management and weeding tools, including the new Transformer VF hoeing tool, the Finer LT cutting tillage tool, its Cura ST harrow and the Cultro TC knife roller as ways of bowing to the ever-growing pressure to reduce the use of chemicals in farming.

The new hoeing tool line has a fully integrated lateral sliding frame to enable it to be compatible with parallelogram-guided tools. The Transformer VF is available in 6m to 12m working widths and is fully compatibility to ISOBUS standard and can be combined with many different camera systems.

The 6m and 8m models are folded in three sections while 9m to 12m models are folded in five sections. All have a transport width of 3m and height of 4m. The clearance below the frame is an impressive 660mm, which is particularly useful in row crops like maize and sugar beet.

The clamping system for hoeing tools, enables them to be arranged in a wide variety of positions, covering row spacings from 25cm to 90cm. Adjustment is simple and fast, with working depth adjusted easily without any tools, said Horsch.

Covering discs for the hoeing tools are available as an option to protect crops in the early stage. An additional attachment space can be used for finger rolls or other tools that work in the row.

As part of Horsch’s hybrid and organic farming range, the Finer LT enables shallow cutting of weeds, volunteer crops or catch crops as an alternative to herbicide in the fight against weeds.

There is the ability to set tine angle so the tines cut shallow and parallel to the ground, which is a new concept, it said. Again available in 6-12m working widths, the four-bar Finer LT range is available with a three-point attachment.

Tine spacing of the spring tines is 15cm with a frame height of 55cm. The tine section is followed by a two-bar harrow that removes even more of the weed material from the soil.

The Cura ST is another element of the new system, and is being launched as a three-point linkage version with working widths ranging from 6-15m. Its six-bar design allows for a tine spacing of 2.8cm for working intensely on clean soils or soils with a lot of weeds.

The support pressure of the harrow tines is continuously, hydraulically adjustable and each tine has a pressure ranging from 500g to 5kg and each tine is fastened individually and prevented from moving laterally.

The final element, the Cultro TC double knife roller comes in 3m and 12m working widths. Used in combination with other machines, it provides excellent cutting in rape or silage maize stubble and in catch crops, with six knives are arranged in a crosscut configuration for maximum effect.

While the smaller width machines are three-point linkage mounted, the trailed 12m Cultro 12 TC has a new frame concept that transfers the complete weight of the machine on to the roller for optimum contour following and for an even cutting action.

It can be equipped with a packer or a grass type harrow, while a crossbar in front of the knives enables it to be used for seedbed preparation.