Latest and Greatest from Agritechnica 2017

Hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked to Germany in November for the world’s biggest farm machinery show. Here are some of the latest and greatest releases and launches.

Held every two years, Agritechnica is on every machinery enthusiast’s radar as the event where the latest developments in hardware, software, and technology are unveiled.

With 23 massive halls, each full to the brim with shiny new tractors, combines, telehandlers, and other machinery for visitors to admire, it’s impossible to visit all of these halls in one day.

With that in mind Agritechnica ran for seven days from 11 to 18 November. Organisers DLG e.V. (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft, the German Agricultural Society) have confirmed the show attracted 450,000 visitors from 138 countries with 100,000 of them coming from outside Germany.

Digitalisation, autonomous, connectivity and smart seemed to be the key buzzwords at Agritechnica this year, with more manufacturers offering their latest technology to customers who are becoming more accepting of it.

Alternatives to diesel were also a common talking point on Agritechnica stands, with many mainstream manufacturers offering electric and even methane powered engines.


However, the general opinion from key players is that diesel use in the agricultural sector is here to stay for the next decade at least. Hermann Lohbeck from German tractor and machinery manufacturer Claas says, “Claas can see no real alternative to diesel to power agriculture engines in the next five to 10 years. Of course, we are looking at the alternatives, but I think it is too early for them.”

Some other highlights noted in Hannover included a tractor completely powered by electricity, a silage system that can work continually even if there is no trailer to fill alongside it, and a new breed of tractor on offer from India.

And it wouldn’t be a proper Agritechnica if there were no massive machines on show such as the new Case IH Quadtrac 540 CVX, which with 613 peak horsepower is the flagship in the Quadtrac CVX range.

County Mayo-based Agri-Spread on stand

Agri -Spread -2

Agri-Spread based in County Mayo, Ireland, exhibited one of its spreaders at Agritechnica. Managing director David Murphy is pictured with Australian and North American distributor John Warr.

John farms 22,000 acres near Geraldton in Western Australia where he uses Agri-Spread models. He says the advantages of using Agri-Spread models is that they can handle all materials, including fertiliser, manure, gypsum, and lime. 

Agri -Spread -`

Also on the Agri-Spread stand was the AS130T model, which has a capacity of 11.6 cubic metres. It weighs 4.2 tonnes unladen. Agri-Spread currently exports machines to 12 countries worldwide.

All electric e6 wheel loader unveiled


Finnish loader manufacturer Avant unveiled its new all electric-powered e6 wheel loader
at Agritechnica. The new e6 is a sister model of the company’s already established e5 but is powered by a Lithium Ion battery instead of the lead acid battery in the e5. Using this battery technology allows the loader to operate in normal working conditions for up to five hours. 

It takes one hour to charge the battery to 80% and two hours to full charge, Avant says. The e6 is designed for operators who need to use a loader continuously and is priced around €45,000 (NZ$77,350).


Claas launch first full agricultural spec wheel loader

Claas -Torion

It’s no secret that Claas has teamed up with Liebherr to produce a range of telehandlers, but at Agritechnica, Claas also launched a new wheel loader for farm use – the Torion. Models start with the Torion 535 that has a tipping load of 3.45 tonnes powered by a 63hp engine, up to the Torion 1914 capable of a 12.4 tonnes tipping load and powered by a 228hp engine.

The Yanmar engines in both the smaller 535 and 639 models develop up to 68hp and meet Stage IIIB emissions standards. The infinitely variable hydrostatic drive has two drive modes: F1 from 0 to 6km/h and F2 from 0 to 20km/h. The driver can switch from one drive mode to the other at the touch of a button, depending on the application.

For the Torion models in the mid-range series, the boom is available with P- or Z kinematics. With the load spread across the entire lift zone and higher holding forces in the upper working area, P-kinematics is the best option for most agricultural work. Z-kinematics has a high breakaway torque, and the bucket can be tipped quickly.

Scorpion loaders


The new Scorpion loaders, also produced in association with Liebherr, range from a 635 model with a 3.5 tonnes lifting capacity to the 756 with 5.6 tonnes lift capacity.

Hermann Lohbeck says that while Claas currently use its own engine technology in the loaders, there may be opportunity to use Liebherr technology in the future. “That’s a discussion for another day,” he says. “At some point in the future, this may change, but at the moment, we are using our own technology to power the loaders. It’s a long-term decision and is an opportunity but nothing has been decided yet.” Hermann also adds that China and North America will provide strong market opportunities for the company in the future.

Krone unveils new mower system

Krone -Easycut -B950

Unveiled at Agritechnica, the new Krone mower is capable of cutting up to 14 hectares per hour (depending on conditions) and works at a width of 9.45m. Krone’s new EasyCut B950 Collect is the first butterfly mower combination that uses swath merging augers but no conditioners. It has a transport width of three metres, a total weight of just under three tonnes, and needs a 200hp tractor to operate it. 

Developed on a wealth of long-term experience gained on the Big M model range, the high-performance mower conditioner is naturally also available with cross augers. The sturdy cross augers are 45cm in diameter and arranged right behind the cutter bar and transport the crop gently to the middle of the machine without loss, creating a uniform swath. 

The augers are driven by a strong angular gearbox. All three mowers in the combination have the well-proven and fully sealed EasyCut cutter bar featuring SafeCut, SmartCut, and impact damage protection.

The exemplary ground following system consists of the DuoGrip suspension system, which carries the mower in its centre of gravity and guides it with the help of two arms. In addition, all mowers have a hydraulic suspension that’s set from the cab and offers stepless control for perfect ground hugging.

Another convenient and standard feature on EasyCut B 950 Collect is independent lift-out, which raises and lowers each mower individually – a welcome option in wedges.

Two new tractors added to 6R Series


Two new tractors with more than 200hp have been added to the John Deere 6R Series and were revealed at Agritechnica. Designed for contractors and arable farmers, the 6230R and 6250R feature six-cylinder engines producing 230hp and 250hp respectively. 

Thanks to an engine boost of 50hp with intelligent power management (IPM), the flagship 6250R tractor provides up to 300hp when required.

With a light vehicle weight of 9.3 tonnes, the 6250R delivers more power than any other tractor in this weight class, along with an unrivalled power density of 31kg/hp.
The high maximum permissible weight of 15 tonnes also allows a 5.7-tonne payload, which means the tractor is able to transport heavier loads.

Both tractors are powered by a 6.8-litre PowerTech PSS engine with dual turbochargers and advanced DPF and SCR technology, which responds quickly to changing loads while consuming less fuel and meeting demanding Stage IV emission standards. The upgraded AutoPowr transmission delivers maximum efficiency, with 100% mechanical power available at 3.5km/h for heavy draft operations, 11km/h for light draft work, 22.5km/h for heavy transport, and 47.2km/h for light transport duties.

Once running at maximum road speed, rpm automatically drops and 50km/h is maintained at 1630rpm and 40km/h at 1300rpm, which results in lower fuel consumption on the road.

Mahindra adds another string to its bow

Mahindra -7000-Series

There seems to be no stopping Indian company Mahindra in its quest to be a major global player in the agricultural machinery world, as the company adds another string to its bow.
Targeting predominantly the US market, Mahindra launched a new range of tractors at Agritechnica in Germany with ambitions to develop the global market further.

Even though the Mahindra group sells more than 300,000 tractors a year from all of its brands, it has ambitions for the new Mahindra ranges – the 6000, 7000, and 9000 series. On top of that, Mahindra has recently entered a partnership with Erkunt Tractors in Turkey to help boost the ArmaTrac brand of tractors.


However, until the company figures out the finer details of this partnership agreement, Mahindra says it will not sell the new Mahindra tractors in Western Europe, at least for the short term. The new Mahindra 6000 series has five options available on two models, namely the 6065 and 6075. Options in this series include 2wd or 4wd and a cab. Both are powered by four-cylinder turbo engines at 62hp for the 6065 model and 71hp for the 6075 model.

Transmission is a power shuttle system with speed synchromesh and range constant mesh using 15 forward and 15 reverse gears. Looking at the 7000 Series, there are two models that are only available in four-wheel drive – the 7085 and the 7095 rated at 85hp and 95hp respectively. Again, this series is powered by four-cylinder turbocharged, direct injection common rail engines.


Moving on to the 9000 Series, there are two models – the 9110 and 9125 – available in a number of options with Powershift or Powershuttle transmissions. President of the Mahindra farm equipment sector, Rajesh Jejurikar, outlined the key priorities of the new series of tractors. 

He says, “We will focus on the North American market in the first case for the new range of Mahindra tractors. With our new partnership involving Erkunt Tractors, we will be focusing on the European market with the ArmaTrac brand.

“However, we will not rule out bringing the Mahindra tractors to the European market at some stage in the future. “In fact, we just launched the new Mahindra tractors to the North American market two weeks ago.”

Mahindra -8000-Series

Mahindra has also launched its SmartEye system, which acts as a guidance unit for tractors but is the only one on the market that does not use GPS and favours using camera technology instead. Globally, the Mahindra group operates in more than 100 countries, has more than 200,000 employees, and turns more than $19 billion per year.

New tractor range launched by Kubota

Kubota -M7172

On the Kubota stand at Agritechnica, the Japanese manufacturer presented its new M7002 range of tractors – the successor to the well-known M7001 models.

The large-scale upland farming tractors, ranging from 130 to 170hp, have greatly improved features and are easier to use with better customisation options and manoeuvrability.

The main innovation in this M7002 model range is the new six-speed Powershift transmission, under load in 30/15 or 54/27 if equipped with creeper.

Some of its specifications have also been improved, such as the increase in maximum permissible weight to 11,500kg, offering a greater payload, together with efficient engine performance focused on increased power and lower fuel consumption.

The tyre size range has been increased, with the incorporation of 600/60R28 sizes
for the front axle and 710/60R38 for the rear axle, minimising compaction and maximising traction.

McHale launch new rake at Agritechnica

Mc Hale -R68-78-rake

Irish farm machinery manufacturer McHale launched a brand new rake at Agritechnica – the R68-78 model. Only the second rake produced by the company, this latest addition twin-rotor centre delivery rake has a working width of 6.8m to 7.8m and a transport width of 2.8m. 

On the McHale R68-78 rake, the driveline flows through a wide angle gearbox to the individual rotors. Each rotor on the McHale centre delivery rake picks the crop only once and places it in a loose aerated swath.

The rotors on the McHale centre delivery rake are suspended centrally and both rotors operate at equal ground pressures across the working width. The suspension system allows the rotors to follow all ground contours regardless of the terrain. 

The tines on each tine arm guarantee the cleanest sweep delivering uncontaminated fodder into the row. The tine movement can be adjusted allowing the operator to adjust the cam angle, which in turn adjusts when the tine releases the crop to cater for different crop conditions. The R68-78 will be available ahead of the silage season next year and cost €20,500 including VAT (NZ$35,237).

Zetor unveils new design at Agritechnica


Czech Republic tractor manufacturer Zetor used Agritechnica to unveil its new design for the major range of tractors. The new streamlined design will be in production by March 2018 and will be on the market in June 2018. Zetor says the Major range, featuring two models each of 80hp, are designed to honour the basic pillars of the Zetor brand.

Both the Major CL model and the Major HS model are powered by four-cylinder Deutz common rail engines. Zetor will also launch two more ranges of tractors next year: the new Utilix range of two models – 43hp and 50hp – and the Hortus range of two models, each of 65 horsepower.

Valtra wins Tractor of the Year award 

Valtra -T-Series

A jury of 23 independent journalists voted Valtra’s T254 Versu the Tractor of the Year 2018 at Agritechnica. It also picked up the award for Best Design 2018.

Tractor of the Year is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry, recognising innovation, technology, and performance. This is a milestone in the brand history, as it’s the first time Valtra has won the main award of the competition. 

The jury said, “Valtra sets a new standard in intuitive operation. The tractor in general offers a high level of comfort, performance, efficiency, and versatility.

“The standard-fitted SmartTouch armrest with the nine-inch touchscreen, the intelligent multiuse drive lever, and the new hydraulic joystick give the best and most straightforward user interface in the industry. It allows the driver to control and adjust almost any
setting of the engine, transmission, hydraulics, AutoGuide, Telemetry, etc. As a matter
of fact, it’s a new way of working with tractor terminal.”

To TY-2

Mikko Lehikoinen, marketing director, Valtra Inc, says, “The Valtra T254 featuring the SmartTouch armrest demonstrates our continuous development work at Valtra focusing on reliability, ease of use, and intuitive solutions so that farmers can enjoy working with Valtra products and get the maximum benefit from the rapidly developing technology.”

The latest model of the T Series, the Valtra T254 Versu, was launched in June this year and customer deliveries began in August. SmartTouch further enhances driving with the powershift transmission, making it possible to drive like a CVT tractor. With a maximum output of 271hp, the T254 Versu is the most powerful model in the T Series.

Sneak peek at the latest machinery launches at Agritechnica.

McHale’s new raker launched at Agritechnica.

Photography: Chris McCullough

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