Agritechnica 2015: Top new farm kit previewed

Even if you have never been to the Agritechnica show, you’ll probably know someone who has.

The one thing they have probably conveyed to you more clearly than anything else is just how feet-wearyingly vast the biennial European ag equipment show, held in the Hanover exhibition complex in Germany, is.

Well, whether you’re planning to attend for the first time or the 15th, be prepared to invest in a stout pair of shoes, because this year’s event – the 30th – will be even larger. 

Set to take place from Sunday 8 to Saturday 14 November, Agritechnica 2015 will have two new halls, taking to 23 the total of the site’s vast halls in use for the event.

Hall categories have been refined to help visitors more easily find the firms and products they are looking for, and there’s a simpler ticketing system. Tickets can be downloaded from Agritechnica website.

See also: The best low-cost farm kit at Agritechnica

Here’s our selection of some of the most interesting new machines.  

Trailed sprayers join the Challenger stable

RG300 Challenger trailed sprayer

Agco is set to launch its first range of trailed sprayers through its Challenger brand.

Developed from the marque’s self-propelled line, with which they are reckoned to share 60% of their components, the RoGator 300 range will comprise RG333 and RG344 models with respective capacities of 3,300 and 4,400 litres.

Common components include the boom, suspension system, centre frame, boom lift arm, all plumbing and the chemical induction hopper.

Meanwhile the drawbar, chassis, axle and tank have been designed from scratch at the firm’s Grubbenvoorst facility in the Netherlands, where production space has been freed up by the decision to cease TerraGator production.

McCormick X8 tractor series unveiled

McCormick X7 ProDrive tractor

McCormick has made no secret of the fact it has an X8 tractor range in development, which will see the marque return to the 250-300hp segment from which it has been absent since the demise of the short-lived Doncaster-built ZTX.

There will also be a further addition to the six-cylinder X7 line, with the new X7.650 offering a maximum power output of 150hp and slotting in below the existing X7.660.

McCormick says the machine will be shown in a new base-level spec configuration aimed at customers seeking a functional and simple to operate tractor. The new specification level will also be available on other X7 models.

New Valtra look trickles down to N4 tractors

Valtra N4 tractors

With the distinctive look of its recently revised fourth-generation six-cylinder T-series just beginning to bed in with Valtra enthusiasts, it’s now the turn of the Finnish marque’s four-pot tractors to get the same treatment.

The new N4 tractors inherit many features from the T4s, including a similar cab with 6.5sq m of glass and a noise level under 70dB. It will be available with either one or two doors.

As in the T4 series, the fourth generation 105-165hp N models can come as a powershift or with a transmission that works in the same way as a stepless gearbox.

There’s also a hill-hold feature, a patented “hydraulics assistant” and automatic slip regulator (ASR) to govern and control acceptable wheelslip levels.

ASR, claimed to be a new innovation in the tractor industry, limits engine power if wheelslip/wheel speed exceed a set level.

This is said to help the driver maintain the best pulling ratio and fuel efficiency while avoiding damage to the ground. There is also a stepless transmission option.

Hardi beefs up mounted sprayers

Hardi mounted sprayer

A new Mega range of mounted sprayers will make its debut on Hardi’s stand, with capacities of up 2,200 litres.

This is courtesy of a close-coupled, tall tank design said to keep the centre of gravity close to the tractor by using the space between sprayer and tractor cab for the clean water compartment.

Designed to work with units up to 28m wide, a new heavy-duty boom lift design has been created especially for the Mega, with a working height adjustment range of 160cm.

The machines will be available with Hardi’s vertically folding Pro VP steel booms in widths from 20-28m and an anti-yaw device is incorporated into the boom centre.

All main functions are electro-hydraulically operated via the Hardi Grip joystick. Also new is a the Mega fluid system is designed for manual, remote and automatic management in conjunction with a front tank.

Lemken enters precision drill market

Lemken Azurit drill

Lemken’s first precision drill, the Azurit, has pairs of rows spaced 12.5cm apart in a staggered formation.

This is said to give individual plants 70% more surface area for growth, plus better access to water and nutrients.

Each row uses two residue wheels to clear trash and stones from the seed row path.

A coulter then places a band of fertiliser precisely between the twin rows and a trailing trapeze packer roller closes the groove.

The trapeze rings, meanwhile, pre-consolidate the furrows.

Seeds are conveyed from a central seed hopper to the singling units, each comprising two synchronised perforated discs, which distribute seeds alternately on to the two double disc coulters.

Guided by a depth control wheel installed centrally between them, they then place the seeds in the pre-consolidated furrows. The twin seed rows are then closed by a V-shaped pressure roller.

Mobile pelleting marks new territory for Krone

Krone mobile pelleting machine

It may look like a cross between a big baler and a potato harvester, but the Krone Premos 5000 is actually claimed to be the world’s first mobile pelleting machine for grass and straw. 

Material is drawn into the machine via a 2.35m pick-up, with a rotor then feeding it to a 600mm-wide conveyor belt.

This transfers the crop onwards towards a pair of 800mm wide/800mm diameter rollers which act as ring dies with rows of teeth alternating with rows of holes.

The rollers work together to press the material into the holes and the 16mm diameter extrusion moulds. The finished pellets are then fed by augers inside the rollers on to a conveyor belt which takes them to an integral hopper.

Krone says this eliminates any need for energy-intensive pre-treatment such as chopping and milling, and claims the energy demand of the machine is half that required by stationary pelleting systems.

Pellet bulk density is up to 600-700kg/cu m, three to four times that of straw bales.

Big JCB Loadalls get engine and hydraulic updates

JCB Loadall 541-70 Agri-Super telehandler

New versions of JCB’s top-end telehandlers – its 531-70, 536-60, 536-70, 541-70, 535-95, 550-80 and 560-80 models – will be revealed at the show to coincide with the need to meet Stage 4/Tier 4 Final emissions legislation.

To do this, JCB has used its existing EcoMAX T4i engine, which produces outputs of 109hp, 125hp or 145hp depending on model, with a compact SCR system for nitrous oxide reduction.

The Tier 4 Final machines also gain the new option of high flow auxiliary hydraulics to improve the performance and output of hydraulically demanding attachments such as straw spreaders.

Maximum flow is increased to 105 litres/min at 190bar pressure.

Meanwhile, a seat-mounted servo joystick which moves up and down with the seat is now standard on Agri Super and optional on Agri Plus models.

John Deere 8000 forager range gets new models

John Deere 8800 forager

While its 9RX four-track articulated tractor is expected to be a big crowd puller, John Deere is also set to show some sizeable new units at the top of its forager range, adding one entry-level and two top-end new models to the 8000 series launched last year.

The smallest model, the 490hp 8300, is powered by a Stage IV Deere 13.5-litre engine, but the largest two, the 766hp 8700 and 843hp 8800, use 19.0-litre Cummins motors which, as they produce over 750hp, only to only meet Stage II emissions rules.

The engines are arranged longitudinally, improving airflow through the machines, reducing cooling requirements and making more power available for chopping, claims Deere.

Siting the engines lower in the chassis is also said to improve the foragers’ centre of gravity and enhance visibility, improving handling characteristics when working on steep slopes.

Section shut-off added to Sulky fertiliser spreaders

Sulky fertiliser spreader

Large-scale farms and contracting enterprises who favour high-output trailed disc-based fertiliser spreaders can now benefit from section shut-off if Sulky is their preferred manufacturer.

This follows the French firm’s decision to make the Econov system available on its 7,200-litre XT100 and 9,500-litre XT130 machines.

Spread width is divided into six sections, controlled using a Matrix 840 GS guidance bar for the position in the field, linked to Sulky’s Vision control box.

In this way, says Sulky, the driver has a continuous double display, and doesn’t have to switch between guidance and machine control.

Depending on the machine’s GPS position, two electric actuators alter the dropping point of the fertiliser onto the discs to adjust the sections to the actual shape of the plot.

Two further actuators adjust the opening of the flow rate, the inclined position of which enables the application rate to respond depending on the number of closed sections.