Farmers ideas on display at top Danish event
Denmarks premier agricultural show, Agromek, held this week in Herning attracted nearly 80,000 visitors. Andy Collings took a tour of the shows 560 exhibitors and discovered some interesting developments
OCCUPYING each and every square metre of Hernings 14-hall Exhibition Centre, Agromek proved to be truly international with the wares from no less than 495 foreign manufacturers based in 32 countries on display.
That is not to suggest Danish farmers are short of ideas of their own. Indeed, Agromek offered several interesting farmer innovations.
A round baler attachment which enables bales to be wrapped in film rather than twine or net, is the idea of Danish farmer Kurt Madsen. Called the Binder-Wrap, the attachment puts layers of stretch film on the circumference of bales to protect them from weather spoilage when stored outside.
Suitable for fitting to most makes of round baler – but not those with pre-chopping units – the Binder Wrap is attached to the front of the baler.
Once a bale has been completed, film is fed from a 500mm (20in) roll of stretch film with its end being pulled into the chamber by the last intake of crop. First, one half of the bale receives three wraps and then, by moving the unit to the other side of the bale, the other half gets the same treatment.
To ensure the correct degree of stretch, the roll of film has two braking wheels rubbing against it. When the wrapping cycle is over the two wheels are locked causing the film to tear off near the entry to the chamber.
Cost of film for each bale is about DKr7 (80p) and, in terms of time, the maker claims the film is quicker to apply than net.
Control of the wrapping operation is via a computerised in-cab unit, with the whole attachment costing DKr45,000 (£5110).
• More from Agromek next week.
• Number of farms: 65,000 (25,000 full-time units).
• Farming produce: DKr 51bn.
• Machinery exports: DKr 4.4bn.
• Main export markets for machinery: Germany, France, Sweden, UK.
NB Exchange rate is £1:DKr 8.8.
Agromek takes place at Herning, home to the largest exhibition centre in Scandinavia. About 80,000 visitors pass through the Agromek turnstiles. Right: Baler-mounted film wrapping the Scandinavian way. The system is seen here with farmer-inventor, Kurt Madsen.
Direct cow feed system good for tight spaces
DAIRY farmers short of feeding space for their cows could be interested in the new system developed by Danish company, Strangko A/S.
Prompted by the increasing popularity of mixer wagons and their like, the company has devised a system which employs a series of chains and slats to deliver home-formulated feed to the cows – the mix being poured directly from the mixer wagon.
The system enables feed passages to be much narrower than in conventional layouts, which require a tractor to be driven down.
And, with fresh food available six or more times a day, cows do not need individual standings – 50 spaces for 150 cows is quite sufficient, claims the manufacturer.
Cost of a system for, say, 150 cows would be about DKr88,000 (£10,000), although Strangko claims that the smaller building required could result in savings of that amount when a new complex is costed. *
AGCO empire grows with Fendt takeover
NORTH American machinery giant AGCO has acquired all the shares of German tractor manufacturer, Xaver Fendt GmbH & Co – Fendt.
The deal, which was approved by the Federal Cartel Office in Germany at the end of last week, was completed on Monday.
As AGCOs empire grows, the addition of Fendt gives the company a number one share of the German market and the second largest slice of the French tractor market.
In total, AGCO has acquired $580m-worth of business – the value of Fendt sales recorded in 1995. AGCO chairman, Robert Ratliff says his companys acquisition of Fendt will: "Now make this premium product available to additional markets throughout the world… It provides an opportunity to expand the Fendt brand to North America through AGCOs strong dealer network."
For UK Fendt importer, Bonhill Engineering, such intentions could be good news. Managing director, Paul Bassett, believes increased production of the Fendt range, through a greater penetration of North America, could lead to more competitively priced models – and increased sales. *
US giant AGCO has bought all the shares of German tractor maker Fendt.