Hundreds of thousands of farmers enjoy Agritechnica’s return
25th December 2023
The first Agritechnica event for four years took place in Hanover, Germany in mid-November. Marking the end of a year packed full of manufacturer press events where new machines were previewed, the show was the first opportunity for many dealers and potential customers to inspect the latest offerings for the first time. David Williams was there.
Hints about the future
This year’s event focused on sustainability, and the theme prevailed across most of the stands. Several manufacturers had divided their stands into sections featuring new products available to order now, and possible additions to ranges for the future. In addition to ongoing developments focusing on battery power, interestingly several manufacturers displayed hydrogen-fuelled solutions based on combustion and fuel-cell technology, as well as machinery capable of operating on bio-gasses and liquid fuels to reduce CO2 emissions.
Availability will vary
Some of the new products displayed will appear at LAMMA in January, while others won’t be seen in the UK until later in 2024 – or even 2025. However, UK dealer representatives who spoke with Farmers Guide at the German event expect to be particularly busy in the coming months, demonstrating their new machines and explaining features and benefits of the latest technology.
John Deere had a vast stand as usual, which this year was laid out to reflect the crop growing process from planting to harvest and residue management, as well as an area devoted to livestock farming. John Deere UK marketing manager Chris Wiltshire said that there had been considerable interest in products across the range, including the use of John Deere’s HarvestLab sensor to monitor grain quality in real-time during harvest. Chris said that since it was launched as an option for S- and T-series combines last year, growers have quickly recognised its potential for segregating crops that don’t meet stringent quality requirements from those that do, and for nitrogen use calculations allowing accurate monitoring of how much has been removed from the field. Another big advantage of the system is that, in a catchy harvest, it allows data-based decisions to be made as to which fields to harvest first to maximise market values.
Chris is pictured with one of only a few new machines on the stand – the John Deere 300M sprayer which is an addition to the sprayer line-up. There are two models, both with a front cab layout. The 332M has a 3,200-litre tank and can carry booms up to 28m. Power is from a 175hp engine, and it has a tight 3.8m turning radius. The larger 340M has a 4,000-litre tank and can be fitted with booms up to 36m. It has a 225hp engine and a turning radius of 4.2m. PowrSpray is standard, using two circuits for filling and spraying, and allowing filling at up to 750 litres/min. Availability is limited to just a few countries for 2024, but UK customers are among those able to place orders now.
First major launch of the show
The first major product launch at the show, at 8.30am on the preview day, featured Massey Ferguson’s new 9S flagship – one of only a few new tractors to have been kept totally under wraps until the event. The 9S-series includes six models from 285–425hp, making these the most powerful Massey Fergusons to date. Dyna-VT infinitely variable transmission is standard, using a separate oil reservoir to the hydraulics system to reduce risks of contamination and maximise service intervals. Like the 8S-series, the new 9S models feature Massey Ferguson’s exclusive Protect-U design which separates the engine compartment from the cab to reduce noise and vibration. The 3.4m3 cab is one of the quietest on the market and has class-leading visibility. The new flagship tractors come with an extremely high standard specification as well as oil supply options up to 340 litres/min at only 1,650rpm, with supply to up to six rear valves with adjustable flow rate and decompression levers as standard.
Unladen weight is from just 10,900kg and maximum gross weight is 18,500kg with a power-to-weight ratio up to 25.4kg/hp.
Celebrating 30 years
Also launched on the Massey Ferguson stand was a commemorative edition 5S-series model, marking 30 years since the steep-nose bonnet was introduced. For a limited time, the special edition tractors come with a range of options included, as well as decals marking 30 years on the bonnet and elsewhere.
Versatile shallow-tine cultivator
On the Kockerling stand, the new Allrounder -flatline-500 cultivator was shown. Key features include wide-spaced tines for resistance to blocking, precise maintenance of the pre-set working depth – even when working very shallow, and excellent ground contour following capability. Kockerling suggests the main applications will include shallow stubble cultivations with initial mixing of crop residues, incorporation of slurry and heavier crop residues, and seedbed preparation.
Deeper loosening down to 13cm is possible. The Allrounder -flatline-500 has a 5m working width, 130mm tine spacing across 70cm-spaced bars and it folds to 3m for transport. Options include the front knife roller for mulching cover crops and trash.