What happened at Agritechnica 2023?

Agritechnica is the world's leading trade fair for agricultural machinery. This year it took place in Hanover, Germany in November, at a pivotal moment for global agriculture. Here are just some of the highlights that we saw when we attended.

With over 2,600 exhibitors from 53 countries, the Agritechnica event mirrored the scale and diversity of its pre-pandemic presence but addressed a world that is radically realigning priorities due to the urgent risks posed by climate change, shifting financial markets and the war in Ukraine.

The guiding theme of the 2023 show was "Green Productivity," highlighting a new era of sustainability and efficiency promised by mechanisation.

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In 2023, as the world experienced some of its hottest months on record, farmers and industry stakeholders were confronted with the realities of changing weather patterns feeding into global, geopolitical uncertainty around food and energy supply. These challenges emphasise the need for fresh, innovative strategies in climate adaptation, water management, crop breeding, and indoor farming.  And it's essential for the next wave of farmers and agritech entrepreneurs to lead the charge in these areas.

All these were themes that were vividly explored through the exhibits, discussions and award winners at Agritechnica 2023.

Highlights from the show

 

Innovations and Awards

Agritechnica 2023 was a hub for showing and rewarding significant innovation in Agritech with 251 products competing for the Agritechnica Innovation Award and recognition of visionary concepts through the DLG-Agrifuture award.

 

Smart Farming Spotlight

The DLG Spotlight on “Smart Farming” showcased advancements in automation and digital solutions, underlining the industry's move towards more efficient and sustainable farming practices.

 

Drive Experience Feature

A new addition, the “Drive Experience” allowed visitors to test drive tractors with alternative power systems, highlighting advancements in eco-friendly farming technology.

 

Inhouse Farming Debut

Another new feature focused on innovative farming methods and attracted significant media attention, indicating a growing interest in sustainable and self-contained food systems.

 

Agrifood Start-ups Venue

This platform provided an opportunity for agricultural and food sector start-ups to connect with investors, fostering innovation and technical progress.

 

Focus on Young Professionals

The event hosted a Young Farmers’ Day and the “Campus & Career” area, emphasizing career development and entrepreneurship in farming.

 

Systems & Components Segment

This segment complemented the main event by focusing on the supplier industry, showcasing the latest in components for agricultural machinery.

Powerful, precision farming machinery wins attention and awards

Much of the show was still a celebration of mega-vehicles, with a breathtaking glimpse at the massive 1,100hp Nexat gantry system - which promised to increase the speed and precision of future harvests - for a hefty $3m price tag: 

The gantry-style 1,100hp tractor unit was seen paired with a 15.5m-wide, 31-row Geringhoff Patriot maize header – a combination that can apparently cut up to 200t/hour.

nexat_gantry_system

Meanwhile, we saw ‘The New Combine’ the high-output, next-generation flagship harvesting machine from New Holland that won a Gold Medal for innovation. This piece of engineering is balancing the need for scale, agility and control to increase yield.

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Sustainability gains traction with tractors

But there were also silver medal wins for New Hollands’ other cutting-edge, sustainable and autonomous vehicles that were heralding a sea-change in high-productivity and low/zero emission farming.

T7 Methane Power LNG Tractor (Silver Medal Winner)

  • Powerful and Sustainable: 270hp engine, designed for high horsepower needs with lower emissions and operating costs.
  • Enhanced Autonomy: More than double the autonomy capability using liquified methane and a stainless-steel cryogenic tank.

The T6 Methane Power is the culmination of New Holland’s pioneering work on the use of alternative fuels through our Clean Energy Leader strategy. It is a significant step forward on the path to decarbonizing agriculture, and it is happening now, as the development of this sustainable tractor has reached its production phase.”   Carlo Lambro, New Holland Brand President

New-Holland-T7-Methane-Power-LNG_C_New-Holland

T4 Electric Power Tractor (Silver Medal Winner)

  • Emission-Free and Silent: Marks a significant step towards zero-emission farming.
  • High Performance: Offers better performance than diesel, with high torque and fast response from low speeds.
  • Autonomous Features: Includes advanced operator assistance modes like Follow Me Mode, Invisible Bucket, and 360° Awareness.
  • Versatile Applications: Ideal for mixed farms, hay & forage, livestock, dairy, municipalities, airports, orchards, and specialty applications.
  • Operator Comfort and Safety: Reduced noise improves comfort for livestock and allows for safe nighttime operations
  • Addressing Farming Challenges: Designed to tackle issues like increased total cost ownership, labour shortages, and skill gaps in farming.

“The New Holland T4 Electric Power tractor is the winner of the second Silver Medal for Innovation. The emission free and silent energy tractor introduces a new tractor class in the market, the Utility Electric and establishes a remarkable step towards zero emission farming.”  Farmers Forum 

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DLG-Agrifuture concept winners on display

The "DLG-Agrifuture Concept Winner" is a prestigious award in the field of agricultural technology. It focuses on pioneering achievements and future-oriented visions in agricultural technology.  Entries highlighted technical possibilities that are expected to be realised in the next 5 to 10 years. The award emphasises innovations that have realistic chances of implementation, bridging the gap between futuristic concepts and practical applicability.

Here’s a quick run down on this year’s winners:

Dual.Volt.24M by crop.zone GmbH (in cooperation with John Deere Walldorf GmbH & Co. KG)

  • Concept: Electric-hybrid herbicide technology for crop treatment without non-selective herbicides.
  • Features: 24-meter working width, adaptive applicators for desiccation, intercrop and weed control, and camera-controlled inter-row treatment adaptable to various row spacings and plant sizes.

2023-10-16-16_05_12-10.16.PM_.Auszeichnung.pdf-Adobe-Acrobat-Pro-64-bit-2

FENDT + Lauwen E-Vario Weeder by Fendt AGCO GmbH

  • Concept: A weeder optimized for use with electrically powered tractors.
  • Features: Electrically driven weeding modules for optimized power consumption, modular design for adaptability, AI-based plant and weed detection, and dual cameras for process monitoring.

AgTech CoPilot by Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture (in cooperation with Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel and FuE Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH)

  • Concept: Smart infrastructure integrating tractors, drones, and robots into a collaborative network for precision farming.
  • Features: Seamless interaction between different agricultural technologies, enhancing efficiency and sustainability.

Multi-crop Cultivation with NEXAT Plant Production Systems

  • Concept: Technical and economical implementation of multi-cropping, where several plant species are grown simultaneously in the same field.
  • Features: Facilitates different plants with varying growth and harvest times, offering advantages in crop production.

SO Far, Research (IFR) by AMAZONEN-WERKE H. DREYER SE & Co. KG (in cooperation with AgDoIT GmbH i.G. and EXAgT GmbH)

  • Concept: Digital system for automating and enhancing on-farm research based on the ISOBUS standard.
  • Features: User-friendly planning and establishment of experiments and measurement trials, leading to more practical agricultural insights.

Spray that again!

When ESCATEC visited we were also impressed by the range of spraying technology that was on display. with advanced performance driven by leaps in sensor tech, software integration, and mechatronic capabilities:

Horsch Leeb Intelligent Application Technology: Offers variable nozzle spacings of 25 and 50 cm for optimum target area distance.

Amazone UX 5201 SmartSprayer: Utilizes smart spraying technology for precise and efficient application of crop protection products.

Dammann Green-Smart-Spraying: Employs an intelligent camera system for plant detection, allowing for precise and targeted application of herbicides.

Dammann green smart spraying

John Deere See & Spray Ultimate: Utilises advanced camera and sensor technologies to enable targeted herbicide application, reducing chemical usage and costs.

Greeneye Technology: Offers AI-enabled precision-spraying technology that significantly reduces chemical usage in agriculture.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the event, it's clear that Agritechnica 2023 was not just a showcase of the latest agricultural machinery and technologies; it was a response to the complex market dynamics and operational challenges that face today's farmers. 

As Dr. Lothar Hövelmann, Chief Executive Officer of the DLG (German Agricultural Society), Agritechnica’s organizer put it:

“The agricultural sector is facing momentous challenges, Russia’s war is changing basic assumptions, the European Green Deal is reducing the choice of available farm inputs, the interest rate policy is demanding forward-looking investment planning and climate change requires resilient production processes. This can only be off-set through ingenuity and innovation" 

Source, Agribusiness Global

In this context, Agritech entrepreneurs and OEMs will need to access to the highest level of support from component manufacturers and mechatronic partners, as they look to speed up the pace of their development. The technology that will feed the world will only become affordable, accessible and sustainable if new design and build partnerships are forged across the industry.New Call-to-action

Featured image source: Agritechnica's Facebook page