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Dyker System [Switzerland]

Dyker System im Kartoffelanbau

technologies_1304 - Switzerland

Completeness: 71%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Preventing and Remediating degradation of soils in Europe through Land Care (EU-RECARE )
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

The Dyker system consists of a special trailer which enables a soil conserving way of cultivating potatoes by building dykes in-between the lanes.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


The Dyker system consists of a new tractor trailer for cultivating potatoes. It is only available as a proto type in Switzerland and was established by Grimme from Germany. With this new technology the normal dams for potatoes are built but also small dams in-between the normal dams. The small dams can prevent soil erosion and financial losses during a heavy rainfall event and are therefore a new soil conservation method.

Purpose of the Technology: The aim of this technology is to prevent soil erosion by water on the field. Water flowing down the slope of a field can be stopped at the small dams and infiltrates through a hole in front of the small dam. The construction of the dams inbetween does not take another working step but can be done simultaneously to the normal dam building. This saves time and money. The special trailer portrayed here is the only one in Switzerland and is currently being tested before getting to the market.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: For the Dyker system only the new tractor trailer is needed in addition to the common tractor and the potatoe machine. At the moment this trailer is not yet for sale and there is only one proto type for testing in whole Switzerland. After the test period Grimme enterprise will decide about the production and commercialization of the Dyker system.

Natural / human environment: The system is intended to prevent soil erosion during the cultivation process of potatoes. Dams running parallel to the gradient are mostly endangered by soil erosion during the first 4-8 weeks. Small dams in-between shall slow down runoff and help infiltrating the water into the soil and thereby protect the soil.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Wiler bei Seedorf

Further specification of location:


2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

  • request by Grimme enterprise to test the Dyker system

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Annual cropping

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): The major land use problem is soil erosion by water occuring mainly at hillside situations. Land use problems related to the use of the plow are only minor because most of the land users have shifted to direct seeding, mulching or strip tillage.

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • cross-slope measure

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A3: Soil surface treatment
  • A4: Subsurface treatment

Main measures: agronomic measures

Type of agronomic measures: zero tillage / no-till

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion

Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation

Main goals: prevention of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: high

Main technical functions: control of concentrated runoff: retain / trap, control of concentrated runoff: impede / retard, control of concentrated runoff: drain / divert

Secondary technical functions: reduction of slope length, increase of infiltration

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):


Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:


4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Dyker system usage during cultivation of potatoes Agronomic

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour ha 1.0 750.0 750.0 50.0
Plant material Seeds ha 1.0 3450.0 3450.0
Fertilizers and biocides Fertilizer ha 1.0 1400.0 1400.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 5600.0

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)


The costs were calculated for the current situation of the land user where he is testing the Dyker system for free. He only has to pay for the labour, the seeds and fertilizer have to be paid by the land users he applies the technology (as a contractor).

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The Dyker system is being tested for free at the moment. But machine costs will later affect the total costs most determinately.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

Thermal climate class: temperate

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • high

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • rich
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • mechanized/ motorized
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly Leaders / privileged

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • individual

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


risk of production failure

Income and costs



Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge


Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

surface runoff


soil loss


soil crusting/ sealing


soil compaction

Other ecological impacts

Hazard towards adverse events


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream flooding


damage on neighbours' fields


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology


There is a moderate trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: A trend towards spontaneous adoption is there but the Dyker system is not yet on the market.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The small dams in-between the normal dams enhance infiltration of the soil and stop runoff.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The problematic crop of potatoes can be prevented from soil erosion thanks to the Dyker system.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? The system has to be on the market soon and to be sold at an appropriate price.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
The overhang of the machine when turning around requires high knowledge and time. Good technical skills and experience with big, heavy machines are necessary to use the Dyker system correctly so that it is a soil conservating method.
Costs for the Dyker system are not yet published. They should not exceed USD 5000-6000$. Costs should not go beyond the financial possibilities of a land user in order to support a great adoption of the system.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The additional weight of the trailer could lead to soil compaction. Divide the weight equally, adapt tire pressure in order to minimize damage to the topsoil layer.

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