Several Romanian growers were able to learn about stip-till farming and ranching techniques while touring locations in Nebraska last month.
Chris Flaming returned to southwest Nebraska eight years ago to manage his family's farm operation and hosting a meet and greet. Christian Haldrup, a crop production advisor from Europe, guided the group.
“We don't grow corn after corn normally that is very uncommon in Romania. We grow corn, wheat, grape seed, and sunflower,” Haldrup says.
“Strip till is very new to the area so they don't understand why it's done in the same way people in the U.S. didn't understand why 10, 15 years ago," Flaming says. "Moisture and fuel conservation has become so important.
“We can't use tillage in the spring — only in the very upper part of the soil. And we can't do deep tilling in the spring we have to do it in the autumn," Haldrup says. "So we can learn it faster and not make the same mistakes as they might have."
Alan Fairbanks, manager of Orthman’s international business development division, said they see Romania as a country ripe for development.
He said the tour came about after several of his visits to the country, which included the farm of Arnaud Perrein, the first Romanian to use Orthman equipment in his farming operation.
There are now three farms this fall that will be utilizing their equipment, Fairbanks said.
“He (Perrein) had an interest in coming here to see first-hand the equipment and felt he could get a group together,” Fairbanks said.
Farmers there are interested in the latest technology, Fairbanks added, so that has been an emphasis on the tour.
The geography and climate of Romania are similar to that of the central U.S., and farm technology is spreading throughout Europe, he said.
Many farmers use GPS, and also have problems with pests like rootworms. Fuel is very expensive there, and there is a growing interest in no-till and strip-till practices.
Other tour stops include the Irrigation Research Foundation in Yuma. Colo., Valmont Industries in McCook, Orthman Manufacturing in Lexington and Monsanto in Gothenburg.
Also, several stops at individual farms were on the schedule, including Flaming Farms in Elsie, one of the innovators of the 1tRIPr strip till implement distributed by Orthman. Perrein uses that piece of equipment in his operation.