In 2017, Australian planter manufacturer Norseman began research trials in Texas and other U.S. farm locations using the company’s newly developed Techni-Plant FL planter.
The planter, mounted with rolls of a biodegradable film containing seed, produces a one-pass operation that works in zero till, conventional till and hilled up planting conditions.
The McAnear family farm in Clarendon, Texas, participated in the trials in 2017. Gin results from 60” dryland cotton under film reported a yield increase of 47% with 956 lbs. per acre compared to 648 lbs. from a conventionally planted field.
According to a company press release, the film can increase soil temperatures by 7 to 12 degrees allowing for earlier planting. The technology also improves water use efficiency, encourages earlier maturity with more vigorous growth and and has shown up to a 25% yield increase in some crop trial.
Michael Freeman, general manager of Norseman plans to continue work in Texas. “We will be expanding our program of cotton under film trials in the US for 2018 with a particular focus on the High Plains of Texas.”