Europe has a long-standing ag machinery show in Germany – AGRITECHNICA that organizers say is being complemented by AG CONNECT EXPO. Dr. Jochen Köckler with the German Agriculture Society (DLG) tells Brownfield DLG’s relationship with Associated Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) for AG CONNECT Expo is a “clear strategy” for showcasing exhibitors’ new innovations each year. AGRITECHNICA will be held this November in Germany and will run every odd year thereafter. AG CONNECT Expo will run every even year. The next AG CONNECT Expo will be in 2012, location to be announced.
Bill Preller had fun talking to people at the AgConnect Expo in Atlanta. And although last fall’s yields weren’t quite a good as had been hoped, commodity prices have made up for that. “Their fortune is our fortune, good or bad,” said Preller, who is with Case IH and easily connected with farmers and others at the huge show. “Clearly farmers are in a very good mood,” Preller told Brownfield. “They’re recognizing that this a time to invest in their operations.”
Iowa State University Professor Matt Darr says costs of RTK guidance technology has come down, making the very precise systems within reach of more producers than when the technology was new. His answer to whether RTK is right for specific operations depends on what type of operation it is. Darr points out that for an operation with a lot of point rows, beds and ridge tillage, “absolutely, RTK has huge benefits for those folks,” says Darr. The cost of inputs, says Darr, continues to go up, while the cost of precision farming technology continues to fall. Guidance systems tend to save on inputs, so the technology makes more sense all the time.
The Fendt 828, the latest in the 800 series of the German-made tractors, was introduced at the AgConnect Expo in Atlanta. Marketing Product Specialist Alexis Max says Fendt is the technology leader and “on the cutting edge of what’s new in tractor technology.” Dealers are able to order the 828 this month and they’ll begin arriving this summer.
Pioneer is still in the pre-commercialization stage of Plenish™ high-oleic soybean oil and is testing the product with food companies and customers. Attendees at AG CONNECT got to try food samples prepared with Plenish™: biscuits-and-gravy, fried green tomatoes, sliders with carmelized onions, pancakes and more.
Krone North America featured its new BiG X 1100 Forage Harvester at AgConnect 2011. It features an innovative “VariStream” crop flow to “significantly reduce the risk of blockages while maintaining high output levels.”
Blake Fuller, Krone North America’s territory product manager, tells Brownfield that the single engine power of the BiG X provides the most chopping power than any other machine on the market and reduces fuel consumption.
Italy’s Rinieri ag machinery for vineyards and orchards presented information about their new FRM disk harrow meant to tackle the toughest ground. The FRM is one of a number of new products unveiled at AgConnect Expo 2011. Export Manager Nicola Rieneri told me about the features of the FRM and some of their other products.
Registered nurse and certified emergency room nurse Maxine Hines taught AgConnect attendees about some key things to do in response to on-farm injuries and how to prevent other injuries. She specifically talked about how to identify the warning signs of heat stroke and demonstrated how to respond to serious hydraulic machinery injuries.
Organizers says AgConnect Expo is fast becoming a global agriculture gathering place for North America. AGConnect 2011 chairman Martin Richenhagen talked this morning about this year’s show which is going on now at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. He says, “You feel the energy and see the cutting-edge technology” that makes AgConnect “a unique gathering place.”
Richenhagen, who is board chairman, president and CEO of AGCO – makers of Massey Ferguson and other name brands of farm equipment – told reporters this morning that their plan for success is working and AgConnect is receiving widespread industry support. He says there are more than 35 sponsoring and supporting industry organizations involved in AgConnect. One of them, the American Farm Bureau Federation – the nation’s largest farm organization – is holding its annual meeting along with AgConnect.
Richenhagen says there are 382 exhibitors covering almost 175,000 net square feet of space including the AFBF Tradeshow Pavilion. He says there are an estimated 12-thousand registrants for AgConnect and AFBF convention, compared to the almost 8-thousand registrants for AgConnect 2010 that was held in Orlando.
He says AgConnect Expo continues to demonstrate its global perspective with registrants from more than 60 countries outside the US, all 50 American states and nine out of 10 Canadian provinces.
Richenhagen says exhibitors are “very pleased with the quality” of the attendance, as they meet with buyers and conduct business, “We have seen that AgConnect Expo provides agribusiness and manufacturers with qualified customers and this is why the mood is so positive and why we have quality interactions on the show floor.”
When asked if he is still hearing voices in agriculture asking if another big farm show is needed – Richenhagen responded with “Yes” he’s hearing that and “Yes” AgConnect IS needed. Sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers – Richenhagen said AgConnect is like no other and he characterized the other farm shows in the U.S. as ‘small to medium-sized,’ “But we do not have a big international show. Second, most of the shows are organized from people who want to make money with it. It’s a business. They are in the show business.” Richenhagen says Ag Connect Expo is reinvesting its show profits back into the show. There is yet one more day of the expo – including educational sessions – on Monday, January 10th.
AgConnect is partnered with AgriTechnica – Europe’s premier and long running farm equipment show and is held in even-numbered years, alternating with AgConnect. The next AgriTechnica show will be in 2012. AgConnect will be in Orlando again in 2013. Richenhagen says they are discussing coming up with a permanent location for AgConnect.