Lemken, the specialist for agricultural technology, has acquired the Dutch company Machinefabriek Steketee B.V. to expand its crop care product portfolio with implements for mechanical weed control and future-oriented camera-assisted machine control.
Lemken also acquired Steketee’s soil cultivation division Rumptstad, but not the company’s crop ventilation technology business.
Managing Director Anthony van der Ley sees this step as an important addition in view of ongoing change in the crop care segment: “The acceptance of chemical crop care agents is decreasing, both among farmers and within the broader society. At the same time, resistance against currently available active substances is continually increasing, while hardly any new substances are coming onto the market.”
Promote mechanical weed control
Also, legal requirements are becoming more and more stringent, says Van der Ley. “We therefore need effective alternatives. Given the widespread use of herbicides, they offer the greatest potential for reducing the use of chemical crop care products. Lemken is fully aware of this responsibility, and we intend to promote mechanical weed control by adding hoeing technology to our product range.”
Separate weeds from crops
Lemken is particularly interested in Steketee’s intelligent camera technology, with wich a sprayer would be able to separate weeds from crops, and only spray the weeds in a row of crops. Lemken wants to integrate this technology in it’s sprayers, so weeds can be sprayed spot-wise. A prototype is expected to make its debut on the Agrotechnica in Hannover, Germany, in 2019.
De Steketee IC-hoeing machine is able to hoe controlled by camera technology, both in and between rows. - Foto: Fotopersbureau Dijkstra
Machinefabriek Steketee B.V., an innovative manufacturer of mechanical weed control implements, is headquartered in Stad aan’t Haringvliet (Netherlands) and employs about 50 staff. Its proprietary camera technology supports farmers in controlling their machines precisely and facilitates both conventional hoeing between rows and hoeing between plants within a row.
Steketee and Rumptstad brand names retained
Lemken intends to work with Steketee to expand the company’s Dutch facilities and build on its existing manufacturing capacities. It will continue to rely on Steketee’s experienced, competent local staff, who are to be retained. The German family business will deploy its resources optimally in Steketee’s development, production and sales to accelerate the company’s growth. The Steketee and Rumptstad brand names will be retained for the time being.