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Machinery & Equipment

John Deere debuted five new P-Tier Skid Steer Loaders and Compact Track Loaders. (Image source: John Deere)

John Deere recently debuted five new P-Tier Skid Steer Loader (SSL) and Compact Track Loader (CTL) models boasting a brand-new one-piece cab design with premium options, enhanced technology features and an overall increase in operating power

These new models include the 330 and 334 P-Tier SSLs and the 331, 333 and 335 P-Tier CTLs, which come with the debut of three brand new attachments. These comprise the MK76 and MH72D mulching heads and the CP40G cold planer. In order to enhance productivity on the job, the 333 and 335 P-Tier machines can be equipped with John Deere SmartGrade technology

Taking the feedback of their customers into consideration, John Deere has proceeded with prioritising operator comfort and productivity. Customers can now experience better insight and customisation of machine settings and viewing information, by utilising the eight-inch premium touch-screen display interface, available on the full line-up of P-Tier models and standard on the 334 and 335 P-Tier.

The pairing of Bluetooth devices is enabled on the touchscreen display and enables the answering of calls and control of streaming audio, making for seamless operation. With a focus on serviceability, the new cab tilts up in one piece, giving ground-level, all around access to the engine, drivetrain, and undercarriage of the machine. In regard to SmartGrade and Grade Control features, a new hydraulic system has been designed to help operators maximise efforts on the job. 

Moreover, two brand new technology capabilities have also made their debut with the rollout of these models, including Attachment Manager and Surround View. The John Deere Operations Centre will continue to be included on all large-frame CTL and SSL, enabling fleet managers to monitor machine location, codes, fuel usage and other key features more efficiently.

In addition, the company has also debuted strategic Quick-Tatch system updates and three new attachment offerings. A full overhaul of the John Deere Quik-Tatch coupler means customers can experience less downtime and continue to easily switch back and forth between attachments. Also, both install implementation and design improvements have been made to increase customer and confidence, making for a more efficient jobsite.

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A drone flies over a farm in Tanzania. (Image source: FAO/Eduardo Soteras)

On 17 May, at the Business Federations of the G7 (B7) meeting which took place in Rome, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), QU Dongy highlighted that AI is not just a technological shift, but is driving a fundamental economic and social transformation at the broadest level

He noted that ”Digital agriculture can revolutionise how we produce, distribute and consume food,” highlighting that potential benefits for farmers and stakeholders across agrifood systems include improved pricing data, minimising food loss and waste, enhancing food safety and stimulating adoption of better seeds, fertiliser and sustainable practices.

The B7 comprises the main business and industrial federations of the G7 members and the European Union. Once a year, the B7 presents its recommendations on selected priority topics to the G7 presidency, which this year is held by Italy.

The Director-General emphasised the central role that data plays in AI and digital technologies, noting that quality data is needed to train innovative tools and to accelerate actions such as agrifood systems transformation.

FAO has a formidable database in FAOSTAT, data is central to FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-2031 and has an innovation lab to experiment with new sources and methods. One takeaway from those initiatives is that data ecosystems require significant investment and effective collaboration. FAO stands ready to engage and partner with the B7 group and the private sector in this area, Qu said.

The most recent investment in Symaga's manufacturing site has strengthened the company's production process of the silo roof sectors. (Image source: Symaga)

Symaga's strong commitment to the preservation of its natural environment, has urged the company to increase the overall capacity of their solar plant from 200 kW up to 800 kW this year

Currently, 70% of all Symaga's manufacturing operations are being driven by their own generated green energy resources. The company is on the path to becoming more efficient, sustainable and competitive, with their medium-term goal being focused on shifting the entire production to their green supplies. 

The most recent investment in Symaga's manufacturing site has strengthened the company's production process of the silo roof sectors, resulting in a 30% increase in productivity within the cutting and bending section. Symaga has acquired two new flattening-cutting and bending lines equipped with stiffening rollers to improve both the flattening and structural quality of their roof sectors. In order to absorb the increase in their cuttiing operations, a new robot cell for bending and packing roof sectors has been implemented. 

This action is part of Symaga's Annual Investment Plan, which underlines their commitment to maintaining production and operational excellence, while also promoting environmental and occupational safety standards. These plans seek to improve the company's production capacity, a cornerstone of Symaga’s success, ensuring state of the art production supported by a team of 150 professionals, capable of handling projects from layout to after-sales.

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Global category director – Cherries at TOMRA Food, Benedetta Ricci Iamino. (Image source: TOMRA)

After one full season with TOMRA LUCAi, three cherry growers who installed the technology confirmed that they benefitted from higher productivity; enhanced quality selection with consequent higher margins for their customers; along with reduced food waste

In 2023, TOMRA Food was in the final stages of development of its AI-powered LUCAi platform, ready to trial its innovation with customers in different conditions and regions – from California to New Zealand. After the 2023 cherry season, Prima Frutta decided to install LUCAi on all of their machines, for a total of 132 lanes for their upcoming 2024 cherry season. 

Moreover, two long-standing customers–Dunstan Hills and Panmure Orchards–who have been running TOMRA equipment for almost 10 years, were also keen to implement the TOMRA LUCAi technology. The three cherry growers shared the challenge of meeting the growing demand, with consistent high-quality produce, in the short cherry season, which typically begins in mid-May and finishes at the end of June in California, while in New Zealand it runs from early to mid-December to late January. 

“With LUCAi we achieved better grading and increased throughput of around 10% – and it is easy to use,” said Ian Nicholls, operations manager at Dunstan Hills, after one full season with TOMRA LUCAi. 

LUCAi's user-friendly interface software makes it very easy for the customer’s operators to get the best sorting and grading performance from their processing line. Founder of Prima Frutta Packing, Tim Sambado explained that the technology not only allowed them to make changes, but also provided them with accurate data on how it was going to impact their grading before the change was applied. Nicholls also agreed that the technology made it significantly easier for the operator to refine decision-making and improve grading. This not only helps cherry packers deliver consistent quality and meet the specific requirements of their customers, but it also enables them to increase their productivity and address the short cherry season. 

The technology for the InVision2 cherry grading platform is unique unique in that it comes with vast amounts of data collected by TOMRA in different regions across the world, building pre-trained models using real images of cherries. This means that it is ready to deliver its superior sorting and grading performance as soon as it is installed. It uses TOMRA’s Deep Learning technology to identify with unparalleled accuracy an extensive range of defects – from edge cracks, Pacman cherries, open sutures, cosmetic blemishes and stem pulls, to spurs, cracks and all defects around the stem; from dehydration to apical splits; and it will recognise colours in the ripe phase with precision.  

Moreover, the platform also continues to evolve as it keeps learning from the data it collects while running in the customer’s operation, future-proofing their business. TOMRA’s service team remains at their side after installation, ready to proactively help them optimise their sorting and grading performance. 

“Thanks to LUCAi, the era of compromise is a thing of the past for our customers,” summarised global category director – Cherries at TOMRA Food, Benedetta Ricci Iamino. "The commitment is crystal clear – our customers can now confidently expect their best fruit, in prime condition, reaching optimal markets, all at highly competitive prices."

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The report highlights Biome Makers’ commitment to sustainability and the innovative use of its BeCrop technology. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Global agtech company, Biome Makers release its 2023 Impact Report, which details the company's significant contributions to regenerative agriculture and soil health over the past year

The report highlights Biome Makers’ commitment to sustainability and the innovative use of its BeCrop technology. Key achievements highlighted in the report include:

● Enhanced Decision-Making: BeCrop technology provided actionable data that improved a return on investment upwards of 10 times for industry players.

● Reduced Environmental Impact: Implementation of BeCrop has contributed to a 15% reduction in carbon sequestration and a 20% reduction in the impact of agrochemicals across 56 countries.

● Innovative Updates: New updates to BeCrop technology have enabled more precise, data-driven product recommendations to improve the soil microbiome.

"We are incredibly grateful for the unwavering support from our community and partners. Together, we are paving the way for a sustainable agricultural landscape where both our crops and soils can thrive," said the co-founders, Dr Alberto Acedo and Adrian Ferrero, in their joint letter. 

In the future, Biome Makers Looking ahead, Biome Makers plans to scale the accessibility of its technology through API integration, fostering greater collaboration and enabling other organizations to leverage their data for deeper insights into soil health.

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