Amazone, the German manufacturer whose ag products include tillage equipment, grain seeders, fertilizer spreaders and crop sprayers, is adding hoeing (weed removal) technology with the transfer of the Maschinenfabrik Schmotzer GmbH’s product line to its other ag machinery, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Manufacturing of the hoes will remain at the site in Bad Windsheim in Germany. All employees will remain with the newly founded Schmotzer Hacktechnik GmbH & Co. KG and become part of the Amazone Group. Schmotzer Hacktechnik will carry out all of the sales and service activities and the implements will continue to be sold under the Schmotzer brand. Ferdinand Wahl, a managing partner of Schmotzer, will remain with the new company.
Amazone managers believe that new hoeing technology is a growing trend in agriculture as farmers attempt to reduce use of chemical spraying. Company directors, Christian Dreyer and Dr. Justus Dreyer, regard the takeover of the Schmotzer hoeing technology as an important step toward the development of Amazone’s core competence in plant care. “The hoe is experiencing a renaissance especially in the large farming countries. It lived in the shadows beyond organic agriculture but is now being viewed as an important tool in farming once again. Apart from mechanical weed destruction, other positive aspects of hoeing regarding soil structure, root growth and nutrient mobilization are in the foreground,” said the directors.
Schmotzer has built hoes since 1922. “I’m glad to have found in Amazone a partner who will be able to assist and further develop this sector,” Wahl said.
Integrated Plant Production
Wahl explains the use of hoeing in row-crop operations is growing for several reasons. “While [hoeing] in organic farming are already being used intensively, in conventional agriculture the labor- and cost-related disadvantages slowed down the use of hoeing considerably. Thanks to technical advances that have only become practical in recent years, such as the combination of the hoe with camera and steering systems, it is now possible to achieve better coverage at a significantly more competitive cost per hectare.”
The new technology that has been adapted has demonstrated solid potential to improve farmers’ weeding operations. According to Amazone managers, ““To be certain, we see a huge potential for hoe technology in integrated plant production, which worldwide gains more and more importance. The combination of hoe technology with liquid fertilizer and targeted or even selective application of plant protection in the same working step opens further possibilities for the practice for optimization of agriculture. In this machine segment we also want to take over the innovation leadership.”
During its 2017 fiscal year, Amazone’s consolidated sales were €457 million ($ ). Nearly 80% of the company’s products are exported. The company employs 1,850 people.
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