Farmer Focus: Size and cost of machinery is not dropping

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Agritechnica for the first time. The size of the show is incredible, and makes Lamma look like a small county show. 

To give an idea of the size, a quick Google search says Agritechnica has 2,812 exhibitors, and 470,000 visitors from 149 countries. Lamma has 600 exhibitors, and 40,000 visitors.

It was impossible to see even half of the show in the two days we were there, and every day since, I’ve seen something online I missed.

However, it was great to see a number of smaller British manufacturers among the big European ones.

See also: Agritechnica 2023: 1,100hp Nexat gantry system to harvest 200t/hour

About the author

Matt Redman
Farmer Focus writer
Matt Redman farms 370ha just north of Cambridge and operates a contracting business specialising in spraying and direct-drilling. He also grows cereals on a small area of tenancy land and was Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year in 2014.
Read more articles by Matt Redman

The size and cost of machinery does not seem to be plateauing yet.

If a machine isn’t getting wider or heavier with each new model, it is getting more and more high-tech. Sometimes for good, but often it seems to be for the sake of it.

Autonomous tractors were well represented, with most now operating around the world. It will be interesting to see how they develop, and what operations suit autonomy as they develop.

The Nexat system tractor/combine was impressive, and looks incredibly innovative.

That is unless you have seen the gantry tractor that used to be at the Silsoe Research Institute in Bedfordshire, back in the late 1980s.

Granted, the Nexat is much bigger and has far more technology, but it does prove that there’s very little released that is really “new”.

Other than my trip to Agritechnica, it has been a frustrating month watching the forecast in the hope of a dry week.

No field work other than a bit of ploughing has occurred since my last article.

I’m very fortunate that what I have drilled all looks relatively good, with only a few small areas of crop failure, due to flooding.

We have probably reached the point where hanging on for a drilling opportunity is a lost cause, and spring cropping should be the focus now.

However, I am forever an optimist, and with spring seed in short supply and costing a nicely inflated small fortune, I am hopeful we get some decent frosts to allow at least a bit more winter wheat to be drilled.

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