Alice Clews, a 2017 Oxford Farming Conference Scholar, attended Agritechnica in November 2017 on an OFC DLG Travel Scholarship. She was also awarded a place at the 2018 conference to share her experience with fellow scholars. Here is an extract from her report which can be downloaded below.
I attended the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2017 as a Yorkshire Agricultural Society Scholar. Although not directly from a farming background, my agricultural experiences involve; sheep, dairy and arable on farms in the UK and in New Zealand. After attending the conference in January, myself, Robert Proud and Jordan Clark were competitively selected to visit Hannover and attend Agritechnica in November as part of the Oxford Farming Conference DLG Travel Scholarship.
Agritechnica is the world’s largest agricultural machinery show held bi-annually in Hannover. With over 32 halls in a 10-mile perimeter, Agritechnica attracts approximately 450,000 visitors. Whilst in Hannover, we were hosted by the Junge DLG, a branch from the DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft), similar to the NFYFC.
For our first night in Hannover, we attended the Max Eyth Event that officially opened Agritechnica. Max Eyth was the founding engineer of the DLG in 1885. To date, the society has over 25,000 members and leads as an organisation in the agricultural industry.
The DLG operates globally by promoting technical and scientific research to set standards and enhance progression. The opening of Agritechnica is therefore run by the DLG and dedicated to Max Eyth. Innovative agricultural technologies and concepts are submitted to the DLG for judging in the Innovation Awards that are then presented at the Max Eyth event.
Over 300 products from 175 exhibitors were submitted in 2017 covering the categories of; tractors and transport technology, technology and software, quality enhancing machinery and crop protection.
The event was officially opened by Carl Albrecht Bartimer, President of the DLG. The Agritechnica 2017 Gold and Silver Innovation Awards were then presented by an international expert panel. The concepts that substantially improve or introduce and new product or process are eligible for the Gold Innovation Awards. The Silver Innovation Awards are dedicated to products that improve a known process. 29 Silver Innovation Awards were awarded at the event as runners-up with two Gold Innovation Awards presented to conclude the evening. The two Gold Innovation Awards were presented to Kemper for their Stalk Buster developed in conjunction with John Deere and to Claas for their CEMOS Auto Threshing system for CLAAS straw-walker and hybrid combine harvesters
We attended the exhibition for three of the days spent in Hannover. During this time, we had meetings arranged with; Pöttinger, Lemken, Väderstad, Massey Ferguson, Fendt, John Deere and JCB. This was a fantastic experience to speak to marketing specialists and CEO’s and get a feel for farming and innovation within Europe. These companies are some of the largest and leading agricultural engineering and machinery companies globally. It was therefore fantastic to see their range of machinery and technologies on display and to hear what the companies have achieved in recent years.
It was also interesting to see, from all the exhibitors at Agritechnica, how concepts and technologies are being developed in Germany and what their manufacturers and engineers are working towards in the future. The future of agriculture has never been more uncertain however, this should be seen as exciting as it provides opportunities for everyone involved within the industry.
Global agriculture must become more environmentally and economically sustainable to supply enough food to meet the demand of our ever-increasing population. A highlight of mine at the exhibition was therefore looking around the crop protection halls and speaking to companies including; Topcon and Bayer Crop Science about the future of crop protection