“PUDAMA increases the efficiency in the use of mineral starter fertiliser in maize thus maintaining 100% yield whilst saving at least 25% starter fertiliser.” This significant scientific claim was the result of a three-year study and doctor thesis of Kverneland in co-operation with the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne and was now followed up by wide spread field trials across Europe this year.
Fertilisation ensures the supply of nutrients to the crop, but over-fertilisation often has undesirable effects on the environment and the ecosystem. With PUDAMA the amount and location of the starter fertiliser during maize sowing is precisely defined. The nutrients are only deposited where the roots of the plant can reach it and only as much as needed. Synchronised with the seed application at high speeds, a deposit of starter fertiliser is placed by an air stream underneath and next to the seed during seeding process.
Extended scope of operation and experience with field trials all over Europe
After the incorporation of the PUDAMA system in the Optima SX high speed row, Kverneland extended the scope of operation and initiated a PUDAMA campaign with field trials in six European countries at 30 different locations to show proof the practical relevance of the PUDAMA technology in farmers’ local conditions. Various institutes, universities, agronomists and farmers were involved to follow-up the trials in practise under different conditions.
“Not every trial was a success. We have worked in practical conditions and planted around 30 trials this spring. Some trials failed due to birds picking up the seeds; lack of water during the summer in eastern European countries, where two trial locations had below 150 l/m2 water”, Dirk-Jan Stapel explains, “but the results of the remaining trials are convincing!”
The 75% PUDAMA trials achieved the same results as the 100% conventional method with a continuous fertiliser stripe.
In almost all trials, the yield of the 75% PUDAMA plots, was nearly the same or even higher than with the conventional way of stripe fertilising.
The PUDAMA system is now fully available from season 2024 on the Optima TFprofi and Optima F precision seed drill models with the high-speed SX sowing rows.