British strip tillage drill manufacturer Mzuri prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its popular Pro-Til drill.
Developed by farmer and engineer Martin Lole on his Worcestershire farm, the Mzuri strip tillage system has since gone on to export to more than 20 countries worldwide spanning four continents.
From its first appearance at Cereals in 2011, the Pro-Til has won many awards for its contribution to sustainable agricultural innovation. They include the Institute of Agricultural Engineers best innovation Ivel Award for the Mzuri Pro-Til Xzact.
“I am fortunate to have seen first-hand the effects that converting to a single pass establishment method can have on a deteriorating arable unit,” says Mr Lole, who converted his own farm to strip tillage in 2010.
“When I first purchased the farm in 2005, I set about ploughing and combination drilling the Evesham Lias Clay, but after rising input costs and dwindling yields it was clear that this approach was no longer financially viable.”
With a background in engineering from starting the hedgecutter company Spearhead, Mr Lole developed the single pass drill now known as the Pro-Til to consolidate seedbed preparation, fertiliser application, and seed distribution in a single pass.
“Under conventional establishment methods, we were burning fuel and wearing metal like it was going out of fashion – not to mention the huge power and labour requirements that were needed to create a blanket seedbed.”
Seeding directly into stubble while targeting tillage to promote cost-effective and rapid establishment remains a driving force behind the Pro-Til’s development. New additions to the range have followed, including the Rezult stubble rake and Rehab subsoiler.
“Improvements to soil health seen on our own farm have demonstrated the importance of reduced cultivations – not only for practical reasons but also in promoting healthier, more productive ‘factory floors’.
“Our soils are now much more resilient to changing weather patterns and are able to support higher yielding crops in difficult seasons.”