After the wheat harvest, a superficial tillage is done to initiate a better residue decomposition. At the end of the summer, ridges are made with a cultivator developed in cooperation with Horsch. This cultivator has a 2-bar design with 60cm between the tines. The 60cm corresponds to the distance between the corn rows.
The tines on the first bar work at a depth of 20-25cm, where the corn will be planted in the spring. On the second bar, the tines work at a depth of 15cm and form a ridge thanks to the earth flow on each side of the tine. This same tine is also used to plant the cover crop, between the ridges. This technique allows for a clean ridge when the corn is planted.
The cover crop develops during the winter and the beginning of spring. The cover crops used here are fava beans and phacelia. The beans allow for an accumulation of nitrogen in the soil.
In the spring, the corn is planted directly in the cover crop and on the ridges. The ridge will dry faster and warm up more quickly then the rest of the soil surface. The packers destroy the cover crop between the rows.
To maintain accuracy, the cultivator and the planter are equipped with a RTK implement steering system. This allows an exact planting on the ridges and between the rows of the cover crop.
After planting, the soil is protected from erosion thanks to the residues that are on the soil surface. The beans also release nitrogen allowing a progressive supply throughout the corn’s growing period.