Pandemic couldn’t slow down ag tech innovation


The march of innovation is relentless, thanks to engineers, chemists and plant breeders. Their goal is to improve your productivity, crop yield and income — and they kept on working even during the pandemic. Now, they can finally show you their progress in person.

When the gates open at the 2021 Farm Progress Show, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 in Decatur, Ill., these innovators will share a range of ag tech, from the hardware of new equipment to the software of new crop protection products.

Here, a few companies share some of their products, while they’re saving the best for the day the show opens. A lot more products will be on hand than could ever be listed here.

Driver-free approaches

The creation of the Omni platform at Raven created a lot of buzz earlier in 2021, as the company pulled together disparate brands under a single umbrella. What was once the Dot Technology autonomous tractor is now OmniPower, and what was once AutoCart has become OmniDrive. And while Raven was recently acquired by CNH Industrial, those autonomous machines will be on display at the show.

Another new autonomous tool at the show is the 360 Rain from 360 Yield Center. This machine creates a way to tend a crop remotely to provide water, crop protection and nutrition throughout the season.

Courtesy of 360 Yield Center FPS10c

CROP TENDER: Farmers can get an up-close look at the new 360 Rain from 360 Yield Center. This full-season automated machine feeds and waters a crop to boost productivity.

Technology is coming to market in other forms as well. John Deere has officially launched its See & Spray Select system, and while it’s for summer fallow ground, the technology offers potential in traditional row crops, too. Deere will also show the X and S Series combines and headers, and the all-new 5M tractor.

More on the majors

With Case IH, speed is the word, with news of new hay tools designed for faster road and field transport to boost productivity.

Over at New Holland, look for a new Speedrower self-propelled windrower lineup, featuring a top-to-bottom update. And there are some cosmetic changes to the lineup of balers, harkening back to the New Holland heritage colors and appearance. In addition, the company will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its skid-steer loader line. And visitors may also see the T7 tractor with PLM Intelligence, as well as a CR combine celebrating 45 years of twin-rotor technology.

Agco is essentially bringing two years of new equipment to its stand — from the new Massey Ferguson 8S tractor to a first-time exhibit of the full Fendt lineup, including a machine being introduced to North America. The company has launched the FendtOne Operator Interface on its Fendt 700, introduced the new Fendt 900 Vario MT Track tractors, released the Fendt 300 Vario Series and rolled out the 1100 Vario MT tractors.

In addition to the Massey Ferguson 8S tractor line, the company also introduced the 1800M and 2800M tractors, launched the 1800E and 2800E machines, and released the RB 4160P Protec Baler.

When talking tractors, another player in the market to watch is Versatile. For 2022, the company is beefing up its DeltaTrack and four-wheel-drive models for 2022. The tractors include more power, and there are new models — 530, 580 and 620. And those 2022 models feature the improved TA22 transmission from Caterpillar.

Known for its tractors, Kubota is expanding its hay tool lineup with new disk mower conditioners, a baler series and a wrapper. The company is also backing the new tools with expanded warranties.

Short-line rollouts

Short-line companies bring a range of innovations to the show every year. Here’s a sampling of items for the 2021 show:

AGuru. The  new company is exhibiting at the show for the first time with an innovative strip-till bar design.

Unverferth. A longtime innovator in the strip-till market, Unverferth is launching the Raptor strip-till tool. The company pulled together a range of innovations to prepare a strip for planting while preserving organic matter in the soil.

Courtesy of UnverferthRaptor strip-tiller

STRIP-TILL RIG: Unverferth has pooled its longtime experience in strip-till design into a new machine — the Raptor. Check it out at the show.

Brandt. The company has launched a new Land Roller and will have one of the largest models at the show, with 36- and 42-inch-diameter heavyweight drums. And the design features what the company calls “true drum overlap.”

Brandt will also show off its new XT Grain Carts. These carts were on display during the Farm Progress Virtual Experience, and their features caught the eye of the small number of farmers invited to view the machines.

Horsch. On the planting front, Horsch is launching the Maestro SP planter that includes technology from Precision Planting. The company is adding this as an option because farmers have requested the ability to use that system on the Horsch machine.

In addition, Horsch is launching a 60-foot-wide Avatar air seeder, which while popular out West is also getting interest in the Midwest as an efficient way to plant cover crops when under the gun at harvest. The SP will be available at the Farm Progress Show.

Courtesy of HorschMaestro SP

PLANTER OPTION: Horsch, long known for its electric meter system, is adding an option with the Maestro SP – Precision Planting technology. The move is designed to meet customer requests in the market.

AGI. The company, which continues to innovate in the grain handling business, will be offering its new FieldLab and FieldProbe tools. The FieldLab is a real-time, in-hand unit that analyzes grain with spectrometer-level accuracy. The FieldProbe can help determine optimum planting time and manage irrigation. The unit, when used with AGI SureTrack Field Data Manager, helps model growing degree units to project crop maturity to help manage harvest, too.

With more than 500 exhibitors on-site, this is a short list of new machines to check out, but as noted in the past, the Farm Progress New Products team usually finds 150 to 200 new products every year — in person. Challenge accepted?




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