The world’s largest agricultural machinery expo just clicked past the half-way point here in Hanover Germany, and so far the attendance counter is already north of 175,000 visitors. That’s easily more than all the significant regional farm shows in Canada tally up in an entire season. And the higher attendance days typically happen toward the end of this event.
Other stats from the show are a little harder to add up, such as the number of cups of coffee I’ve downed to keep my energy level up and how many kilometres I’ve walked getting around the show grounds.
With the downturn in the ag machinery sector this past year, organizers quietly admit they were a little worried that manufacturers might be a little less interested in spending money to come here, and that they may not have many new technologies ready to show. Likewise, it was anyone’s guess as to whether or not farmers would show up in numbers comparable to the last event. So far, it seems organizers needn’t have worried. This show is as good or better than any previous one I’ve attended.
Although I can’t say for certain, it seems like there are many more Canadians here this year. Canadian dealers who retail German-built equipment seem to be recognizing this as an opportunity to reward employees and customers by coordinating trips that include tours of machinery factories and a couple of days on the show grounds—along with a sightseeing trip to a castle or two.
As far as the obvious trends in new equipment technology go, the rush toward electrification in lieu of hydraulics apparent at previous events seems to have slowed a little. As one engineer put it, “We’re realizing it’s not a perfect fit for every application”. That said, Fendt’s X Concept tractor with 700 Volt electric output was back, and this time with an electrically-driven hay rake to give it something to do in the field.
UAVs and robotics continue to gain momentum With another totally autonomous tractor debuting: the Greenbot, built by a Dutch company.
Even though I’ve been here since the start of the show, I actually haven’t seen everything yet. So, it’s time for another coffee to get my energy back so I can head back out into the crowd.