France’s answer to Agritechnica – the biennial Sima show – takes place from 26 February to 2 March 2017 at the Parc des Expositions in Paris.
The venue is just a few stops on the metro from the Eurostar terminal and the last event in 2015 attracted almost 240,000 visitors from 142 different countries.
This time around, the exhibition will be split into eight specialist areas, featuring several start-ups with expertise in everything from robotics to genomics and even ecological economics.
1. Michelin Evobib
Michelin’s new Evobib claims to be the first two-in-one tyre suitable for both road and field operations.
When pumped up for the highway, only the central belt of the tyre comes in contact with the surface, which gives it a low rolling resistance and few vibrations.
However, as the pressure is reduced to as little as 0.6 bar in the field, the outer lugs drop down and come into play. This, the company says, makes it the first radial tyre to increase contact area in both width and length to improve traction and minimise compaction.
2. Trelleborg variable inflation system
Trelleborg has teamed up with Fendt to produce an on-board tyre inflation system that automatically adjusts the pressure according to the load on the tractor to keep its footprint constant.
The system relies on battery-powered controls and a compressor and consists of a set of sensors measuring displacement, pressure and temperature.
It is mounted directly on the tyre’s rim, which should make it easy to retrofit, too.
3. Case IH Autonomous Magnum
Case IH caused quite a stir early this year when it revealed its autonomous tractor concept, and the cab-free machine will be making its European debut at the show.
The working concept is the most advanced to date and is capable of analysing data sheets and maps, as well as steering and braking for itself.
Operators are notified of any problems and they can be rectified remotely, or checked using its 360deg camera coverage.
New Holland will be displaying its own remote-operating tractor – the NHDrive – which looks like any run-of-the-mill cabbed machine, but can drive autonomously with the flick of a switch.
On-board sensors, radars and cameras keep tabs on the conditions and it has a planner to calculate the most efficient route to cultivate a field.
Unlike the more abstract Magnum, New Holland’s version is more likely to go into production thanks to the cab that helps it overcome legislative restrictions.
5. Rousseau electric hedgecutter rotor
French manufacturer Rousseau’s latest E-Kastor hedgecutter uses an electric motor to power the rotor while maintaining hydraulic control of the arm.
The space previously occupied by the oil pump and reservoir now houses an energy-efficient pto electric generator and the power to the head can be constantly varied from 0-4,000rpm.
The machine is set to go on sale in 2017 and, although owned by the Alamo group, which also has Bomford, McConnel and Spearhead under its umbrella, there are currently no official importers to the UK.
6. Massey Ferguson auto-adjusting top link
The Massey Ferguson Dynamic Top-Link Control (DTLC) system automatically adjusts the length of the upper arm to keep the attachment in a constant position relative to the ground.
It is designed primarily for fertiliser spreaders, with ground undulations and weight on the tractor’s back axle monitored before telling the electro-hydraulic top link to extend or retract.
It can also be used with cultivators and, as an extension of draft control, transfers weight onto the tractor as the wheels start to slip.
7. John Deere high-power electric tractor
John Deere appears to be making good progress with its plan to make more of electrical power.
Its new all-electric, high-powered tractor supplies up to 300kW (402hp) through a set of 130kWh, 670v Li-ion batteries.
The power-packs are recharged on the farm and energy is also regenerated when braking or travelling downhill.
There is still a mechanical transmission tucked in the bowels of the machine to cope with the high power output, which is driven by one of the two 150kW motors.
The other powers the pto and hydraulic pump, although the two can be joined together if extra power is required.
The concept is aimed at farms that have diversified into electricity generation, but it’s currently a prototype and there is little intention of building a production tractor.
8. Kverneland high-speed turntable
Kverneland says cheaper, easy-to-use turntable wrappers remain the most popular choice for farmers despite the greater throughput of satellite set-ups.
Its new High Speed Pack (HSP) uses a double wrap dispenser to reduce the number of turns needed, along with its Optispeed device to improve stability.
An accelerometer measures the machine’s movement to automatically regulate rotation speed, which the company claims is 15-25% quicker than before.