The countdown to the biennial Agritechnica machinery show is nearly over, with companies hinting at what will be shown in Hannover.
A recent event in Germany allowed us to quiz some of the manufacturers..
AMID multiple images of new 7R and 8R tractors circling the internet from John Deere, one innovation we can tell you about now is its eAutoPowr transmission.
Based on an electric version of its stepless transmission, it uses two electric motors instead of its hydraulic setup, winning it Agritechnica’s top gold medal.
Seen on its current 8R tractor, the electric motors have been specified so they not only supply the drive, but can also provide up to 100kW of electric power for external consumption. This enables implements and other components to be powered.
In conjunction with Joskin, the two firms have demonstrated how electrical power generated by the tractor can also be used to power two axles on a tri-axle slurry tanker.
Among other things, higher traction, reduced slip and improved track guidance on side slopes can be achieved, says the manufacturers.
On the tractor side, this electrical integration results in improved gearbox efficiencies and reduced maintenance costs, claims Deere.
In addition, the surplus power flows occurring at certain operating points can be ‘tapped’ when using electric power for external electrical components, such as drill fans, which further improves the overall efficiency.
DESIGNED with German road legislation in mind, but particularly relevant to the UK market also, is a folding front mower from Krone.
The manufacturer says laws constraining transport widths of tractor and implements to three metres restrict the maximum working width of front mowers to 3.2m, depending on the cutting system.
However, it says from customer feedback it has ascertained that 3.2m work widths are too small for efficient operations, with the grass left uncut and run on with the tractor tyres when turning.
The silver medal-winning Krone EasyCut F 400 CV Fold disc mo-co offers a working width of four metres, which solves the problems associated with a narrower working width front mower.
The manufacturer says by using the machine in combination with a rear mower or typically butterfly setup, especially when cutting around bends and on sloping fields, the combination offers larger overlaps which eliminate striping.
Another benefit according to the company is its simplicity, eliminating the need for fitting complex and expensive sensor-based sliding headstock systems to avoid striping.
To fold, the cutter bar pivots towards the tractor, while the side curtains fold up and reside on top of the mower hood.
FORAGE specialist Strautmann will unveil a new flagship forage wagon series at the show.
The company says the Magnon will replace the Tera-Vitesse range from 2020. Three models are to be launched, the 42cu.metre 430, 46cu.m 470 and the tri-axle 52cu.m 530.
A new hydraulically driven pickup concept called the Flex-Load will be added, which instead of steel tines, uses plastic tines arranged in six V-shaped rows.
The 2.25m wide pickup is said to offer more flexibility on uneven terrain, with steel strippers placed low on the tine stopping grass gathering in the pickup, and offering smoother running than before.
The 2,100mm integral rotor is bordered by a pair of 180mm augers. Theoretical chop length is 35mm, achieved by 48 double-sided knives.
To offer increased compaction of the crop, the front of the wagon pivots into the wagon while loading is carried out. When the crop reaches the rear of the load area, the head board is retracted, offering a further 5cu.m of load area.
The manufacturer says this allows for a more compact yet greater load capacity than the model it is set to succeed.
RECEIVING a silver medal, Vaderstad has developed a system which allows tramlines for slurry and crop protection equipment to be made on its Tempo precision planters by changing the row spacings, instead of shutting off row units.
The company says since its WideLining system allows for seed rate to be maintained, yield is also
maintained, with a noticeable increase over alternative systems that reduce seed rate when putting tramlines in.
Compared to the conventional method of turning seeding units off, 8.3 per cent more seeds are planted when working on an 18-metre spreading system, it adds.
Designed to accommodate 1,050mm tyres, the tramlines are created by hydraulically adjusting the placement of four row units on the frame of the planter.
This means the row spacing between the row units next to the 1,050mm lines will go from 750mm to 600mm, which is an acceptable row spacing to maintain a high yielding silage maize crop, says the manufacturer.
WideLining is fully automatic and integrated in the iPad-based control system Vaderstad E-Control.
AMONG a plethora of Amazone updates and new products to be launched at the show, the Precea stands out.
This precision air seeder includes two models: the rigid four-row Precea 3000; and the telescopic six-row Precea 4500-2; as well as a four-row power harrow mounted variant.
The 4500 model can be equipped with one of three ways to extend its working width – a simple beam, two-piece telescoping beam or a variable telescoping beam.
The first has a transport width over three metres, the second under 3m and the third allows for changes in row spacings.
The latter enables different crops to be planted easily, swapping from beet on 450mm rows to maize on 750mm rows at the press of a button, says the manufacturer.
The others have to be moved manually. Seed hoppers hold 55 litres. Metering of the Precea is based on overpressure. The seed and the entire metering unit are pressurised by a blower fan, with seed pressed on to the centralised singling disc.
An optical seed monitor is located above the propulsion channel. It monitors the singling and indicates any misses and doubles on the terminal in the tractor.
The Precea is available with the firm’s SmartControl automated stripper adjustment to facilitate optimisation and automation of the singling process.
During this procedure, the optical seed monitor detects the misses and the doubles and adjusts the stripper accordingly.
TWO years after the launch of its Impress combi-baler, Pottinger has made a number of revisions to the range and increased the size of bale it is able to produce.
The latest model is the Impress 185 VC Pro, which as the name suggests is a variable chamber bale, capable of sizes up to 1.85 metres.
Pickup width is 2,300mm and uses a central suspension point and two jointed support arms to allow vertical travel of 120mm.
Setting the Pottinger balers apart from most on the market is its up and over feed rotor, which helps intake performance and chopping capability, says the manufacturer.
Taken from its range of forage wagons, theoretical chop length is 36mm across the entire width of the rotor. The new pull-out FlexCut 32 short chop system features 32 reversible knives with individual knife protection.
Wrapping is taken care of by the company’s up-swept wrapping unit, which spins at 36rpm. Bale unloading height has also been lowered to prevent stubble piercing the wrap.
ATTAINING a silver medal is Biso’s 3D Varioflex header.
As additional crop rotations with a higher share of legumes proliferate throughout Europe, cutting systems need flexible cutterbars to harvest crops close to the surface of the ground, with the lowest possible pick-up losses, say the company.
However, these systems also have to be suitable for traditional cereal crops and oilseed rape, as is customary for the ordinary auger cutting systems with a variable cutting table length.
The 3D Varioflex cutting system combines the advantages of a flexible cutter bar with a variable table length, the company says. The cutterbar is height-adjustable over a total of 250mm and the contact force of the cutterbar on the ground is measured with force sensors in its parallelogram carriers.
The contact pressure range can be adjusted from zero to 50kg, so the carriers connected at the rear with the frame guide the cutterbar over undulations.
MANURE application specialists Samson has won a silver medal for a new nutrient sensing technique.
With increasing legal requirements for precise application of slurry, an exact analysis of the ingredients relevant for fertilisation has an important role to play, says the company.
Currently, in addition to taking samples, which must then be subjected to wet-chemical analysis in a lab, near infrared sensors are currently being used to estimate the nutrient content of manures.
For the first time, Samson now offers a system for determining nitrogen, phosphorus and potash in manure, which is based on a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) sensor. Essentially, it enables an analysis of manure ingredients without the need for constant calibration.
The company says sensors based on NMR technology promise fewer errors in manure analysis and initial laboratory tests also show a good alignment with laboratory values. The sensor will be available through a mobile system integrated in the firm’s PG II slurry tankers.
The system is powered by one to 70MHz multi-frequency magnetic resonance technology, which the manufacturer says is able to reliably measure the concentration of species at the atomic level, with the accuracy and reliability of the measurements superior to other in-line measuring technologies and compatible with laboratory measurements.
CONCERNED with a dwindling list of weed-combating active ingredients, in particular glyphosate, Lemken previewed a new weed control method for stubbles.
Already known for its spraying technology and its recent acquisition of hoeing specialist Steketee, the company is to launch its new cultivator, called the Koralin.
The firm describes it as a ‘sweep’ cultivator, designed for fast and shallow movement of the soil, and thus destruction of weedlings.
Up front, a pair of springmounted 510mm diameter disc gangs, the same as the ones found on its Heliodor, turn the soil and cut a channel ahead of the machines’ tines.
Each tine has three discs running in front of it, which the company says is vital to the running cost of the cultivator, in particular, reducing wear on the machines’ 350mm-wide duck feet shares.
Tines are arranged over three rows, with a spacing of 300mm thus giving a 25mm overlap, enabling the whole of the soil profile to be lifted and weed and cover crop roots to be cut.
The machine can run at depths from 20mm to 100mm, and is provisionally available in 6.6 and 8.4-metre working widths, with a 12m version to follow.
CLAAS has added Cemos Auto Performance, a system similar to that already found on its combines, on to its forage harvesters, earning the manufacturer a silver medal.
By setting a target engine speed and a target forward speed, the forager will then try to maintain both by varying its power levels.
If that is not possible, it will also vary forward speed to maintain just the engine rpm.
For instance, in a light crop of grass, it will mainly be power levels which are varied, with the benefits of both maintaining chop quality and reducing fuel consumption.
However, if the crop gets heavier and the forager’s power levels are maxed out, it will be the forward speed which is varied to maintain rpm – again to maintain a more uniform chop.
Engine load sensors, along with feed roller opening sensors, determine what power levels and forward speed should be used.
When using the system, the manufacturer says the automatic engine output control eases the strain on both the forager and driver and contributes to fuel savings of up to 15 per cent.
SISTER brands, Case IH and New Holland, have been busy fettling their big square baler offerings.
The show is expected to be the platform for the launch of a new high density baler, but for now the company has won a brace of silver medals for its innovations, one of which concerns itself with the start-up process of the baler.
The company recognises big balers which produce high-density bales require a high-inertia flywheel and a powerful plunger to suit.
Therefore, protective start-up systems are required to prevent the tractor from stalling or the pto shaft from overstraining when the baler swings into action.
At present, the common solutions are either using a hydraulic start-up system which operates at a lower torque or switching from the 540rpm pto to 1,000rpm.
However, CNH Industrial, in conjunction with Walterscheid, has developed a new driveline concept whereby relative to the current tractor torque, the gearbox shifts up into the desired flywheel speeds.
The feature called Power Shift Function has allowed the manufacturer to increase flywheel speeds and baling output while reducing flywheel inertia and dimensions, it says.
BELGIAN firm Joskin is to launch a second generation of its X-trem slurry tanker range.
The X-trem2 has been revised with a new chassis, inspired by its Volumetra monocoque design.
The chassis has also been narrowed from 760mm to 600mm, allowing for larger width tyres to be fitted.
Tyres with diameters up to 2,020mm can be fitted, and widths of 925mm.
The suspension has also been reviewed, with the firm’s ‘Hydro-Pendul’ arrangement added, found on the company’s dump trailers.
This uses two double-acting rams per axle and an articulating triangular structure linking the axle to the chassis, keeping all wheels in contact with the ground, says the company.
Steering has also been modified, switching the steering axle from the rear to the front.
The company says the benefit of this is overhang at the rear is reduced, while steering angle and manoeuvrability are increased.
To complement this, the draw bar width has also been reduced. At the rear, the four-point attachment is replaced by a standard three-point linkage.
Capacities of 16,000, 18,000 and 20,000 litres will be available.
TILLAGE specialist Kockerling will be launching a new precision depth cultivator at the show.
The Allrounder Flatline has been developed to offer residue mixing abilities, while maintaining a consistent depth across the working width of six or 7.5 metres.
To allow for trash flow, the machine is longer than typically seen, with tines arranged over six rows, but still achieving a spacing of 130mm.
Tines are the company’s ‘Elephant’ leaf spring type, with various point options.
The machine has an under frame clearance of 640mm. Maximum working depth is 130mm, and to allow for contour following, the wings of the machine can pivot four-degrees up and down.
Other options on the new model include levelling boards at the front or a knife roller, which the company says will appeal to grower with long tough stubble, such as those of maize or oilseed rape.
THE process of preventing volunteer potatoes from growing can now be started as they are harvested, thanks to a new system from harvest specialist Ropa.
Its silver medal-winning potato crusher is a sustainable, herbicidefree and resource-saving process for preventing potato residues from sprouting in the following crop, says the manufacturer.
Not only does it stop nuisance growth, but it reduces the risk of disease carry-over, by eliminating the host plant.
Small potatoes are mostly sorted out by the trash conveyor, while sorters also throw rotten, green or misshapen tubers into the rubbish chutes or the trash conveyor.
The rejected tubers are all transported to the potato crusher, which pulverises the tubers.
This promotes rotting and prevents germination of potatoes in the following year.
The system, fitted to its Keiler 2 harvester revolves around a pair of contra rotating hydraulically driven rubber wheels. Each spin at a different rpm, and one is fitted with Hardox blades, which shaves pieces of the tuber. When the tuber is small enough, it is dragged between the wheels and crushed.
Pre-tensioned springs keep the distance between the wheels constant, but offer 300mm of opening protection when stones are encountered.