Zürn Harvesting GmbH & Co. KG, Schöntal-Westernhausen has acquired a substantial stake in Garford Farm Machinery Ltd, a move which will strengthen the position of the UK market leader in technological mechanical weed control solutions.
Zürn Harvesting develops, produces and markets technology for agriculture, mainly cutting platforms for combine harvesters and forage harvesters as well as plot combine harvesters, which are used in plant breeding and research.
Peterborough based Garford is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mechanical weed control equipment and hoeing technology.
Garford products cover a number of categories for mechanical weed control under the “Robocrop” brand. “Robocrop Precision Guided Inter-Row Hoes” use cameras to detect the crop rows and then accurately guide the hoe shares in such a way that weeds are removed but the crop is protected.
The “Robocrop InRow Weeder” also makes it possible to hoe not only between rows but also within rows, between the plants. The intelligent camera technology recognizes the individual plants as the weeder passes and controls special hoeing elements to cut the weeds precisely around the crop without damaging it.
For chemical crop protection, Garford also offers the “Robocrop Spot Spraying” technology, in which the chemicals are applied specifically and precisely to the weed or crop plants to be treated.
Machines for targeted weed control are in ever-increasing demand from farmers around the world. The main areas of application are in organic farming and vegetable growing, but there is also an increasing trend towards conventional agriculture, especially for row crops (corn, sugar beet, soybeans). Increasing scepticism about the use of chemicals in weed control is a key driver of market development for this technology.
The Garford and Zürn families will co-operate closely in the future which will be advantageous for both sides, particularly in terms of cooperation in sales and production. The existing Garford distribution channels will remain mostly unchanged, especially in the main European and North America markets. The development and production site in Peterborough will remain the company’s headquarters and will continue to be managed independently by Philip and Janet Garford. Garford is currently hiring additional personnel to meet the growing demand.
The Garford dealer network in Germany is currently under construction. The responsible salesperson for the Northern and Eastern parts of Germany is Peter Volmer of PVActiv . In the states of Baden Württemberg, Bavaria, Saarland and the southern parts of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, the new unit “Garford Süd” will be responsible for sales, service and spare parts supply.