EVEN though the world’s biggest farm machinery show has been cancelled, the traditional medals for new innovations, normally awarded ahead of Agritechnica, have been presented.

Originally scheduled for November, 2021, in Hanover, Germany, the biennial show was then postponed to February 27-March 5, 2022. As more cases of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant emerged, the show’s organiser, DLG, were forced to cancel the event yet again.

Agritechnica normally attracts 2800 exhibitors and more than 486,000 visitors to the Exhibition Centre. The next show is scheduled for November 12 to 18, 2023

Major exhibitors, John Deere and JCB had already confirmed they were not exhibiting at Agritechnica in 2022, citing bad timing as the main reason. John Deere argued that farmers would be in the fields working at the show’s scheduled dates and that would have affected visitor attendance figures.

Prior to each Agritechnica, the show's organisers, DLG, awards one Gold Medal and several Silver Medals to recognise new innovations from the manufacturers that will be exhibited at the event.

Gold Medal

German company NeXaT won the Gold Medal award for its unique NeXaT – a carrier vehicle that can carry all implements needed for tillage work.

This saves time and money when comparing to travelling to fields each time with a tractor and implement, but is essentially designed for larger arable farmers.

With the 12m version, the system is designed such that 95% of the total field area is never driven on in the envisaged bed mode, resulting in high yield potentials with good soil and environmental protection.

The NeXaT is designed as an autonomous working machine and is equipped with a peripheral monitoring system. However, it has a cab that can be rotated by 270° available for process monitoring. This establishes the basis for fully automated machine operation and enables manual vehicle guidance during transport.

The integrated implements are mounted between the four large, electrically driven track running gear units, which can be rotated by 90° for travelling by road. At present, power is supplied by two independent diesel engines, each offering an output of 400 kW/545 hp, with generators. The vehicle is designed for alternative drive technologies such as fuel cells.

With the integrated NexCo combine harvester module, the NeXaT achieves grain throughputs of 130 to 200 tonnes per hour for the first time. The innovative dual axial flow concept uses a 5.8m long axial rotor mounted transverse to the direction of travel.

The flow of harvested material is introduced centrally into the rotor and at a tangent to achieve energy efficiency. The rotor divides it into two material flows. This enables roughly twice the threshing performance of conventional machines and establishes the prerequisite for uniform straw and chaff distribution with two choppers, even with a cutting width of 14 metres.

Grain delivery is ensured by a 32m³ grain bunker, as a result of which the combine harvester unit does not require a transfer vehicle on normal-length fields. Transfer to the transport vehicle can take place on the headland with an unloading capacity of 600 litres per second.

Silver Medals

In total there were 16 Silver Medal awards, including Krone’s new smart technology, ExactUnload, that helps unload silage wagons more accurately and evenly. Used in the new Krone GX roller belt wagon it means the transported material can be distributed evenly over a previously defined distance.

Krone’s new smart technology, ExactUnload, helps unload silage wagons more accurately

Krone’s new smart technology, ExactUnload, helps unload silage wagons more accurately

In this process, the speed at which the tractor and trailer are moving within the speed window (up to 3.5 kph) is irrelevant. This ensures that even inexperienced drivers can always achieve good distribution and the compaction vehicles have less material to redistribute, thus contributing to more uniform compaction and therefore to a high silage quality.

In addition, fuel and time savings are achieved, the material is loosened less due to the wheel slip of distribution vehicle and additional capacity is obtained for quality-relevant compaction.

Puncture repair

Continental won silver for its Agro ContiSeal, a clever system that seals punctures on tyres when they hit a nail or other sharp object, which allows them to keep working even during peak times, like harvest.

Due to the size and the weight of the machines and tyres and as a result of the ensuing time and performance losses during the short sowing and harvesting seasons, changing a tyre on the field can lead to significant delays in production. But this innovation provides a viscous polymer on the inner side of agricultural tyres that seals the leak in the event that the tread is penetrated by foreign bodies.

Despite the damage, the vehicle can continue to be driven and the tyre can be repaired or exchanged later on.

Weed detection

Planungsburo Heinrich won silver for its Photoheyler weeding machine that detects weeds with cameras. By using its rotor concept technology, this enables area performances of over 1ha per hour to be weeded.

Planungsburo Heinrich won silver for its Photoheyler weeding machine

Planungsburo Heinrich won silver for its Photoheyler weeding machine

Its row guidance function reliably detects crop rows with the aid of the cameras and its sensor wheels can be steered using hydraulic cylinders, synchronised with those of the tractor, meaning that they mirror their movements.

The hoeing machine is guided precisely along the rows and the previous difficulties involved in controlling the machine and the tractor at the same time are resolved with the Photoheyler set up.

Since the hoeing machine is firmly mounted on the tractor, the driver retains control at all times and laborious manual adjustment of the hoeing implement using a joystick is not required.

By oversteering the tractor wheels on a lateral slope, the Photoheyler keeps the vehicle combination on course even on a gradient. The crops are not buried since the rotor is positioned obliquely and the vehicle speed is compensated for.

Robot harvester

Another robotic tool, the RoboVeg Robotti for harvesting broccoli, won silver for a joint venture between Agro Intelligence, in Denmark, and RoboVeg.

The RoboVeg Robotti for harvesting broccoli, won silver

The RoboVeg Robotti for harvesting broccoli, won silver

This robot operates with two engines that deliver a total output of 104kW, with 40kW of this output able to be tapped off at the power take-off shaft. The RoboVeg is equipped with high-resolution 2D cameras and 3D sensors, and the lifting mechanism has a lifting power of 750kg. Two robot arms can be swivelled around six axes to undertake autonomous broccoli harvesting.

A robot arm requires approximately three seconds from selecting the broccoli on the field to putting it down. Its harvesting performance is around 2400 units per hour, whereas performance of around 300-360 units per hour is achieved in manual harvesting.

This is the first autonomous system for harvesting broccoli and therefore contributes to significantly improving productivity.

Compaction warning

A new soil compaction software system, Terranimo, from Claas, was also awarded silver. This shows drivers how high the risk of compaction is under the current operating conditions on the terminal in the cab.

In order to calculate this, Claas links information supplied by the Cemos driver assistance system on aspects such as the soil type/condition, axle loads or tyre pressures with Terranimo, a tool used to simulate soil loading and load bearing capacity that is recognised throughout Europe.

Dynamic axle load shifts are also taken into consideration in this process. Red-coloured pressure bulbs, for instance, indicate a high risk of compaction. In this case, the driver can abort the planned operation or implement suitable countermeasures and immediately check the effects of these again.

Air cleaning

Fendt won silver for its automatic dust extraction system that recognises the air filter's soiling level during operation, or while driving and cleans it fully automatically without it having to be removed.

Fendt won silver for its automatic dust extraction system

Fendt won silver for its automatic dust extraction system

With two short but powerful pressure pulses on the inner side of the air filter, through-flow to the outside means the dust that has deposited on the filter surface is loosened and sucked out of the housing by means of a vacuum.

The vacuum is produced upstream of the hydro-statically driven cooling air fan, whose rotational speed is temporarily increased. The pressure pulse comes from a separate compressed air reservoir that is filled with air at a pressure of 12 bar by the compressor. Automatic cleaning intervals are triggered as soon as the vacuum in the intake system falls below a limit value due to the increased soiling.

Inter-crop sowing

Muthing won silver for its CoverSeeder which combines familiar components to form a new inter-crop sowing system that incorporates all steps in a single operation.

Muthing won silver for its CoverSeeder

Muthing won silver for its CoverSeeder

Specifically, a front-mounted harrow ensures fine soil and improves straw distribution. A trailing flail mulcher shreds the straw and the stubble and removes harvesting residues close to the ground from the seed bed thanks to the high suction power of the flail rotor.

The total resulting mixture is conveyed over the subsequent seed rail, which places the grains on the exposed bed. The seeds that are placed on the cleared surface of the soil are then covered by the processed organic material. Once the seeds have been sown and covered, a following prism roller ensures the soil contact required to achieve good germination. The roller also guides the height of the CoverSeeder.

Forgoing intensive tillage in combination with a full covering layer of biomass protects the soil from evaporation and erosion, and provides the water required for germination even in extremely dry conditions.

Data service

German company Rauch won silver for its TerraService, a joint development with AgriCircle AG, that offers farmers a digital service with which they can calculate the navigability of arable land in advance.

The user has to input the machine data required to do this or must call up data that has already been stored. The local soil moisture is estimated by means of radar measurements performed by the Sentinel-1 satellites in combination with weather data.

Supplemented with information regarding the soil structure, this machine and soil moisture data is used to comfortably calculate the navigability of the agricultural land in advance on a portable terminal and is displayed for the specific partial areas in a 10 metre grid.

The service is flexible and can be used for various agricultural work processes such as fertilising, spreading liquid manure and crop protection.

Sprayer flexibility

The DirectInject system from Amazone won silver. This resolves the conflict resulting from increased flexibility and the economically advantageous increase in the size of crop sprayers in crop protection. Flexibly dosing both liquid and granulated agents enables an appropriate reaction to the respective situations on the field with the existing system.


The DirectInject system from Amazone won silver

The DirectInject system from Amazone won silver


An additional benefit is that additional passages are no longer required, thus saving farm inputs such as diesel and labour time. Unused crop protection agents can be returned to the original container, meaning that the quantity of crop protection agent required does not have to be known prior to application and the fate of pre-mixed residual quantities is no longer a concern.

Complete integration into the spray agent circuit and operation of the sprayer via the Isobus system equate to both simple operation and automatic cleaning via the crop sprayer's Comfort-Pack plus.

Better irrigation

The DL 66 Pro irrigation machine from Fasterholt, in Denmark, also took a silver medal. This is a combination of a mobile irrigation machine with machine advance and a mounted nozzle carriage consisting of an innovative telescopic and hydraulically foldable 66m aluminium boom.

The general advantages of nozzle carriages compared to large sprinklers are that they offer resource-efficient irrigation at a low pressure (approximately 1-2 bar depending on the nozzle that is used) and close to the ground, and can enable precise demarcation of the working area.

It is a self-propelled vehicle that can use pipe lengths of up to 1km because the machine picks up the flexible pipe from the ground and winds it up instead of dragging its entire length over the ground.

Straw spreading

CNH’s OptiSpread Automation System was another winner. New Holland developed this system which uses 2D radar sensors mounted on both sides of the combine harvester measure the speed and the throw of the chopped material.


CNH’s OptiSpread Automation System was another silver medal winner

CNH’s OptiSpread Automation System was another silver medal winner


The sensors register the throw and therefore the distribution pattern, and if the distribution pattern no longer corresponds to the nominal distribution pattern over the entire working width, the rotational speed of the hydraulically driven feed rotors on both sides is accordingly increased or reduced separately until the distribution pattern once again corresponds to the nominal pattern.

The technology registers irregular chopped material distribution even with a tailwind or headwind, and additionally enables a distribution map to be produced.

Header control

The Cemos Auto Header, from Claas, won silver for developing the first adjustment control technology for auger cutter bars.


The Cemos Auto Header from Claas won silver

The Cemos Auto Header from Claas won silver


A laser scanner continuously registers the height of the crop and once the operator has specified the nominal immersion depth of the reel into the crop and the nominal horizontal position, they are adapted automatically as the crop height changes. The system recognises tramlines and the end of a crop, and conducts any bundles of cereals that fall from the cutter bar table to the intake auger.

The length of the cutter bar table is adjusted for the throughput controller in the intake duct depending on the layer thickness sensor's vibrations. The more uniform the flow of harvested material, the lower the sensor's vibrations.

Bale weigh

The Big Baler Automation system from CNH Industrial New Holland is now the first system in which an operator can set the desired bale weight directly on an agricultural square baler.

Talking silver, this system uses machine guidance and regulation of both the tractor's speed and the baler settings to achieve this objective.

This is a crucial evolution towards fully automatic operation of a square baler. A LiDAR sensor (Light Detection and Ranging) optically measures the windrow ahead of the tractor by means of a laser, and an IMU sensor detects the tractor's acceleration and orientation.

The information from the tractor's GPS sensor is additionally processed to achieve even greater accuracy. The tractor is then guided fully automatically over the windrow and its speed is adapted to the windrow conditions.

At the same time, the data that is collected is used to constantly pre-calculate the bale weight in order to adjust the baling pressure setting and, via the vehicle speed, the layer thicknesses of the individual piston strokes. As a result of this, the baler is continuously running at high capacity even in the case of changing harvesting and yield conditions, and the same pre-set bale weight is always achieved.

Compaction prevention

Swedish manufacturer Agtech 2030 won silver for its Compaction Prevention System (CPS), another tool to asses soil compaction in the field.

The system offers users decision-making aids regarding the risk of soil compaction and helps to decide where and when work should be carried out on the fields in the specific vehicle configuration.