EC-Space: Precision hoeing made easy

Steketee is pleased to introduce EC-Space: the easy-to-use and time-saving mechanism for adjusting the settings of hoeing tools to suit the size of each crop. The new solution is available in three different versions, each with a different degree of automation. EC-Space enables high-precision mechanical weed control and optimises the space for crops to grow.

For the most effective mechanical weed control, the hoeing knives should come as close to the crop row as possible without damaging the plants and roots. Hoeing a bigger soil surface area results in fewer weeds and more space for the crop.
Up until now, it has only been possible to adjust hoeing tools to the relevant crop size manually. This requires farmers or contractors to loosen and tighten multiple screws, which is very time-consuming. As a result, they rarely make subsequent adjustments in the field – or even between different fields – to reflect site-specific crop size variations.

EC-SpaceManual enables the manual stepless adjustment of the tools, based on a spindle driven by a hand crank which moves the knife-holder. The integrated scale makes it easy to measure the distance and apply it to the tools of the other elements. This facilitates the tool-less adjustment of each individual knive without the need for screwing/unscrewing.

In the future, further versions of EC-Space are planned to simplify the tool adjustment:

EC-SpaceElectric makes it possible to steplessly adjust the tools electrically, based on a spindle driven by an electric motor.
Thanks to a mobile end device, the operator can adjust the tool positioning while checking the correct setting on the hoe outside the tractor cabin.

IC-SpaceAutomatic steplessly adjusts the tools automatically while driving. This version is based on the same technology as EC-SpaceElectric added by data about the crop width captured from an IC-Light row guidance camera. The information is used to continuously and site-specifically adjust the hoeing knives while driving without any manual intervention. This guarantees that the machine always hoes as much soil as possible without damaging the crop.

All three versions of EC-Space increase the effectiveness of mechanical weed control at all stages of crop development. EC-Space is especially suited for heterogeneous fields in terms of crop size variations and frequently switching between fields of different seeding and planting dates.

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