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Machinery & Equipment

For grassland specialist KRONE, the use of a front-rear combination significantly improves mowing efficiency. (Image source: LEMKEN)

Agricultural technology specialists KRONE and LEMKEN are utilising the front attachment space to significantly expand the range of application for their autonomous process units

With their joint 'Combined Powers' project, the two companies are focussing on not only the development of autonomous process units, but also the associated work processes by carrying out additional practical deployments at home and abroad. 

The functionality of the autonomous process unit has been significantly enhanced by the integration of a front linkage with PTO shaft, which means that two separate, intelligent attachment spaces are now available. This combination can be used profitably in both grassland and arable farming. For grassland specialist KRONE, for example, the use of a front-rear combination significantly improves mowing efficiency. LEMKEN, on the other hand, utilises the additional function particularly in the areas of stubble cultivation and sowing where rollers and front hoppers can now be easily carried and used.

The VTEs (autonomous process units) were further developed, taking into account ease of maintenance, practicality and optimisation of the sensor carriers. Another highlight is the improvement in the diesel-electric drive. The new generation of machines retains its power output of 170 kW / 230 hp and continues to feature four-wheel steering with large tyres for maximum tractive power and minimum ground pressure.

The advanced autonomous tractor units from KRONE and LEMKEN enable large-scale practical trials and significantly improve the reliability of autonomous processes. Moreover, the two companies rely on open interfaces and are in lively dialogue with other implement manufacturers in order to exploit synergies and create added value for the customer. By closely cooperating with practising farmers, both companies are aiming to further develop their product and make it marketable as quickly as possible. 

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Robots will assist workers in the agriculture sector, not replace them. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Leading data and analytics company, GlobalData forecasted a 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by the robotics industry, which is expected to grow from US$63bn in 2022 to to US$218bn in 2030

As climate change and labour shortages continue to impact the global agriculture sector, the robotics industry is lending ahend to help agriculture companies tackle these challenges by automating machines and supporting vertical farming. GlobalData's latest Thematic Intelligence report, 'Robotics in Agriculture,' reveals how robotics is helping to achieve precision agriculture and support workers in a new agricultural revolution.

Robots are seen as the future of agriculture, possessing the ability to learn the growing patterns of specific produce. Upon integration of artificial intelligence (AI), the data obtained by agricultural robots can be efficiently used to improve farm management strategies. A plethora of traditional agricultural companies have also began hiring and innovating in robotics, while also entering into partnerships with startups to support labour and boost agricultural productivity.

“Robots can carry out the strenuous and monotonous tasks that lead to injuries and fatigue," said associate Thematic Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, Holly Anness-Bradshaw. The agriculture industry is investing and innovating in many parts of the robotics industry, including drones, field robots, and robotics intelligence. Robots can be found on vineyards, with Burro’s robots helping workers carry up to 500 pounds of crops around fields and back to sorting houses.”


Monarch MK-V tractor demonstrating V2G through Borg Warner DCFC and Gridtractor CMS. (Image source: Gridtractor)

Gridtractor, Monarch Tractor, and Borg Warner have reached a significant milestone by demonstrating Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) capabilities 

Russell Finex offers 90 years of global specialisation in sieving and filtration equipment. (Image source: Russell Finex)

Milhans, a leading nut product producer, experienced a return on investment in just eight months by adopting high-temperature self-cleaning filters for their cooking oil recovery process

By replacing their 80-micron paper filtration system with a 50-micron self-cleaning filter, Milhans overcame challenges such as downtime, inconsistent filtration quality, and low throughput. 

The solution seamlessly integrated with their production process, offering benefits such as:
• Enhanced productivity by minimising downtime and automating processes
• Improved filtration quality and throughput rates with finer micron filtration and a self-cleaning design
• Operator safety with an enclosed design, reducing exposure to hot oil
• Achieved ROI in just eight months, solely by eliminating the need for replacement paper filter cartridges

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Bayer’s expert GenAI system is making better information more quickly and readily available. (Image source: Bayer)

German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, Bayer recently announced the launch of an expert GenAI system to benefit farmers and up-level agronomists in their daily work

By utilising proprietary agronomic data, the company has been able to train a large language model (LLM). The intuitive system obtained as a result responds to natural language, thus quickly and accurately answering questions related to agronomy, farm management, and Bayer agricultural products. 

The tool which is expected to benefit millions of smallholder farmers was developed in collaboration with Microsoft as leading technology partner and Ernst & Young (EY) as an industry partner. Bayer is currently exploring ways to integrate this expert GenAI system into its digital offerings. Moreover, the company also anticipates broad opportunities for collaboration with other agricultural offerings and partners. Bayer plans to expand the pilot of the expert GenAI system to selected agronomists and potentially farmers as early as this year, while continuing to advance a separate GenAI prototype allowing users to directly query their own farm data. 

“Our unique GenAI system has the potential to serve agronomists and benefit farmers all over the world, further advancing AI as an indispensable technology for agriculture,” said Amanda McClerren, CIO and head of Digital Transformation & Information Technology for Bayer’s Crop Science Division. “We will continue to use traditional AI to develop better products, and we are also committed to harnessing new GenAI technology in a thoughtful way that augments and supports knowledgeable experts across the industry, bringing value to farmers and those who serve them.”

In addition to collaborating with Microsoft on the expert GenAI system, Bayer announced an update late last year, on the companies' strategic partnership to bring readymade capabilities, AgPowered Services, to the agri-food industry.

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