Any long-time reader of Grainews has almost certainly read about what we’ve seen when walking the aisles at Agritechnica, the world’s largest and arguably most important ag equipment show. It’s held every second November in Hannover, Germany. And Grainews has been there regularly since the 2009 event.
The next show was scheduled for this upcoming November; however, as we all know, the last year hasn’t been one compatible with making firm plans. COVID-19 has made life difficult for farm show organizers around the world. Although Agritechnica’s two-year interval seems to have come at the best possible time to ride out most of the uncertainty, the pandemic continues to drag on.
Back in early February, DLG (also known as the German Agricultural Society, which runs the show) announced Agritechnica was prepared to go ahead with a regular in-person event this November as planned. At that time, it also claimed roughly 90 per cent of the show’s available floor space had been booked by exhibitors. Thus, initially it seemed it might actually be business as usual. However, there were other looming indications the show might not proceed as normal. Most notably, John Deere, one of the event’s largest exhibitors, announced it would not attend this year due to the pandemic.
Such a prominent brand stepping away amounted to a pretty big loss for the show.
By late March, with COVID-19 variants on the rise and global vaccination efforts proceeding slowly, DLG was forced to change course.
“Because of the continuing (COVID-19) pandemic as well as the progress of vaccination programs, both in Germany and abroad, the DLG, VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association and Agritechnica’s exhibitor advisory board have concluded that insufficient certainty for planning currently exists for the world-leading exhibition in November,” states the March DLG press release.
However, the in-person event has not been cancelled. Instead, Agritechnica has simply been postponed by four months, which should give it some breathing room to wait for the global pandemic picture to improve. As a result, Agritechnica’s doors are now scheduled to open on Feb. 27, 2022, and stay open until March 5.
“The third wave of the pandemic is currently in full force,” said Anthony van der Ley, chairman of the VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association. “But above all, it is the disappointing vaccination policies in the German federal and regional governments, which have, unfortunately, slowed us down for the time being. We are now looking to spring 2022 with fresh momentum and renewed energy so that we can celebrate an Agritechnica together as we know it and love it.”
Even with an in-person event still in the cards, Agritechnica has chosen to create a digital platform as well, which is something most North American shows have had to revert to when in-person events haven’t been possible.
“From November 2021, DLG’s digital platform will be offering a program of professional and technical information,” says the DLG press announcement. “This accompanying program will strengthen the reach of Agritechnica, while also offering its users a platform with new networking opportunities.”