Top 10 Innovations from Agritechnica
Agritechnica is the largest farm show in the world with more than 400,00 farmers in attendance. With those record crowds, it’s no wonder that many manufacturers use the German show as the launch pad for new innovations.
There are more than 2,900 exhibitors at the show, so there are an overwhelming number of new products on display. Below, in no particular order, are the items that Advanced Technology Editor Laurie Bedord and I found the most innovative. Some will make their way to American farm fields in the next few years. Others may take a bit longer. Either way, the innovations at Agritechnica provide a glimpse into what the future of farming will look like.
Automating agriculture. It’s a theme that resonates with European farmers as they struggle to find ways to keep labor costs down. It’s also why the Dutch Power Company is introducing Greenbot – the first driverless machine – to the ag industry.
Greenbot got its start mowing golf course lawns and about 40 are in use today in the Netherlands. The company is now looking at ag applications, including orchard spraying. In addition, Dutch Power is selling conversion kits to make Fendt tractors autonomous. Learn more about the potential for the U.S. market and pricing – it’s less than you would think.
2. Fendt E-Hay Rake
Traditionally, the rotors on rotary rakes are powered mechanically, hydraulically, or by the driveshaft. For the first time, Fendt is experimenting with an electric-driven rotary rake. An electric generator on the tractor powers four torque engines on each rotor, so the e-rake can be driven independently from the engine or tractor speed. See the E-hay rake in action.
3. Amazone AmaSpot
This intelligent sensor-nozzle system detects green plants against the soil, allowing it to apply a precise application that can reduce rates from 20% to 80%. Using advanced infrared sensors, an ultra-fast pulse width modulation, and bespoke low-drift nozzles, the system is able to detect green plants down to an accuracy of one square centimeter. See more about thisspot spraying system.
4. John Deere Connected Nutrient Management
Developed in conjunction with Land Data Eurosoft, Vista, Rauch, and Sulky, John Deere’s new Connected Nutrient Management provides a holistic view from harvest to harvest about how much fertilizer you need, depending on the type of fertilizer you are applying. The system was developed to meet German fertilizer regulations, but the software could be used to help American farmers decide on application rates. Learn more about how the system works.
5. Fendt Vario 1050
The Fendt Vario 1050 won the Agritechnica award for 2016 tractor of the year. This fixed frame tractor cranks out 500 hp. and offers many benefits over an articulated tractor, including driving comfort, top speed of 37 mph, and a lower weight at 28,000 pounds. Plus, in true Fendt fashion, the Vario 1050 is filled with technology like intelligent four-wheel drive and grip assist. Watch the video to learn more.
6. Deutz-Fahr Driver Extended Eyes
Using a series of cameras, the Deutz-Fahr Driver Extended Eyes gives you a 360° view around your machine, including a bird’s eye view. This innovation is a big bonus to operators from a safety and productivity standpoint. The Driver Extended Eyes are already in use on Fendt X/P combines and John Deere tractors.
7. Claas Automatic Crop Flow Monitoring
This new system for Lexion combines watches the rotational speeds on the engine, the APS threshing mechanism, and the Roto Plus residual grain separation. The machine will alert you if it’s being run too hard, which allows you to push the combine close to its limit to maximize harvest efficiency. Read more about this innovation.
8. Geoprospectors Topsoil Mapper
This soil mapping tool can be mounted on the front hitch of any tractor while you are performing another task, such as tillage, in the field. While you are driving, the system maps soil parameters, such as compaction, water saturation, and soil composition. See the potential uses for this data in this video.
9. Lemken Auto Calibrating Drill
The highlight of Lemken’s new Solitair drill is an automated calibration process. To start the calibration, you enter a few key parameters, including the thousand-seed grain weight, seeding rate, and maximum working speed. Then seeds are moved via a blower fan to a weighing unit in the machine’s hopper. The sample is weighed and returned to the main hopper. The weight shows up on the cab monitor, where you can confirm the results and the working speed. Learn more about the drill and other Lemken innovations.
10. Mitas AirCell
In the European market, most farmers use air tire inflation systems on their tractors to deflate the air in the field and pump it back up when traveling on the road. A common complaint about the system is that the engine must be running at a high RPM while the tractor isn’t moving to inflate the tires.This is no longer the case with AirCell – an inner tire that fits within the traditional tire and allows for rapid inflation. Learn more about AirCell and updates on the Mitas PneuTrac.