November 14, 2023
Agco has been making waves in farm technology recently. A joint venture with Trimble was announced in September, and in November at Agritechnica 2023, attendees learned of the purchase of FarmFacts, a subsidiary of BayWa AG group. And to top it all off, Agco rolled out new tractors for its equipment lineup at the show in Hanover, Germany.
The farm technology industry is undergoing changes as major players work to fine-tune what they offer to potential buyers. Eric Hansotia, chairman, president and CEO of Agco, walked through the developments for the company, noting that a shift from product-focused to farmer-focused has made a difference.
“We’re working to understand the agronomy and the pain points the customer experiences,” he said. “We’re farmer-focused to sustainably feed our world.”
Goal to become trusted partner
A key to that farmer-focused approach is to “establish a position as a trusted partner for industry-leading smart farming solutions,” Hansotia said. The company has invested more in engineering, and its patent portfolio has risen 91%, with the aim of helping farmers be more efficient.
That’s where investment in tech comes in. “We’ve increased our investment in engineering internally and accelerated that work with bolt-on acquisitions of tech companies. We bought the Next Farm assets of BayWay [the FarmFacts acquisition] into Agco to further strengthen our tech portfolio,” Hansotia said.
In addition, the company has launched AgcoVentures, a business that will work with startups. “There are many out there with great ideas to be more productive and more sustainable. And we want to work to bring those ideas into our portfolio,” he said.
One key to all this tech investment that Hansotia emphasized is to work with the mixed fleet many farmers have. From Precision Planting to the Trimble JV, the aim is to focus on farmers with mixed fleets.
New from Massey Ferguson
As part of a busy opening day Nov. 12, Agco had plenty going on. One of the first big announcements of the show was the launch of the new Massey Ferguson 9S tractor — the latest, and largest, in the S Series.
The 9S Series will include six models from 285 to 425 hp. “The MF 9S is the new flagship for Massey Ferguson’s straightforward, dependable and connected ‘New Tractor Era,’” said Thierry Lhotte, Massey Ferguson’s vice president and managing director for Europe and the Middle East.
The “S” journey started with the 8S in 2020, which was the result of seven years of customer research around the world. The MF 5S, MF 6S and the MF 7S series followed.
For the new line, power comes from a six-cylinder Agco Power 8.4-liter engine. At maximum 425 hp, it provides top torque at 1,500 rpm.
The new engine features no exhaust gas recirculation valve and offers a simpler single-turbo design for easier maintenance. And to keep farmers in the field, the tractor features a 175-gallon fuel tank, a 10% boost in capacity. As part of the company’s commitment to easier maintenance, the cooling package in front of the engine was designed with easier access, too.
The Dyna VT transmission will be the link between engine and axles. The continuously variable design features new power management for improved torque and horsepower.
The tractor also features new automation options including MF AutoTurn, AutoHeadland and Tractor Implement Management ISOBUS, allowing implement and tractor to communicate. The cabin has a low 69 dB noise rating and a premium seat.
Production for the model starts in the third quarter of 2024.
Fendt rolls out new machine
On the other side of the Agco stand is the Fendt brand, where farmers were seeing the e107 electric tractor, already debuted in the U.S. But there was a new machine on view for the first time — the Fendt 600 Vario. This model ranges from 150 to 200 hp, a key class of tractor in Europe, and popular in North America in the “chore and hay-making” class.
The compact machine features a new four-cylinder, 5-liter Agco Power Core50 engine that will get its first use in this line. The new engine is set to work with alternative fuels, including renewable diesel, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
A new generation of the Fendt continuously variable transmission — the Fendt VarioDrive — is part of the 600 line. The transmission continuously measures slip on all four wheels and regulates power output.
ADDING A SERIES: The new Fendt 600 enters the company line with a unique new engine for a line that will span 150 to 200 hp.
There are four models, and all will feature Fendt DynamicPerformance, which releases an added 15 hp on each model using a demand-based control when needed. For example, the top model Fendt 620 Vario can reach 224 hp above the rated 209 for the machine with DynamicPerformance.
Roland Schmidt, vice president of Fendt Marketing, noted the new 600 models feature a lower power-to-weight ratio for the industry. They weigh in at 76 pounds per horsepower, “which is a new record for this tractor class,” he said.
And for the first time in this tractor class, Fendt is offering a 60-inch gauge, common for North America, Australia and South Africa. This “row crop” configuration will be available for all models in the 600 Series.
The new line also features tire pressure regulation, which gives the operator the option of changing tire pressure to meet field conditions and protect soils. Production of the series begins in the summer.
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