Inter-row cultivators are built specifically for weeding the ground under rowed crops. They are used in vineyards and orchards and use a hydraulically controlled lateral movement system with a sensor arm so that it can also be used with young plants. It is made up of various tools that move the earth in order to dig up the roots of the weeds or that can cut them down directly. The working width varies between 20 and 80 cm according to the tools it is fitted with and the depth of work is around 15 cm. Essentially the tools work amongst the plants’ stalks and stumps, whether they be vines or fruit trees.
BAVARIA: PERFECT EXAMPLE OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
How to manage and protect water, our most precious commodity
Maintaining woodlands is of paramount importance, not only as a means of blocking building speculation but also because underground water sources need protecting, or more specifically the water from the aquifer which feeds the aqueducts. Furthermore, evaporation in woodlands produces (almost as much as with the sea and water basins) clouds, which in turn produce rain or rather new water. In the woodlands of Bavaria, in the valley of the river Mangfall, that feeds the lake Seehamer See, on the border of Germany and Austria, the best water on the planet is produced, which feeds the aqueducts of Munich.
Rain water, that falls copiously throughout the entire year flows into the torrents and rivers, which run parallel to the hidden aquifers, which being shallow, would be subject to contamination from harmful substances that traditional agriculture employs in fertilizers and pesticides. However, for the lucky inhabitants of Munich and its surrounding area, the area is dominated almost entirely by organic farming and so no additives are added to the water.
Decades ago the council instigated a revolutionary project that had never been seen before in Europe. In order to limit the use of harmful nitrates, back in the 1970s the council decided to buy up around 2000 hectares of woodland and contemporarily sought to subsidise organic farmers in the area who subsequently converted to all organic crops and eliminated fertilisers and pesticides. At present the council collaborates with 150 agriculturalists who farm organically on an area of 3500 hectares and this represents the biggest organic production area in Germany.
Producing good water is of fundamental importance for cattle breeding, who feed on the organic grass and pure water. The typical Bavarian cattle produce amazing milk with an extremely low presence of allergens. The noble Bavarian farmers from the Mangfall valley have our total admiration: they understand that it might be possible to earn more money from traditional farming but they have chosen quality and in so doing are protecting the land to get the world’s healthiest
water, milk and beer.