Grainews met up with Lemken’s Canadian sales manager, Laurent Letzter, at the brand’s display during the Agritechnica machinery show in Germany in November. Lemken was using that event to solicit feedback from farmers on a couple of new prototype features it had recently developed for its line of compact discs, and it was introducing others already scheduled for production.
Standing in front of one of the brand’s Heliodor 9 models, Letzter explained what the company had in mind for 2018 versions of that implement.
“The first thing we’re showing, and we want to see the farmers’ reactions, is the quick change rollers,” he said. “When a compact disc is used, it can be for different applications. If you have different agronomic targets, you can change the (rear) rollers without any tools.”
Rear rollers handle soil reconsolidation and different types leave different field surface conditions. Some pack the surface quite firmly, which is useful for fall tillage when its necessary to leave fields well protected from erosion over the winter. Others leave a softer finish more suited to seeding operations.
Two pins hold the rear rollers in place. Simply pull the pins and lift the rollers away with a front-end loader and replace them with the type needed for the job at hand. That, claims the brand, expands the range of uses its implements can be put to on the farm.
While the new roller attachment system has no firm introduction date yet, both the Heliodor 9 and Rubin 9 will definitely be available with hydraulically adjustable depth control, which can be changed on the go from the cab. That’s a switch from some other implements, which require pre-set depth adjustments. Models with wider working widths combine this feature with a hydraulic levelling system.
Having an implement that is fully adjustable on the go from the tractor cab is what Canadian farmers have been asking for, says Letzter about the feedback the company has received on it equipment.
A front two-row tine harrow attachment is also new for 2018. The retractable attachment helps better distribute surface residue before the following discs incorporate it into the soil.
The harrow attachment is also connected to an accumulator, which senses the load on it. When a lot of material collects in front of it, the teeth lift and release some to prevent clogging.
“That’s something really new. We’ve tested it this year and we’re going to sell it on some limited number of machines,” said Letzter.
Lemken sees double-digit sales growth
There must be a lot of smiles on the faces of executives at Lemken’s head office in central Germany this year. The family owned company announced that it saw global sales grow by 11 per cent in 2017. And it’s optimistic about the future.
Although the company manufactures most of its implement line at its plant in Alpen Germany, 77 per cent of all that production is exported.
“The outlook for 2018 is positive, as the excellent level of incoming orders at the beginning of the year indicates that this will be another year of positive growth,” the company stated in a press release early this spring.
That news has the company in a mood to invest, with owners investing roughly $95 million in facilities over the last three years, and the company is planning to add another 60 employees to its workforce at the Alpen factory in the near future to keep up with demand.