Machinery Journal - February 2020

Machinery Journal - February 2020 ( Company Provided Photos )

AGCO Creates All-New Planter Design Built for Curves

With a completely new toolbar concept and packed with Precision Planting technology, AGCO has unveiled its first Fendt-branded planter for the North American market.

The Fendt Momentum planter could  change the way farmers think about planting, according to AGCO. Because the company didn’t base its new design off an existing product, AGCO says its engineering team was able to start with a blank canvas.

“Very rarely in an engineer’s life do you get a start from just a blank sheet of paper,” says Rex Schertz, AGCO engineering manager for seeding and tillage.

After determining the row spacing piece of the puzzle, the AGCO engineering team unlocked the potential to transform the way farmers plant as well as the way planters move.

“We moved the toolbar back, but then there’s also the problem that somehow this has to match the ground as it goes up and over,” Schertz explains. “That’s where that contouring toolbar came in, and that was really the heartbeat that started this all out.”

Contouring Toolbar Hugs Fields

The contouring toolbar includes sensing technology to help the planter adjust to hills, valleys and varying soil types while in the field, says Alex Lundgren, product manager for seeding and tillage at AGCO.

“It allows us to sense the rows where the parallel linkage is in relation to the row unit, and we’re able to automatically adjust that to ensure the row unit is at the optimal position to plant that seed,” Lundgren says.

Tire placement at the front of the Momentum planter helps with compaction and helps eliminate pinch rows.

“We have sensors on this planter, so the farmer doesn’t have to stop, set the planter specs and get out of the tractor,” Lundgren says. ”We have sensors taking care of all of that for them.”

The new planter design includes a larger liquid fertilizer tank and twin seed tanks.

“We have 1,000-gallon liquid capacity along with 130 bu. of seed,” he says. “At 35,000-seed population in corn, you can plant 297 acres before a refill. ”

AGCO will start selling the Fendt Momentum planter this summer.

Kubota Unveils Autonomous X-tractor Concept

Kubota has unveiled a futuristic concept autonomous tractor called the X-tractor. The battery-powered, tracked machine was first shown at a new product exhibition in Kyoto City, Japan.

The concept is a zero-emission vehicle, using a combination of lithium-ion and solar batteries. Kubota says artificial intelligence allows for “stable autonomous driving, even on wet paddies and uneven terrains.”

The autonomous tractor can change height to either lower the center of gravity or raise the operating platform above crops.

The X-tractor unveiling comes 50 years after Kubota unveiled its first concept, the Dream Tractor (top photo), which was exhibited at the Japan World Exposition in Osaka in 1970. The Dream Tractor, according to Kubota, boasted “superior functionality, great driver comfort and easier operability.”