Comment – A busy week, new technology and economic headwinds

Phew, that was the week, that was (to steal a phrase).

Hands up, who made the trek to Hannover for the hopefully back to biennial festival of all things farm machinery at Agritechnica?

It’s no surprise that the big question for those attending and back at home is “what is new?” Well, everything and nothing, depending on where you stand. On the one hand long standing norms around diesel fuel and tractor drivers are being challenged by many manufacturers with the advent of credible no carbon fuel alternatives, and the slow but sure mainstreaming of autonomous systems.

On the other hand, the plethora of companies from say Turkey (amongst others) or Eastern Europe, which you have never heard of, but have a very credible Massey 399 (or equivalent), round baler, or plough never ceases to amaze.

The NEXAT (pictured) was incredible, as I’m sure the price tag will be, but as far as a glimpse of the future goes, it’s certainly a good one. With 18 machines at work across the EU, Ukraine,  North and South America the company are working hard to demonstrate a step change in field work.

Simultaneous to New Holland getting the Agritechnica Gold Medal for the new CR11 rotary combine, NEXAT has two (yes two) Case IH rotary combine separation cylinders, which take a split feed from the header intake. The headers are sourced from Geringhoff and will run to c 14m or so. That unit has some serious throughput. Now back to the thorny issue of price, my sources suggest over $1 million for the chassis, cab and wheels or tracks, and the full sprayer, cultivator, drill and combine package nudging $3 million. That’s a lot of money, but also a lot of kit.

Aside from the shiny kit excitement, there was also significant discussion about the global downturn in the agricultural machinery business, and whilst the industry is very well placed to withstand the coming storms of interest rates and inflation, there is still caution.

We caught up with more than one international manufacturer board member keenly focussed on innovation and ‘ being the best’ to grow market share (if not actual revenues) through this period.

Meanwhile upon my return to the sunlit uplands, the rain gauge was overflowing, and by my reckoning we have had just under 90mm of rain in the last week or so.

It may be a while before the NEXAT makes an appearance here.

Have a good week and I hope the weather picks up!