The direct contact to the practical experts is very important for HORSCH. For this is the only way to understand the requirements and the problems. The results are products that are custom-tailored to the respective characteristics of the region – also on an international scale. One example is the HORSCH Evo, a machine for the application of granulated fertiliser. terraHORSCH talked to a customer in Brazil who was involved in the development.
terraHORSCH:Mr Bizzi, would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Luciano Bizzi: My name is Luciano Bizzi. I have been working at SLC Agricola, a listed agricultural company, for 15 years. I am the mechanisation manager, i.e. I manage the machinery of the whole group. I am responsible for purchasing, maintenance and service, but also for the introduction of new methods.
Please tell us about the company?
Our headquarters is in Porto Alegre in the state Rio Grande do Sul. But we produce at 16 sites which are distributed strategically in six Brazilian states. In business year 2019/2020 we cultivated a total area of 448,568 ha: 125,462 ha cotton, 235,444 ha soybeans, 82,392 ha cereals and 5,270 ha other crops.
When did you get to know HORSCH and especially Michael Horsch?
Our first contact with HORSCH was at the Agritechnica 2013. We were impressed by the multitude of machines, but particularly by the quality. I met Michael Horsch in 2015, also at the Agritechnica.
At that time, you had a quite specific request. How was your idea received at HORSCH?
We wanted to develop a special fertilising system to improve the application quality. We had already seen something similar at HORSCH. At first our idea was to adapt the existing technology accordingly. But Michael suggested to develop a completely new machine. And that’s what we did during a visit at the HORSCH headquarters in Schwandorf.
How did this take place?
At first, I couldn’t believe how much time HORSCH invested. I thought that I would be asked some questions and that’s it. But we spent a whole day with Michael. He fired questions at us, the machine took more and more shape and at the end of the day the project was defined. But what impressed me most was not the development of the project, but Michael’s vast knowledge about the soil and tillage.
In Brazil, the HORSCH Evo is used for deep soil loosening. Fertiliser can be placed simultaneously. The two tine rows of the Evo CS can loosen with a row spacing of 45 cm, 50 cm and 30 inch and at a maximum working depth of up to 35 cm – depending on the requirements of the customer. The fertiliser is placed at almost the complete working depth. Thus, fresh nutrients (especially phosphor and potash can be applied into the soil in a targeted way. The Evo CS is equipped with a packer system and creates an excellent surface quality. The attached seed wagon SW 12000 can meter two different components with a tine spacing of 45 cm or 30 inches very exactly and transfer them to the tine system. The total capacity of 12000 litres guarantees a high hectare output and a wide range.
In Brazil, today the Evo CS is not used as a standard tool, but rather for upgrading fields that are usually cultivated with a direct seed system.
The project led to a concrete result. Does the machine convince you?
This was indeed a very critical point. I know a lot of examples of imported machines which did not work very well and had to be adapted to our conditions. But when I asked Michael if it would be possible to pay for the machine only after it did the desired job the way we wanted, he said: If the machine did not work properly, he personally would come to return the money to me. This was what finally convinced me. Another point that put my mind at ease was that at the project meeting in Schwandorf we had already fixed an enormous amount of details.
What was your first experience with the machine like?
The machine arrived and we used it immediately. The quality of the components and the parts were more than convincing – we had not seen anything like this before. But above all the performance we achieved with the Evo even exceeded our expectations.
How many hectares has the machine worked so far?
We have been working with the Evo for four harvest periods and we worked on more than 20,000 ha with one and the same machine. We only had to replace some wear parts. Thus, the maintenance costs are very low, too.
When did you realise that SLC Agricola would purchase several of these machines?
We tested the machine for two years. We very quickly realised that the Evo is ideal when it comes to applying fertiliser in the row. As of 2019, we more and more converted our system to this kind of fertilisation. Since that time all of the SLC Agricola sites have been using this type of machine.
Are we still talking about machines of the first generation or have there already been some improvements?
Of course, some things have been adapted in the meantime, e. g. the cutting disc system. It now works with a hydraulic control that is used for adjusting the setting angle of the coulters.
Let’s talk a little bit about the product itself. In your opinion, what are the advantages of the Evo CS?
There are quite a lot: First of all, the accuracy of the fertiliser distribution and the fact that we can apply on two levels – with the option to change the respective metering. Then there is the large fertiliser tank, the possibility to loosen the soil while fertilising and, of course, the quality of the components I have already mentioned before.
You obviously are very satisfied with the Evo CS. What did surprise you most about the machine?
I don’t have to think twice: the durability and the simple handling.
You always point out the quality aspect. Why?
It simply is outstanding for this machine! We are more than satisfied. By the way, we have already bought nine other Evos for the next harvest.
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