The exchange of experience and sharing ideas has always been important to HORSCH. To further encourage the discussion with farmers in the US, HORSCH is now running another agricultural farm: the AgVision Farm in Downs, Illinois. AgVision builds on the success of the existing demo farm, AgroVation, in the Czech Republic.
AgVision will help develop the HORSCH brand in North America and focuses on key agricultural topics important in the US market. As with AgroVation, the farm creates a new centre of expertise for farmers to talk with HORSCH staff, get better understanding of HORSCH’s excellent agricultural knowledge as well as see machines in practical use in the field.
Due to its good infrastructure, the AgVision farm is ideal for this purpose. The 66ha farm is situated centrally in the ‘Corn Belt’ of the US where mainly soybeans and maize are grown. HORSCH will extend the crop range to include sugarbeet, wheat and rape to gather further experiences with these crops. The farm, which has plenty of room for carrying out field tests, is managed by Daniel Fulton who is very experienced in field test analysis. It features an administration building with a training room and a machine hall with repair shop.
The whole farm has already been converted to Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF), expanding and demonstrating HORSCH’s knowledge in this area. The change highlights the prevailing importance of soil and climate conditions and the benefits of CTF. A 32-row Maestro 32.15 single grain seed drill as well as a Joker disc cultivator are used on the farm. Further HORSCH machines, such as a Leeb LT sprayer, will join shortly.
Sharing knowledge on European and US farming practices
At the moment, there is a special focus on catch crops in the US. There are still a lot of unanswered questions in this sector as catch crops have not played a major role in the US until recent years. HORSCH can contribute its knowledge and pass this on to US farmers. Single grain sowing of cereals is also becoming of more interest in the US and the first tests will start on the farm in autumn.
The objective of the AgVision farm is to work in a very dynamic way and test a lot of agronomic systems. It will establish test plots with non-GMO seed to compare them to GMO-seed test plots. While biogenetics is heavily criticised in Europe, it is already part of everyday life in US agriculture. In July, the first practical field days will take place at AgVision farm. One of the main speakers will be Michael Horsch.