Efficiency Award NRW 2021 for Kverneland Group Soest GmbH

Precision seeder saves resources and protects against over-fertilisation

The Kverneland Group Soest GmbH from Soest was awarded the main prize "Product" of this year's Efficiency Award NRW for the innovative PUDAMA precision air seeder, developed together with the TH Cologne, which saves resources and prevents over-fertilisation of the soil. The award was presented by NRW Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser in the German Sport & Olympia Museum in Cologne.

What is at issue?

The "Effizienz-Preis NRW - 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, environmentally friendly manufacture and reduced environmental impact during the product's life, as well as comprehensive recyclability.

PUDAMA - achieve the same yield with 25% less fertiliser

The award-winning product, PUDAMA, was developed by Kverneland Group Soest GmbH in recent years in cooperation with the Technical University of Cologne. PUDAMA enables the precise sowing of maize on the field and the targeted placement of a fertiliser deposit exactly below the respective maize grain. This makes it possible for the first time to fertilise the corn according to demand and thus in a resourceful and environmentally friendly way.

Precise fertilisation reduces the use of fertiliser and protects the environment

Fertilisation 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 classical sowing, the grains are placed in the soil with a necessary spacing of 15cm, but the required fertiliser is "placed underneath" throughout in the so-called start fertiliser 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.

This problem is countered by the PUDAMA precision air seeder developed by Kverneland Group Soest GmbH together with the TH Cologne, Institute for Construction and Agricultural Machinery Technology: "PUDAMA here stands for "Pinpoint fertiliser application during maize sowing", explains Kverneland R & D Manager Volker Schanzenbach. "In contrast to conventional precision seeders, which lay down a so-called fertiliser 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 fertiliser raw materials can also be reduced."

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.

High savings effects expected

With the aid of the PUDAMA precision air seeder, up to 81,000 tonnes of fertiliser could be saved annually in Germany in future, which would mean that 16,200 tonnes less of pure nitrogen and phosphate would be used. This corresponds to a saving of 25 percent of the fertiliser currently used annually at the same high yield level.

Relevance to agriculture convinced Efficiency Prize jury

The high relevance of the topic in particular 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."