August 23, 2023
You owe it to yourself to make a trip down Fourth Street at the Farm Progress Show to see the NEXAT machine from Terrakamp. Developed in Europe, the Next Generation Agriculture Technology is coming to the U.S. so farmers can visualize the concept.
Samantha Jandrisch, director of communications for Terrakamp, says the fourth NEXAT unit has arrived in North America. A NEXAT had operated on a South Dakota farm in 2022, catching the end of harvest. It also kicked off planting season this year.
Jac Knoop, originally from the Netherlands and operating out of Falcon Supply, Ogden, Ill., is part of the expansion strategy for Illinois. The machine now in Illinois will be at the upcoming Farm Progress Show in Decatur.
Calling it a “tractor” doesn’t do it justice, spokespersons say. It can perform all kinds of tasks using interchangeable implements.
“It’s a system, and that’s the best way to describe it,” Knoop says. “Right now, it’s a concept in the U.S., and we want farmers to see it. We believe it could revolutionize farming.”
Single power unit
The machine’s one power unit has a long frame for attachments, with drive wheels on each end, spaced 45 feet apart. The unit has a 50-foot operating width and 12-foot transport width.
Controlled traffic is the name of the game. Only about 5% of the soil sees traffic. The power unit comes with either wheels or tracks.
Jandrisch says NEXAT is in an exciting development phase for the North American market. The machine will be displayed in the exhibit field at the 2023 Farm Progress Show but will not participate in field demonstrations.
The goal this year is to showcase the product and connect with people who would like to get involved, learn from other farmers and open discussions about the future of farming, she notes.
The harvesting unit was built just for this machine. Jandrisch says NEXAT combined the best traits from several combines on the market into this harvesting unit.
The machine is currently powered by two 550-hp diesel engines — one on each end of the machine to balance out weight. The engines power generators that produce electricity to operate the machine and its implements.
Jandrisch says Terrakamp is conducting research on hydrogen fuel propulsion systems. The state of Lower Saxony in Germany funded a research grant with the Osnabrück University specifically for NEXAT’s research in hydrogen fuel. This aspect is a huge component of what Terrakamp hopes to accomplish.
Today, switching from one implement to another is mostly automatic, but it requires a couple of manual actions. A complete switch can be made in about 20 minutes. Soon, the entire process should be automatic.
The cab is another unique feature. It can be positioned almost anywhere along the operating bar. For example, if you want to see directly down a corn row to observe the harvesting, you can move into that position.
The cab can also move up and down and rotate 320 degrees, Knoop says. It can rotate so you can see what’s happening behind the machine if you want.
For more information and to see NEXAT in action, visit terrakamp.com.
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