Klaas Martens, Lakeview Organic Grain and their farm that he runs with Mary Howell and his son Peter and his family are on our mind. On one of our first business trips to the states, when Treffler Organic Machinery were still unknown in the USA, we visited Klaas on the farm. After that Jos and I returned on several occasions and Klaas, Mary and Peter always helped us out with loading, unloading, loading again, unloading again. They didn’t know us but we felt very welcome.
Then on one trip Paul Treffler snr and his wife joined us on a tour in the finger lake region and again we visited Klaas. In German, Paul, Klaas and Jos could talk about technique for hours.
I think its fair to say that there is respect and interest involved to make anything work, whether that is a field or a friendship. And those guys made it happen right there and then in the front yard of the Grain Facility. That’s when the special tines were thought through that Klaas would need to get into his hard soil. Then it was a question of engineering it and that’s where Paul Treffler is a master-mind.
I really enjoy reading Klaas’s emails, they are full of insights and knowledge about soil and soil life. His knowledge helps us with innovation, making things better, more fine tuned. Before you can begin making machines you have to spend many hours in the fields and then many more. That is where things start to grow.
This is what Klaas had to say about the Treffler harrow on their farm:
We really saw the importance of the sharp tines here this summer. Our conditions changed from very dry and loose soil to hard with crusting and frequent heavy rains. The angle of the tines on the Treffler are a good compromise that allows it to work both in corn & other crops with branching roots and in tap rooted crops. We had a small number of cases when a sharper angle on the tines would have helped us but found that overall the current tine design with the sharp carbide tips has the widest range of application.
Our friends in Ohio have heavy high silt black soil that was swamp that had been part of Lake Erie in the early post glacial period. They have had trouble finding a weeder with tines that can penetrate the crusts that form on their soil. They have similar high magnesium soil chemistry to ours that makes their crusts get very hard when they dry.
The variability in our conditions makes weeding very complicated. When it is very dry and the soil is loose, the risk of damaging the roots is high. When we have a lot of rain, we have the opposite situation with very hard soil that is very hard to penetrate. The Treffler has worked well in both situations.
Klaas, thanks for sharing this testimonial and the photos.
May the force always be with you.