The German Agricultural Society received a number of entries for this year’s Agritechnica that reflected the trend towards automating processes coupled with intelligent data management systems to optimise control.
It is appropriate, therefore, that a Gold Innovation Award went to the first fully automatic tangential threshing system. This uses sensors to self-adjust to suit crop conditions.
CEMOS Auto Threshing
Combine operators sometimes struggle to set up the machine optimally for harvesting conditions. The CEMOS Auto Threshing system for Claas combines is the first system that automatically programmes the vehicle’s functions. It sets drum speed, concave gap and other parameters, allowing the combine to operate at maximum efficiency.
The Kemper Stalk Buster
The second gold medal winner was the Stalk Buster, a maize header with an integrated stubble mulcher, a world-first combination. This helps to control the corn-stalk borer, a significant pest in maize crops. The Stalk Buster is the only machine that mulches all the stubble before the harvester or tractor and trailer passes over it.
Claas Axion 900 Terra Trac
The semi-tracked 330kW Claas Axion 900, which was awarded a silver medal, is the first tractor with independently suspended front and rear axles. It also has a substantially larger ground contact area, providing excellent stability. As optimal adaptation to ground contour is key to low compaction, the machine’s weight is distributed hydraulically to all the track rollers
Automated blossom thinning
To achieve the required fruit size and quality, it is crucial for farmers to regulate the amount of fruit on plants or trees by thinning the blossoms. The greatest challenge for mechanical blossom thinning is to establish the degree of thinning and the optimal spindle speed adjustment.
The Darwin SmaArt Camera system replaces the human eye’s subjective estimation of blooming strength with objective detection. A camera in front of the thinning spindle measures the blossom density of each tree and transmits the data to the on-board computer. Using a thinning algorithm, the computer calculates the optimal spindle speed and controls the thinning unit.
The Krone LiftCab enables the operator to raise the entire cab by up to 700mm. This reduces operator strain and provides a convenient view of the crop and trailer. The space underneath the cab facilitates easy access to service and maintenance points.
EZ ballast wheels
To produce sufficient traction for heavy draught work, a tractor must be ballasted properly. Ballasting the front axle involves attaching weights to the front linkage, and is an easy and safe procedure on today’s tractors.
The rear axle, by contrast, must be ballasted with wheel weights of up to 1 000kg, and these are difficult to attach and remove, and extremely cumbersome to handle.
With EZ ballast wheels the weights are fitted to the wheels using a pallet fork. They are then secured with toggle levers instead of bolts. This means that a single operator can attach and remove them, ensuring optimal ballasting in every case for improved fuel efficiency and soil protection.
Another silver medal winner, the Lechler ESV (electric shut-off valve), comprises a valve, an electric line, and a connector for straightforward, fail-safe installation on all regular single and multi-nozzle holders. The nozzle opens and closes rapidly, and is CANbus controlled.
Joe Spencer is the mechanisation editor of Farmer’s Weekly.