Two days ago, the 2013 edition of the Agritechnica machinery show kicked off in Hanover Germany. But just calling it a machinery show doesn’t really do it justice. After spending two days on the grounds, I’d have to say this show gets better every year.
When it comes to physical size, the number of available halls housing the indoor displays has increased, and the Hanover fair grounds are now officially the largest in the world—or so we’ve been told. Filling those massive buildings are nearly 2,900 machinery-related exhibits. And for the first time more than half of all companies displaying their wares are from outside Germany.
The show has also added some oldtime equipment for those enthusiasts who like to take a look at classic iron. There isn’t a lot of it, but what there is, is rare—at least by Canadian standards—and in pristine condition. The show is also marking the milestone of 100 years of diesel engine technology in agriculture.
But this show is all about what’s new, rather than what’s old. And there is an awful lot of new machines there, some showcasing evolving and emerging technologies that are bound to become more prominent on ag equipment in the coming years.
Even a quick look around shows a couple more examples of the slow but steady stream of tractors and implements rigged to use electricity rather than hydraulic power. Fendt is displaying its X Concept 200 horsepower tractor capable of controlling implements through a 700 Volt DC outlet, which product reps say can deliver up to 130 kiloWatts.
In another hall is a Rauch mounted fertilizer spreader equipped with electric motors rather than hydraulic drives. They were engineered to work with John Deere’s 6RE Series of electric drive-capable tractors, which debuted at the last Agritechnica. Both the Fendt and the Rach are still concept machines, and it will be a while before either is market ready. But the steady stream of machines pursuing this technology and the formation of ag engineering groups set up to standardize electricity in ag equipment is a clear sign that electric drives will soon become market ready.
The reason behind that technology is the same one that is driving every other new feature offered on today’s machines: improved efficiency.
Canada’s presence is stronger than ever this year, too, with three separate pavilions displaying the maple leaf and occupying more combined space than ever before.
There is much more to explore at this Agritechnica. So keep an eye on this blog and my twitter feed (@Machineryeditor) for highlights and images from the show. And you’ll see much more in the pages of future print issues of Grainews.