Walking down the wide lanes that neatly dissect the 40ha of showgrounds of Brazil’s Agrishow, and flanked on either side by the monstrous machinery that has become the symbol of modern agricultural innovation, it is hard to imagine that this is a country that only recently emerged from its worst recession in history.
Brazil experienced continued negative economic growth during 2015 and 2016 and managed to rebound only marginally in 2017, with 1% GDP growth.
Despite the country’s lacklustre economic performance, the throngs of visitors at what is described as the most complete agricultural show in Latin America are not there only to look; many have come to buy.
According to the organisers of Agrishow, approximately R$2,7 billion (about R9,6 billion) worth of transactions are initiated at the event annually.
This year, the show was host to about 800 brands covering all of Brazil’s agricultural industries, with equipment and machinery solutions for smallholders, mega farmers and everyone in between.
Machine of the Year
Agrishow’s Machine of the Year Awards were introduced to highlight the technological advances of agricultural machinery marketed in Brazil, according to a statement by the show organisers.
The 2018 winners were chosen based on technical evaluations carried out by four Brazilian professors, and focused on four categories: planters, sprayers, sugar cane harvesters and grain harvesters.
There was also a fifth award for the machine that performed best in the popular vote.
“The Machine of the Year Awards highlight the development of national agribusiness, the importance of applying innovation to improve efficiency and productivity in the field, and strengthen the relationship of companies operating in Brazil with the academic world,” the statement read.
Brazilian agricultural machinery manufacturer Stara won the planter category with its Absoluta pneumatic planter.
According to Stara, the Absoluta has the largest seed tank on the market, providing extended operation.
The tank also features an internal mixer, which helps ensure a constant feed.
Another special feature highlighted by the manufacturer is the Row-by-Row Shutoff System, which automatically halts the planting process when the monitor detects an area that has already been planted.
This prevents overlapping and hence seed wastage.
The Absoluta also won the public vote for most popular machine.
The winner in the category for sprayers was the Jacto Uniport 4530 self-propelled sprayer, which has a 4 500ℓ tank and 36m booms.
According to the manufacturer, the 36m booms increase productivity by 14% and reduce crop damage by 17% when compared with a sprayer with a 3 000ℓ tank and 32m booms.
The machine is powered by a Cummins QSB6.7 engine with automatic rotation control and integrated transmission, which ensures 0,4 to 0,7ℓ/ha fuel consumption.
This, it is claimed, is up to 35% lower than the consumption rate of its main competitors on the market.
The 4530 is equipped with a JP 300 model spray pump that delivers 300ℓ/min at 540rpm.
sugar cane harvesters
In the competitive sugar cane harvester category, Valtra walked away with the Machine of the Year Award for the BE 1035 Mudas, which was specifically developed for the harvesting of seed cane.
It is fitted with rubber conveyor belts, which help reduce damage to the buds on the stalks during harvesting.
The latest edition to the Massey Ferguson 9005 Series, the MF 9895 combine harvester, was the winner in the grain harvester category.
According to the manufacturer, these combines ensure minimal crop damage, produce clean samples, and feature a simple threshing system.
The 360˚ rotor inlet on all machines in the series enables gentle feeding to minimise grain damage.
The MF 9895’s long rotor handles grain even more gently, reducing grain cracks while still threshing thoroughly.
The MF 9005 Series comes in three versions: small grain, maize/soya bean, and rice.
With simple attachments it can harvest rice, grass seeds, maize, wheat, oats, flax, barley, canola, and similar crops.
Denene Erasmus attended Agrishow in Brazil as a fully paid guest of the Brazilian Association of Machinery and Equipment Industry (Abimaq).