By No-Till Farmer Editors
Agritechnica has a reputation as being the international hub for emerging farm equipment and technology.
The 2015 show in Hannover, Germany, once again offered a diverse glimpse into emerging agricultural machinery trends that could influence the North American market in the near future.
No-Till Farmer staff spent 6 days covering the show, which featured the latest in tractors, seeding and planting equipment, spraying technology and precision farming systems.
What follows is a sampling of the equipment highlights from the show, which featured more than 2,900 exhibitors and 450,000 attendees. For more information, visit No-TillFarmer.com/0216.
Väderstad unveiled its new Gilstring seed meter for the company’s high-speed Tempo planters. Compressed air blows seeds onto a disc and each seed is singulated, then guided by a soft rubber wheel down the seed tube at a speed of 30 mph. A small sensor counts every seed that passes through, and a secondary rubber wheel ensures consistent seed-to-soil contact. The system is controlled through a table interface, where the operator inputs seed population.
SoucyTrack launched its new planter track kit for John Deere planters. The track system allows for better weight distribution than flotation tires to minimize rutting. This results in less soil compaction, minimizing the pinch-row effect. The tracks also provide greater stability and more uniformity in seeding depth.
Agrotop, in conjunction with Bayer CropScience, unveiled its new easyFlow QF closed-transfer system for sprayers. Developed for small, mounted sprayers and self-propelled machines, the system offers operators the option of using chemical containers of various sizes, up to bulk-size units, as one system. The two-part system includes a canister adaptor that is attached to the chemical jug and the tank adaptor, which is permanently attached to the sprayer.
Great Plains Mfg. debuted its new AccuShot liquid fertilizer system, soon to be available as an option on the company’s Yield-Pro planters. Rather than continuously dribbling in starter fertilizer to the side or below the seed trench, the system applies a specific dose of fertilizer with each individual seed.
Agtron Enterprises unveiled its new Lightning Seed Sensor rate and blockage system for air drills. The wireless technology relies on sensors located at the base of the seed shank to detect blockages earlier, instead of waiting for seed to fill up and reach sensors on the distribution tower. Also unique is that each sensor produces its own electricity by harvesting a small amount of energy generated by moving the seed shank through the soil.
Lemken introduced its new Solitaire 25 air seeder with automatic seed calibration. The seeder includes the Optidisc coulter system that allows operators to maintain a stable working depth. The calibration system is 100% automated and only requires the operator to input seed rate and seed population parameters. Once the calibration process has started, the seed is delivered to a load cell via a bypass. The load cell then measures the weight of each seed inputted into the job computer for increased efficiency and accuracy.
Lechler launched its new IDTA Air Injector twin flat spray nozzle. The system’s asymmetric nozzle design is angled 30 degrees to the front and 50 degrees to the rear, which provides more targeted application. A 120-degree vertical spray pattern applies 60% of the flow rate forward, while a 90-degree spray pattern to the rear applies 40% of the flow.
One of several innovations John Deere debuted was its new GoHarvest Premium Combine Simulator. The virtual display provides tiered training for combine operators to prepare for upcoming harvest, or simply refresh their memories on in-cab operations. The system also incorporates precision tools such as AutoTrac and challenges users with problem-solving scenarios they may encounter in the field. “This is a tool farmers or their dealers can use to train inexperienced operators prior to harvest,” says Heiner Braband. “The operator can’t damage anything, so it’s good to practice before getting into the field for real.” Several crops including corn, soybeans and wheat are available for the harvest simulation.
Dutch manufacturer Conver debuted its Greenbot autonomous tractor, a 100-horsepower machine with 4WD. The machine uses RTK and is programmable using a built-in display that collects data from field operations, including spraying and mowing. Sensors on the front and rear bumpers, along with a mounted radar detect obstacles and stop the machine if there is an obstruction. “One of the benefits is that it only weighs about 7,000 pounds, so the compaction is going to be far less than what farmers would see from a high horsepower tractor,” says Tom Rosier. “Hopefully, we’ll start to see a pilot program in the near future in the U.S.”
Kongskilde debuted its new Vibro Crop Intelli row-crop cleaner, designed to clear weeds in row crops. “The machine is unique because it’s able to control steering using a camera focused on the plant row that detects the green color of the plants on the background of the dark soil,” says Soren Thomasen. On the middle of the frame, 3-point linkage with a hydraulic cylinder allows the machine to stay close to the rows, +/– 2 centimeters. The implement also features hydraulic section control, which provides for navigation and control through GPS on odd-shaped fields. An additional feature is a mounted seed box for cover crop seeding, which allows the operator to plant a cover crop during a weed-clearing pass.