Event preview: Agritechnica 2023

By: Chris McCullough


The world’s biggest farm machinery show returns with a bang, from 12 to 18 November 2023

It’s been four years since Agritechnica, the world’s biggest farm machinery show, was held in its normal November slot with face-to-face participation.

The dreaded COVID-19 put the brakes on the 2021 event, which was subsequently held virtually, as best it could, in early 2022.

This November will see hundreds of thousands of machinery-mad visitors and exhibitors descend on Hanover in Germany to view the latest innovations, designs, and technology that money can buy.

Agricultural machinery design and technology is moving at a fast pace as more regulations surrounding emissions production, changing consumer demands, and better efficiency change market dynamics.

Organised by the DLG, German Agricultural Society, Agritechnica is held every two years, and this year will see 2600 exhibitors from 53 countries set out their stalls across 24 halls from 12 to 18 November.

Ahead of the event, the organisers awarded one gold medal and 17 silver medals for innovations that stood out above the rest.

Here we’ve looked at some of them and other machines destined to be revealed at the big show.

New Holland combine concept wins Agritechnica Gold

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THE much-coveted Agritechnica Gold Medal has been awarded to New Holland for its overall concept CR twin axial rotor combine harvester, which will be launched at the show.

Designing new combines with increased performance is tough given the size and weight limitations, but the company says this new one is a game changer.

Being 95% new, fully automated, and powered by a big FPT engine, the new series, New Holland says, will reduce grain loss to near zero

The core element of the new CR combine harvester is the drive technology with an engine that’s mounted longitudinally according to the rotors’ angle of inclination.

The centrally located split-power gearbox is used to drive rotors and harvesting headers with an intake chain in a straight line or via a propeller shaft.

The left rotor serves as a counter shaft for the feed drum and the propeller shaft is located on the right-hand side of the chassis above the level of the rotor housing.

Consequently, there are no drives on either side of the chassis between the chassis and the running gear, as a result of which the width of the chassis has increased considerably.

The resulting space has been used to widen the threshing channel and, therefore, increase the installed technical output of the combine harvester.

To eliminate any blockages, a software-controlled automatic system not only performs the otherwise usual back-and-forth movements to loosen the blockage but also slews the belt tensioner to the respective tensioning side of the feed drum belt, which leads to particularly precise transfer of the rotary movement.

The patented cleaning system has also been made 13% wider and grain elevator loading has been optimised, while pressure sensor-supported control technology measures the ram pressure and therefore harvested crop distribution separately on the front and rear upper sieve.

This new combine remains unidentified in terms of model numbers until its show launch and will enter limited production next year for world markets.

Silver medal for clever tech that monitors share wear

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A joint Lemken and Track32 venture that developed technology which informs farmers when their cultivator shares need changing has been awarded an Agritechnica silver medal.

They came up with iQblue tool monitoring, a system for detecting tool breakage and wear and analysing the wear of cultivator shares. Already available, the camera system monitors the shares and automatically records their current condition while working at the headland.It provides farmers with a valuable decision-making aid for changing and buying spare parts.

iQblue tool monitoring is the first system on the market that ensures objective assessment even in difficult conditions. The system comprises a camera, which takes a large number of individual images of the tine section on a three-metre-wide cultivator while working at the headland.

A software algorithm evaluates the condition of the shares, which is then displayed on the ISOBUS terminal via a traffic light system. Extensively worn shares are shown in red, while damaged shares are marked in yellow and intact shares in green. Based on this information, the system calculates not only future wear but also the point in time at which it makes sense to replace the shares. If necessary, users can retrieve the current tool status at any time.

Valtra’s ‘Boss’ S Series tractors now being made in Finland

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Valtra will introduce its sixth generation S Series tractors, nicknamed ‘The Boss,’ for the first time to the world at Agritechnica.

Designed and built in Finland, the S Series weighs in with six models ranging from 280hp to 420hp, topping off with Valtra’s largest and most powerful tractor.

The 8.4-litre AGCO Power engine and CVT transmission offer a five percent reduction in revs and up to 10% decrease in fuel consumption compared to the S predecessor.

A new design, improved access, spacious cab, and an increased number of LED lights are just some of the new features of the sixth generation S Series. The factory-fitted TwinTrac reverse drive system and SmartTouch user interface have always been popular features with the S Series drivers.

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The new S Series brings a number of upgrades, including a range of suspension options for front axle and cab, and now S Series tractors can also be fitted with Valtra’s Skyview cab option and Valtra Unlimited customisations.

Valtra’s SmartTurn automatic headland turning completes the autonomous field driving experience with four turning patterns, Part Field Mode, U-Turn, Y-turn, and K-turn that allow the driver to work the field in the most efficient way.

In keeping with increased sustainability, Valtra says two-thirds of components in Valtra tractors are sourced from within Finland, and their factory runs on 100% renewable energy.
Production of the new S Series is being ramped up in the second quarter of 2024 and first deliveries in Europe can be expected in the summer.

Deliveries to regions with less regulated emission standards, such as South America, are planned to begin in the second half of 2024.

New Cenio 4000-2 cultivator on Amazone stand

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Amazone will present its new Cenio 4000-2 hydraulic folding mulch cultivator
in a four-metre working width at Agritechnica 2023.

This latest machine adds a folding dimension to the Cenio range, joining the 3m, 3.5m, and 4m rigid variants, ideal for tractors from 105 to 275hp.

The three-point linkage mounted Cenio is a three-row mulch cultivator, which can be used universally by interchanging of the various shares at depths from 5cm to 30cm.

As a result, the cultivator can be optimally used for both shallow stubble cultivation as well as medium-deep and deep-loosening soil tillage.

With a tine spacing of 30cm, the Cenio works without any blockages, even where large amounts of crop residues prevail, and evenly mixes the organic matter into the soil.

The Cenio, in the Special version, is equipped with shear bolt overload protection. It’s also available in the Super version with its spring overload protection and a trip force of 500kg.

This spring overload device provides optimum protection for the Cenio in stony conditions, and the tines easily hold the preset working depth, even under hard conditions.

The share variants from the C-Mix-3 system are available as soil-engaging parts for the Cenio. The 320mm wide duckfoot share or the 360mm wide C-Mix wing share can be used for the full-surface cutting in stubbles.

The 100mm or 80mm wide C-Mix share can be used for primary soil tillage and the 40mm wide C-Mix share for deep loosening down to 30cm.

The depth adjustment is carried out fully hydraulically from the tractor cab on the Cenio 4000-2. The depth of work can be tailored to suit the field and soil conditions on the move using the hydraulic depth adjustment.

Horsch presents Leeb Xeric pneumatic fertiliser spreader 

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Among the numerous machines on the Horsch stand, the new Leeb Xeric 14 FS fertiliser spreader will be a talking point.

With a capacity of 14 cubic metres, working widths up to 48 metres, a powerful metering output and high operational speeds of up to 20km/h, the Xeric will be particularly beneficial
to the larger farmers and contractors.Horsch says the Leeb Xeric sets new standards working in windy conditions increasing accuracy as it works. The fertiliser spreader with boom allows for a precise longitudinal and lateral distribution. Regardless of the wind and bad fertiliser quality, it ensures a precise application of fertiliser.

The pressurised fertiliser tank is equipped with a hydraulic cover and
can be filled comfortably and quickly.

The well-proven BoomControl system guarantees a smooth and stable boom control across the working width and allows for high operational speeds.

The metering box with a central metering system ensures optimum fertiliser transport. The machine is equipped with an automatic section switch-off, a variable quantity control,
as well as the option of adapting the application rate when cornering, thus guaranteeing a precise fertiliser application.

New JCB 560-80 telehandler joins JCB stand

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JCB has planned a host of new machines on its Agritechnica stand, along with those making their public debut.

The British company is previewing its new high-power JCB Loadall 560-80 AGRI Pro with six-tonne maximum lift, eight-meter maximum lift height, 129kW (173hp) JCB Dieselmax engine, and 40kph JCB DualTech-VT transmission. More information on this machine will be revealed at the show.

Also on the stand will be the new high-lift JCB Loadall 542-100 AGRI Super/Xtra/Pro, with 4.2-tonne maximum lift capacity, 9.8-metre maximum lift height, 97kW (130hp), 112kW (150hp) or 129kW (173hp) JCB Dieselmax engine, and 50kph JCB DualTech-VT transmission.

The JCB Loadall 530-60 AGRI Super with a three-tonne maximum lift capacity, 5.97-metre maximum lift height on 20-inch tyres and 6.03 metres on 24-inch tyres, is on show complete with 97kW (130hp) JCB Dieselmax engine and new two-range hydrostatic transmission.

Other models on the stand will include the new fully electric JCB 403E ultra-compact wheeled loader and the new Stage V JCB Teleskid 3TS-8W skid steer loader. Making their debut at Agritechnica will be the JCB Loadall 514-40, the JCB 35-22E battery-powered Teletruk, the JCB 457S wheeled loader, the JCB TM420S telescopic wheeled loader, and the JCB Fastrac 4220 iCON and 8330 iCON tractors.

Fendt reveals its 600 Vario Series tractors to the public 

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Fendt has the stage set to introduce its new 600 Vario Series tractors to the public at Agritechnica.

This new range of four models fits snugly in between the 500 and 700 Series stretching from 150hp to 200hp, namely the Fendt 614 Vario, 616 Vario, 618 Vario, and Fendt 620 Vario.

For the first time, Fendt DynamicPerformance (DP), which can boost power by 15hp, is available for all models in the 600 series. Under the hood, and exclusively for Fendt, is the newly developed four-cylinder, five-litre AGCO Power CORE50 engine, which meets all required emission standards worldwide.

Exhaust gas after-treatment takes place via a diesel oxidation catalytic converter (DOC), diesel particulate filter (DPF), and with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) without exhaust gas recirculation. This engine is also prepared for alternative fuels, such as HVO, to operate with lower CO2 emissions in future.

There are also maintenance-free hydraulic tappets built into the engine and the first oil service is at 500 hours, so the initial 50-hour interval has been omitted.

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The newly developed, single-stage Fendt VarioDrive transmission is made up of the engine and the matching VarioDrive drive train.

Fendt VarioDrive is a single-stage drive train with independent control of the front and rear axles. The transmission continuously measures the slip on all four wheels and sensitively regulates the power output.

Numerous tyre options are available for the Fendt 600 Vario up to a diameter of 1950mm at the rear. The standard equipment of the Fendt 620 Vario model includes 650/65 R42 tyres.

The 60-inch gauge is common in North America, Australia, and South Africa, where row crop farming is common, so the Fendt 600 Vario is being offered as a 60-inch row-crop version for all models in the series.

High-precision laser weed control from Kult 

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German manufacturer Kult is also in the precision weed control sector with its Kult iLaser, helping reduce the need for chemicals.

This high-precision machine is designed to control weeds in close proximity to the crop without affecting the soil structure. This can be done at the cotyledon stage to successfully and efficiently prevent competing species from growing without the use of chemical substances.

A number of optical sensors continuously capture images of the plant stock, which are analysed using artificial intelligence (AI). Once the crop is recognised and distinguished from the weeds, all unwanted species are targeted and denatured with surgical precision, using the heat of the laser.

This new control method works well in sensitive and closely sown crops, such as carrots. Furthermore, the laser works independently of soil conditions and can be used in a wider time frame.

With mechanical methods, the challenge is to control the accompanying flora without damaging the crop. However, the current state of the process cannot be used early in the crop’s growth because any soil movement must be avoided close to the crop. Therefore, hand weeding is currently still the only way to prevent crop loss in certain crops. This is exactly where the Kult iLaser steps in and takes mechanical weed control to a new level.

Kverneland launching new ROC machines 

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A number of new ROC silage machines are being launched at Agritechnica by the Kverneland Group via its Vicon sales channel.

After buying the ROC company earlier this year, Kverneland will introduce the new RS 380, RS 730, and RS 1000 models.

Compared to the RT models, the new, additional RS models have a number of innovative features that are suitable for use in multi-blade and short crops. This ensures even and level swaths even on mountain ranges.

The unique suspension and steering of the newly developed deflector plate with roller crop press allow adaptation to all harvesting conditions from the tractor cab.

Hydraulic damping is active immediately after the variable adjustment of the hold-down device. For dry goods, it can also be folded up and automatically moved to the basic position for transport folding.

The six-row steered pick-up — where half of the rows of tines are 30 degrees apart — specially shaped tines, and an adjusted speed ensures a clean pick-up of the crop and even transfer to the belts.

The optimally controlled tines start picking up in an almost vertical position, which reduces feed losses and allows gentle adjustment for excellent forage quality. RS models also have newly developed conveyor belts. The innovative gear drive in combination with a tooth profile on the belt eliminates the usual roller on which dirt can collect and prevents the belts from slipping.

The special saw-tooth design of the fibreglass-reinforced slats ensures enough grip on the belt to transport light as well as heavy, moist crops evenly.

Steyr unveiling Hybrid CVT tractor 

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Winning one of the Agritechnica silver medals was Steyr’s new Hybrid CVT, which will be unveiled at the show.

As the company forges ahead with alternative-fuelled tractors, Steyr says this development model is already undergoing tests working in the field and is based on the 180hp Steyr 6175 Impuls CVT platform.

Power on this hybrid model is boosted to 260hp by the electrically powered front axle, which also features a newly developed independent suspension.

The combination of higher power in a lighter package is made possible primarily because of the combination of hydro-mechanical CVT drive to the rear axle and the hybrid module on the front axle, both of which can be combined with an intelligent 4WD clutch.

The E-CVT function means the tractor is powered purely hybrid-electrically at up to 75kW and a low 1100rpm, enhancing comfort with non-constant PTO loads, such as big square baler work, and maintaining ground speed via electric drive, with no mechanical connection with the engine.

Faster, more responsive E-Shuttling results in 41% faster manoeuvring at low engine speeds and a 15% reduction in fuel use.

Other electric drive benefits include E-Steering, which accelerates the
front axle during field-speed turns, to reduce turning radius by 15% for 20% faster manoeuvring.

Also, E-Boost provides additional electric power when needed, such as after slowing down at a junction, after which full travel speed can be re-attained 25% faster than with a conventional transmission.

Väderstad hosts world premiere of Seed Hawk 600-900C  

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Tillage machinery specialist, Väderstad, is showing its latest no-till seed drill, Seed Hawk 600-900C, at Agritechnica.

Built on the well-proven Seed Hawk knife coulter concept, the new Seed Hawk 600-900C is designed for both the European and international markets.

Models come with three bin hoppers, combined to give 7000 litres capacity. Backed up by three decades of developing no-till machinery in Canada, Väderstad says this latest Seed Hawk boosts precision, versatility, and ability to maximise the yield potential in no-till conditions.

"We’re glad to announce that soon a new member in the Seed Hawk family will enter the European and international markets — the new Väderstad Seed Hawk 600-900C," says Bjorn Jeansson, Väderstad director seed drills product management.

"This is a completely new machine, built around the well-proven Seed Hawk knife coulter system. The Seed Hawk 600-900C has a large hopper with three compartments, offering full seed and fertiliser versatility. It utilises the highly precise Fenix III metering system to ensure an even product flow to the seed and fertiliser coulters, and the machine is operated via the iPad-based control system Vaderstad E-Control.

"To ensure field performance when seeding directly in heavy crop residues or after cover crops, the Seed Hawk knife coulter can be complemented with a front disc as an option."

The Väderstad Seed Hawk 600-900C will be available to order at the end of 2024, with the first serial produced machines going out to the field in the beginning of 2025.

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