A Good Example of Adaptive Innovation: the Appearance of Strip Till in Hungary

Husti, István – Béres, Klára

Keywords: agricultural innovation, strip till, adaptive innovation model, Q16

For the progressive Hungarian agricultural companies the classic innovation flow model based on R&D is not a path to follow. Instead, it is worth paying more attention to adaptive innovation that – as its name suggests – adapts ideas already implemented by other companies and capitalises on them within someone’s own organisation. This article analyses the adaptive agricultural innovation based on this idea through an instructive example of the expansion of strip till in Hungary. Strip till is a preserving, energy- and cost-efficient seedbed making and nursing technology that – compared to traditional solutions – has many advantages. The method has been widely used in the US for several decades and KITE takes credit for introducing and propagating it in Hungary. The article summarises the pros and cons of this method, providing useful information on some of the experiences encountered by domestic users so far. The greatest benefit is the propellant savings: in case of different soil types these were above 50% (11% on cost and 41% on labour) compared to traditional tillage. The article also points out that agrotechnical and economic benefits are traceable for both early and late crops such as maize and sunflower. The initial favourable domestic experience proves the adaptation of strip till to be successful, resulting in a process innovation with several farming advantages. In this regard, the main points of this article are to be considered for those finding adaptive innovation a good strategic tool for gaining a competitive edge.