Diversified cropping systems can be time consuming for the farmer, finding techniques that can save farmers time is therefore a key goal. For the Syppre experiment in the Champagne region, France, crop diversification involves the use of diverse cover crops, to protect the soil, improve soil fertility, and store carbon. The planting of crops and cover crops must be always done under favourable conditions, and some crops such as sugar beet need deep soil loosening. This means more time spent for soil tillage and drilling, with possible conflicts between primary interventions and risks of emergence failure.

As solution, strip tilling to loosens soils layers in 25cm wide rows that are to be drilled, and keeps the 45cm wide inter-rows untouched. It simplifies soil tillage, reduces work time and energy consumption, and protects the soil by keeping a living cover crop or residues on the surface. It is applied in the Syppre innovative system on light chalky soils, for both sugar beet and rapeseed.

Rémy Duval – ITB, Institut Technique de la Betterave