Those in the agricultural industry have started to see the advantages of permanent raised bedding farming, with significant research and development going into this practice. While it’s been practiced for centuries in many parts of the world, with Sustainable Agricultural Machinery Developments (or SAM) this method is now becoming commercialised. As far back as 1990, this system actually won the prestigious ‘Australian Invention of the Year’. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of such a system.
What are Permanent Raised Bed?
Conventional farming of vegetables is generally achieved via temporary bedding, which is created at the beginning of every season.
The other option, which is often considered preferable (depending on various factors) is to build permanently raised beds, which can be structured in a variety of ways.
Permanent raised bedding has been widely used for centuries in certain parts of the world where the rainy season is heavy and short, where excessive water can cause flooding and be harmful.
Indonesia, for example, historically experiences what can be described as a monsoon – where rainfall is intense for a short period of time every year. Under these conditions, permanent raised bedding offers water a means of draining the area more quickly, as gravity pulls the water off the bed. In some areas, crops are sewn in valleys and hills for the same purpose.
Why are permanent raised bedding preferable?
In addition to providing a sound means of drainage by being on higher ground, permanent raised beds can be built with different kinds of soil that contribute to this further. Clay soil, for example, drains at a much quicker rate than conventional soil, meaning planting can be organised sooner in the wet season.
The soil also stays warmer, giving the farmer more flexibility with when the crops come to fruition. In addition, no preseason is required to ensure the land is ready for certain crops, so farmers have greater ability to change things up with the types of crops harvested. The soil quality also encourages certain beneficial organisms to remain here, including earthworms.
Overall, permanent raised beds are potentially more expensive to run and maintain, but they can make the farm much more efficient if coordinated properly.
How does SAM’s Permanent Raised Bed Management System work?
SAM essentially provides the farming machinery and know-how needed to create and maintain such a system in such a way that provides a strong return on investment. There are two designs which work for any soil type, crop or farming scale. What is important is that it isn’t simply about building the beds – maintenance is a big part of the operation.
Put briefly, the process is about ploughing the field and creating the beds using what is called the Bedformer. Planting, weeding and various other crop management requirements are taken care of by the Bedlocker, which can be used for any crop. Weeding is also an important process here and SAM offers machinery to assist in this, reducing labour and time costs.
Lastly, once crops have reaped a yield, the SAM Bed Renovator is used to prepare the beds for the next crop cycle.
For more information about this process, we’d highly recommend taking a look at the Advantec website, which goes into greater detail about how amazingly this PRBF system works.
If not, feel free to contact us directly and speak to one of our efficient team members!