This post is also available in: Afrikaans
“We are thankful to those farmers who grasped the value of combination cultivation and the Lemken way of soil preparation, and capitalised on all the advantages of the LEMKEN way of doing it,” says Karel Munnik, Manager of the German manufacturer’s South African office.
The 1 000th LEMKEN, since the establishment of the local office in 2012, has just been sold to Bertus Gerhardt, a potato farmer near Alldays on the Botswana border. With the purchase of the Heliodor 9, he and his wife, Elena, won a trip to the Lemken factory in Germany.
This achievement did not simply come by itself. It required many farmers’ days, agricultural shows, demonstrations, thousands of kilometres of travel for farm visits, and an extensive dealers network to ensure that the small blue team could spread their message.
Karel says without their dealers (full list at end) it would not have been possible to leave the blue footprint country-wide. He is especially thankful that farmers even invested in LEMKEN during a number of difficult years. He is also pleased that farmers continue to use the blue implements – follow-up sales figures prove it.
Farmers testify as follows regarding LEMKEN:
BP Greyling of Wakkerstroom was the first farmer to buy a Karat 9 from LEMKEN in 2012. He says it is still working just as well as the other two six metre models acquired more recently. BP says: “Many farmers here could not plant yet due to the drought as they cannot break up the sods. However, with the Karat it is possible. I have completed my planting and now I only wait for the rain.”
Dirk Viljoen of the farm, Kroonspruit, near Clarens in the Free State, employs a team of the astute LEMKEN implements to create only the best growing conditions for his maize, wheat, dry beans and soya beans. “Never before in my life did a demonstration of implements leave me so excited; I must confess that these implements simply fascinated me. I cannot get enough of them,” he admits.
“I like the LEMKENs; they work for us,” says George Mulder from EDE Farming near Middelburg. He says: “LEMKEN’s service is 100% and with the help of their Karats I can prepare a smooth, firm seedbed condusive to uniform germination, a good stand and better growth.”
“Had we planted in the way we used to do in the past, everything would by now have been lying flat on the ground, says Willie de Klerk and his son, Johan, farmers from Koedoeskop, after a hail and wind storm had struck their farm. They were more than relieved when they found most of the wheat and barley still unlodged. Johan reckons this is a result of the precise seed spacing by the Solitair which ensures optimal growth.
Initially Ben Bester of Bencor Farming was rather sceptical, but today he works with full fleet of LEMKENs which revolutionised his farming practices. “Our first Rubin has already worked more than 5 000 hectares and so far we had no need to repair or replace anything on the implement,” says Ben’s son, Paul.
The first Rubin bought by Johan van Niekerk from Derby had already cultivated 20 000 hectares when ProAgri visited the farm two years ago and was still going as strong as the first day on the farm. “However, you have to keep in mind that the machine itself cannot think. You have to think for it and then it will do the work for you. That is why LEMKEN works for me”.
Kassie Coetzee, who farms in the Koster area, spoke to ProAgri after he had cultivated his first 6 000 hectares of land on different farms in the region. He employed LEMKEN’s Gigant 10, enabling him to work faster and wider. The Gigant 10 is a sturdy, wide carrier beam of eight metres with its own two three-point hitches onto which two Rubin 9 disc harrows of four metres each can be attached.
“I have stopped counting after 6 000 hectares and what I have to say, is that I used the same set of discs and bearings, exactly as I had bought it at NAMPO,” Kassie says. He is also full of praise for the rest of the LEMKEN team under leadership of Karel Munnik: “Karel could have been uncle Lemken’s own son because he is convinced in his heart and soul of the value of this product. When he talks to you, you virtually see LEMKEN blue coming from his mouth!”
Like so many other farmers all over the country, Klasie Jacobs of Douglas came to the conclusion that crop improvement can no longer be found in chemicals alone. The soil structure has to be improved by increasing the amount of organic material in the top layer of the soil and, to attain this, the Rubin and Karat are unbeatable. “The LEMKEN products are well-made implements,” says Klasie.
“Before we buy anything, we do proper research because implements have to comply with our specific requirements,” says Gabriel Colasa of Clearwater Farms at Bapsfontein near Pretoria. LEMKEN’s Zirkon 8 power harrow has been doing stalwart work for a number of years to prepare the soil structure for the next planting season. “It is German quality at its best,” says Gabriel. “If you really want to work properly with your soil, LEMKEN is the way to go.”
“We all live from the soil and eventually all of us end in the soil – soil is a living organism,” says Mike Dobrowksy (Jr) from the Elliot-Ugie region in the Eastern Cape, who cultivates potatoes and maize on a large scale. Mike says Karel and his technical assistant, Christo Prinsloo, know their machines. They are also down to earth people, always available and willing to listen to what the farmer has to say. They go to extremes to ensure that a machine is correctly tuned for the circumstances under which it has to perform. “If you want to sell a tractor in this region, see that you hitch a LEMKEN to it!”
Lemken also made its mark in the sugar industry. Eben Basson, representing the family concern Izolima, employs a Karat 9 and Rubin 12 to do the tough work of preparing sugar cane fields. “I’m very fond of machines and implements, and was on the hunt for mechanisation solutions. The year before last we scrutinised the LEMKEN soil cultivation range. We contacted Karel Munnik directly and he went out of his way to arrange demonstrations. He was here three times to assist us. His service and dedication is exemplary and he believes in his product. He can operate a tractor and he understands his implements.”
On the farm of André du Preez between Koster and Lichtenburg a machine has to have guts. André aims at putting back into the soil what has been taken out of it and that is exactly what his Rubin 12 does for him. “I also save on diesel and when the Rubin has been through the field, you have a proper seedbed.” He also visited the LEMKEN factory in Germany and is most impressed by the quality of material used and the mental machinations that go into each product. He says: “They know Africa is no place for sissy machines. The full LEMKEN series has a place in my farming activities.” He also uses as LEMKEN Solitair 12 for planting all the fine seeds on his farm.
One can only take out of the soil what you put in. This principle is applied by Pieter Nortjé, well-known and major citrus producer in the Sundays River Valley, in both his citrus and also grain farming operations. Barend Bouwer and Roubel Thomas, who manage two grain units, are impressed by the service support they receive from the local dealer, JD Implements, and also from the people from LEMKEN itself. To quote Barend: “The first LEMKEN started woking here five years ago and we have not had anything else to beat it . . . except for LEMKEN itself. LEMKEN simply improves all the time!”
Become part of the victorious blue team! Talk to Karel Munnik, 082-412-2577, e-mail email@example.com, or Blackie Swart, 082-404-9651, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://lemken.com/en/ on the internet.