SIMBA‘S AQUEEL roller has won the Farming and Agriculture section of the 2004 Green Apple Awards (Nov 4).

The Aqueel will now go forward, along with other section winners, to the European Environment Awards next year.

The company is delighted with the accolade, said Aqueel specialist Lee Hagen.

“The Cross Compliance conditions included in the newly-shaped Common Agricultural Policy require farmers to take active steps to reduce soil erosion, and the Aqueel is a very simple but effective tool to help them do this.”

The roller can help reduce both water and wind erosion by pressing a lattice of divots into cultivated soil, he said.

The divots hold water, preventing run-off and therefore giving the water more time to percolate into the soil, he explained.

The divots also cause wind at soil level to eddy, thus reducing windspeed and its ability to pick up soil, the company claims.

In trials in Mexico, the Aqueel roller helped increase water infiltration to raise bean yields by 50% compared to conventional rollers, Mr Hagen said.

“This highlights its potential to greatly improve the productivity and efficiency of agriculture in areas where water scarcity is an issue.”