It’s that time of year again when major farm equipment manufacturers introduce the new machines they intend to offer for the next model year. And the launch of those new products is typically accompanied by a lot of fanfare at big events. This year was no exception.
All four of the major brands held media events in August to pull the wraps off their new machinery. Things kicked off in the first week of the month when New Holland invited reporters to Houston, Texas, to see new offerings in the company’s Dairy and Livestock Segment.
A new Roll-Belt 560 round baler, new Discbine and the Speedrower were the primary focus of attention there. And journalists had a chance to go into the field, get behind the wheel and try out those new machines.
Following the Houston event, NH’s sister brand, Case IH, held its event in Denver, Colorado. The same haying equipment NH introduced will be available with a different shade of red paint from Case IH dealers. But the brand had a few unique products of its own to show as well. Horsepower on the Steiger line jumps to a maximum of 620, and the 380 CVT Magnum the company’s marketing people have been talking about for almost a year finally makes its debut.
A few days later, AGCO pulled the wraps off the largest Gleaner combine to ever hit the market, the Class 8, S88. The entire Gleaner line gets updates and a new model designation, moving from the 7 Series to the 8.
Then the North American market leader, John Deere, held a gala event at its dealer convention in Columbus, Ohio, to introduce a host of updates to its 2014 line. Included in those first-looks were tracked S Series combines, more horsepower for 7R and 8R tractors, a new W235 windrower and two new sprayers.
I was at all those product launches. And making so many trips back and forth to the U.S. in one month did raise the suspicions of at least one U.S. Customs officer, who gave me the most thorough questioning I’ve had at an entry port in a long time. At the other end of my trip, arriving back at Regina Airport, a Canadian Customs officer also noticed my busy itinerary, but in a much friendlier way. “You travel a lot, don’t you,” she observed. “I recognize you. Welcome home… again.”
There are more machinery announcements set to come, too, as additional new equipment debuts at the U.S. Farm Progress Show in Illinois this week.
Of course, we’ll have the full details on everything shiny and new this season in the upcoming print issues of Grainews and there will be video footage online at Grainews.ca/videos, so keep an eye out for those.