The French company Novag SAS, specialist in no-tilling technology, recently founded its first sales and service subsidiary, opting to locate it in Germany. ‘We began as a start-up eleven years ago and have become so successful today that we want to further expand and intensify our sales activities particularly in the German market’ says Ramzi Frikha, CEO and Export Manager at Novag.
Whereas Development and Production will remain at the main site in Fressines, western France, Novag will now gradually transfer Sales and Customer Services to the new Novag GmbH (limited company) located in Hanover. In future all customers and partners worldwide will be handled from this location. Novag is currently active in 15 countries.
Wanted: sales partners in Germany
To date Novag has been serving the French and German markets through direct sales from its plant in Fressines. In all other countries the company is already represented by sales partners. Novag now wants to expand this network in Germany and is actively searching for Sales and Service dealers. From this summer onwards, more than 25 Novag machines will be running in the German market and orders have already reached double-figures for the coming year. ‘Through exchanges with our customers we have developed a better understanding of the strengths of our technology for German farms and their needs. We also see potential with professional contractors and agricultural machinery cooperatives’, says Lucas Zickermann Sales and Product Manager Novag GmbH.
He is currently running Sales, Marketing and Customer Service from Hanover together with four colleagues. The next stage will be the supply of spare parts. ‘We will be able to shorten our service and delivery times from our strategic, preferred site in Hanover. Our top priority is to provide the best possible customer service’, explains Zickermann. The plan is also to move part of the Research and Development activities to Germany to test and further develop prototypes and technical options together with customers. Furthermore, Novag is planning to train customers and sales partners from their Hanover office in their own no-tilling technology as well as imparting agronomic and farming know-how on the “conservation agriculture” production system. “This places particularly high demands on the sowing technology. This is exactly what our no-till machines are designed for”, explains Lucas Zickermann.
Growing interest in Conservation Agriculture in Germany
Whilst direct seeding, or no-till only refers to the sowing method, Conservation Agriculture (CA) stands for an entire production system within which direct seeding is practised. Conservation Agriculture is based on three main principles (FAO definition): a minimal disturbance of the soil within defined limits, an organic mulch cover of at least 30% immediately after direct sowing, and a range of crops that includes at least three species in the crop rotation. Conservation Agriculture is not to be confused with the German term Conservation Tillage. Whereas the latter only refers to a no-ploughing policy, in Conservation Agriculture, almost no tillage is allowed at all. ‘The consequences of climate change on agriculture such as drought or heavy rainfall and the associated soil erosion speak in favour of Conservation Agriculture. Especially in Germany we are seeing an increased interest in and potential for this cultivation system and are offering new sales partners a future-package made up of agronomic know-how development and the best no-till technology’ says Ramzi Frikha.
Novag supplies no-till machines in working widths of 1.5m to 9m. What makes them unique is the Novag T-SlotPlus functioning principle, the heart of which is the specially formed sowing coulter. Instead of a V or U shape, it cuts an inverted T in the ground. At the front a serrated disc cuts up growth or chopped straw and opens up the soil. Behind this there are two separate sowing coulters which clear a seed furrow. They each have an outlet through which seeds or fertilizer can be placed at an optimal distance from each another. Thanks to the high coulter pressure of up to 500kg per coulter, the T-SlotPlus system guarantees optimum placement even in difficult no-till conditions with heavy biomass growth, while disturbing the soil only minimally.
This protects the soil from drying out and significantly reduces weed pressure. In combination with slanted press wheels and the IntelliForcePlus automatic coulter pressure control, the T-shape of the seed coulters also guarantees a well-sealed slot, whether in light or heavy soils. This means that the deposited seed always has optimum soil contact, even in dry conditions, and is also protected against slug and bird damage. Row spacings of 16.67 cm, 18.75 cm and 25 cm are available ex works and the sowing depth can be individually adjusted from 1 cm to 8 cm. For simultaneous dosing of several seeds or fertilisers, all Novag no-till machines can be equipped with up to 4 tanks.
Demonstration tour 2022
Novag is currently inviting farmers, contracting companies, agricultural machinery cooperatives and dealers in Germany to participate in the 2022 demo tour. A four-person demonstration team from Novag GmbH will be touring the whole of Germany, Austria and Switzerland until November with two no-till machines (4 and 1.5m) and will visit more than 50 farms. Trade fair appearances at the Soil Evolution show (31.5.-2.6.) and the DLG Field Days (14.-16.6.) are an integral part of the demo tour. All those interested in no-tilling technology are invited to learn more about the company, its technology, and the Conservation Agriculture cultivation method. Novag regularly communicates dates and locations via its website and social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.