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Don’t miss new tech at Farm Progress Show

Hoosier Perspectives: Can’t attend FPS in person? Follow coverage online.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

August 28, 2023

3 Min Read
A young man sits in a tractor with his hands in the air
BALER ON ITS OWN: Sebastian Jahnke, Agco, demonstrates the company’s new autonomous baler. The demo took place on a wheat field, baling straw. Just after the video was shot, the farm dog ran in front of the tractor, and it stopped automatically. Holly Spangler

A steady stream of new products normally appears on exhibitor lots at the annual Farm Progress Show, and at Husker Harvest Days in Nebraska. That trend took a detour a few years ago, directly related to COVID-19. Live farm shows were not held in 2020, although John Deere’s X9 combine series debuted during the virtual Farm Progress Show, shelling corn at the show site in Boone, Iowa.

Nevertheless, the Farm Progress editorial team that tracks down new products continued compiling roundups of some 200 new products each year. However, the truly innovative, high-tech items were often missing. Company after company said, “Come back next year — right now, we’re just trying to produce the products we already have.”

“Next year” is finally here. From the hype companies have created ahead of 2023 shows, it appears the pipeline for new technology is flowing again, and new products are reaching the market. Some new technologies will be unveiled at farm shows.

Hopefully, you already have plans to attend at least one show. If not, consider attending. The Farm Progress Show is this week, Aug. 29-31, in Decatur, Ill. Husker Harvest Days is Sept. 12-14 in Grand Island, Neb.

If you can’t attend live, stay tuned to this website. Articles and videos will be featured, coming from the various shows. Editors are committed to bringing you as much information about new products and breakthrough technologies as possible.

Sneak peek

Here’s information on just a few technologies and products expected to be unveiled at shows:

Autonomous baler. Agco demonstrated a big round baler powered by a tractor without a driver, or the need for a driver, at a special event earlier this summer. Be prepared to ask company reps about this new technology, and when it is expected to be available.

Electric tractor. Agco is also putting finishing touches on a 70-hp electric tractor. At one time, so-called experts claimed this was a technology that would not advance beyond 25-hp utility machines. Agco and others are proving otherwise.

State-of-the-art hay tools. John Deere is so excited about its new lineup of forage tools that the company chose to stage the introduction at the Farm Progress Show. You and members of the media will get the first look at these tools at the same time. If you can’t get there in person, Farm Progress editors will bring the tools to you virtually.

Autonomous and electric tractor. Monarch will be in the exhibit field at the Farm Progress Show. The company recently introduced an autonomous, electric tractor, and it will have a large exhibit space at the show. Be sure to check out Monarch’s unique tractors.

Nexat concept. Terrakamp introduces the Nexat farming system, featuring a power unit with wheels spaced 45 feet apart that hooks to interchangeable farming units to do various tasks during the season. Coming from Europe, it’s touted for making controlled-traffic farming possible. You simply must see it to believe it!

Equipment for midsize farms. Case IH introduces new Early Riser planter models and a new combine geared to midsize or smaller operations. This effort could help make innovation available for a wider range of farms. Case IH will also introduce 12 new or upgraded tractor models across its various brands.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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