The annual AgQuip field days took place in Gunnedah, NSW on August 22-24. Being the largest agricultural field days in Australia, AgQuip is a highlight for many agricultural machinery enthusiasts. This year saw Case IH taking the limelight with its Autonomous Concept Vehicle (ACV) display and the launch of the Steiger CVT. The ACV, with its futuristic design, was prominently showcased in the Case IH pavilion and many visitors made this their first stop of the day.
Other popular technology, like Precision Planting for example, was also on display for the more than 100,000 visitors. Over 3,000 exhibitors from Australia and abroad showcased their newest products and services during the three-day field days. While the Case IH ACV and New Holland autonomous tractors drew big crowds, there were plenty of other new technologies on show. One such technology that growers were very happy to see was the Tornado Harvester Airflow System. Last winter crop harvest, Australia had a record number of headers burn down due to the extreme conditions when harvesting both lentils and chickpeas. The problems were so widespread that growers and contractors even started having problems getting their headers (both new and second-hand) insured. While some new fire-prevention equipment has been introduced by combine manufacturers, no real solutions were supplied to growers until now.
The Tornado Harvester Airflow System is a fully automated and integrated fan system that maintains an airflow around the critical components on a header such as the engine bay, exhaust manifold, battery, and rotor shaft. By doing so, it prevents dust and debris from building up and causing a fire. Instead of an operator having to blow down his harvester every few hectares, the harvest can continue uninterrupted with this system. Next to increasing efficiencies and preventing fires, this system also has the potential to decrease insurance premiums in the future, in my opinion, when the insurance companies start realizing how this kind of system can prevent issues and expensive claims.
So while some technologies at AgQuip were geared toward the future, like the ACV, and some toward precision farming, like Precision Planting, some new technology is more conventional but can still make a huge difference to growers. It is great to see that a local hydraulics shop has identified a problem, thought of a solution, and has created a practical product for harvester owners. It doesn’t always take a large company with a big budget to make a positive impact on growers.