2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2, Page #15[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Zealand Tillage Machine Performs Well In WisconsinAs a conservation-minded Wisconsin farmer, Lewis Krueger is always looking for a better way to reduce topsoil loss on his 700-acre farm in Calumet County. Krueger says soil erosion everywhere is the “secret thief robbing farmers blind”.
In 2018 Krueger, who is also CEO of a manufacturing company, visited a farm in Washington to learn more about the “cross slot” no-tillage planter that was brought to the U.S. from New Zealand by Gavin Porter. Krueger says it’s the only no-till planter in the world classified as ultra-low disturbance.
“You can plant across a sod field and hardly see that you’ve been there,” Krueger says. “There’s no loose ground anywhere.” Seeing those benefits, Krueger bought the intellectual property rights to the Cross Slot No-Till System and hired Porter as Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Krueger and Appleton Machine began manufacturing and promoting the cross slot system in early 2019. With farmers in the Upper Midwest battling a very wet growing season, Krueger says sales were slow. However, he hopes that design modifications and a better growing season in 2020 will boost sales. He says the system is ideal for farmers with 100 to 2,000 acres of tillable land.
“Initially we built four 40-ft. machines with 48 openers, so we have three 40-footers for sale,” says Krueger. “We’re in the process of building a smaller unit with 10 rows that’s 8 1/2 ft. wide. That frame can be enlarged up to 20 feet with 24 openers. Each opener requires about 10 hp., so the smaller machine can be pulled by a 100-hp. tractor.”
Krueger says farmers are finding that they’re able to plant earlier with cross slot tillage than if they’re conventionally tilling the ground.
The cross slot no-tillage planter was invented at Massey University in New Zealand more than 30 years ago. Porter says farmers there used it to adapt to variable terrain and soil composition while appreciating the machine’s ability to adjust depth and pressure on the go. They also enjoyed improved yields with reduced soil erosion.
Krueger says the 40-ft. unit is priced about $295,000 and a 10-row unit at about $94,700. A mid-sized model with 24 openers sells for about $155,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lewis Krueger, Appleton Marine, 3030 E. Pershing St., Appleton, Wisc. 54911 (ph 920 738-5432).
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