New techniques and materials

Working on a healthy soil and living environment

ERF's scale makes it possible to work with new machines and applications that make food production more sustainable and limit structural spoilage.

Limit structure decay

We do everything we can to keep the soil fertile so that our crops can grow well and stably. We want to prevent soil compaction so that plants can continue to root well in the soil and rainwater can drain away more easily. A large part of our tractors and machines travel on fixed seasonal paths and have tracked undercarriages that distribute the pressure over a larger surface area. This results in less disturbance in the subsurface. During the harvest, the soil has a lot to endure. During this period we therefore work with high unloaders on a caterpillar undercarriage, which drive next to the harvesting trolley to collect the harvested products. They can then unload the products into a truck right next to the plot. This prevents us from driving back and forth across the plot with tractors and tippers and having to drive tractors and tippers first to a shed for temporary storage.
We also use the caterpillar undercarriage of the high unloader in combination with a manure spreader. We use this to spread solid manure in spring and autumn with as little pressure as possible on the soil and with optimal weather conditions for the soil.

Self-propelled weed bedFotoWiedbedOpZonnecellen

During the weeding season we work with a weeding bed that can move itself. Solar panels on the weed bed ensure that no tractor is needed to drive the weed bed over the plot. As a result, employees on the weed bed are not bothered by exhaust fumes, we save fuel consumption and the absence of the tractor also ensures less pressure on the soil.



Weeding with a cameraFotoSchoffelsCamerawieder

Deploying employees to weed manually makes the organic farming method costly. We therefore try to weed the plots with machines for as long as possible, until the plants become too large for this. With our finger weeder we can remove weeds up to 1 centimeter next to the plants. In addition, we use an automatic hoeing machine that uses camera images. The machine calculates the position of the crop plants and hoes around them accurately and quickly. We can use these in different widths, so that we can also work well with them in strip cultivation. The camera images taken during hoeing can also be used to count the plants, measure the green surface of the plants or record the discoloration of the plants.

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