If you have ever been to Agritechnica in Hannover, Germany, then you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say this show is truly one of a kind.
Based on size alone, Agritechnica is the world’s largest agricultural machinery trade show with 2,800 exhibitors from 52 countries. It happens every two years and is a bucket list trip for machinery enthusiasts and farming fanatics alike regardless of the country on your passport.
In 2017 I was able to take in my first experience at the show where I saw everything from tiny robotic seeding units to electric tractors to spraying drones bigger than a Volkswagen Beetle. A large percentage of the machines and technology I saw in 2017 were prototypes or machines that aren’t commercially available.
While most machinery shows share this theme, Agritechnica’s access to a worldwide perspective is a great way to see what’s available in other parts of the world and perhaps get a sneak peek of European machinery that’s coming to the North American market, or vice versa.
“There were countless equipment releases at Agritechnica, but I have to say John Deere’s booth was the most impressive,” says reporter Robin Booker.
Booker was recently in Germany at this year’s Agritechnica representing Glacier FarmMedia’s Western Producer.
“(John Deere) launched its first twin rotor combine (the Deere X9) that’s a class bigger than the S790, its largest offering on the market right now. Along with the combine John Deere launched its HDX flex header designed for small seeds and oilseed production. But the Future Technology Zone got the most traffic in John Deere’s booth, where the company displayed prototypes focused on automation, electrification and artificial intelligence.
“In this zone there was a robotic ground sprayer, drone swarms, an electric tractor concept, robotic controls installed on a current model tractor, a futuristic cab design that’s also a control centre to monitor and direct fleets of robotic farm equipment, a huge drone called the Volocopter that was outfitted with John Deere spraying technology, and the new John Deere eAutoPower transmission, which is the first electro-mechanical power split transmission that makes tractor-implement electrification possible.
“Most of the prototypes in the Future Zone are nowhere near commercialization, aside from the eAutoPower transmission which should be on the market within a couple of years.”
“Off the top of my head, some of the other equipment launches that caught my attention are the Claas high-horsepower Xerion 5000 tractor that will soon be available with four tracks, the JCB Fastrac 4000 series has been updated with heavier axles and can now carry heavier loads as well as be fitted with duals. Horsch launched a cultivator with guidance for in between the row tillage, lots of robots for killing weeds, and Fendt displayed an IDEAL 10 790-hp combine that uses a joystick to steer instead of a steering wheel.”
The next Agritechnica is slated for November 14-20, 2021, leaving 24 months to figure out your travel plans to Deutschland. If you love machinery and ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend it.