Agritechnica’s Innovation Awards

If you’ve followed any of our social media efforts this last month, you probably noticed we mentioned Agritechnica. This show is the largest Ag Tech trade fair in the world, and RAAFT Tracks were there! We travelled to Hanover, Germany to rub elbows with the best in the business and saw some of the newest advancements in Ag from a Lamborghini tractor to bluetooth produce trackers to slug pellet spreaders. We love learning about the ways technology is changing the Ag industry, and the winners of the Innovation Awards at Agritechnica are lauded as some of the most exciting products to look out for. For that reason, we’re giving props where props are due in this month’s blog. We’re going to look at two of the Agritechnica Innovation Award winners of this year, what they produce, and why their contributions are important for the Ag Tech industry.

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StalkBuster

Who made It? Maschinenfabrik KEMPER GmbH & Co. KG, a German company, developed this technology jointly with John Deere.

What does it Do? StalkBuster is a new type of equipment that was developed to help lessen the effects of the corn borer pest. The StalkBuster is an integral part of the maize header which destroys the stubble leftover from harvest before any other equipment drives over and flattens it.

Why is it Important? The European corn borer is a type of moth which affects maize crops in most of the United States, much of Western Europe, and parts of Eastern Canada. The pest gets its name from the holes it bores into crops which eventually kill the host plant. The bug lives and feeds off crops, corn in particular, and it either stunts the growth of the stalk before it can produce an ear of corn or it eats and damages the ear of corn so that it cannot be harvested. They can be devastating to crop yield if a field becomes infested. The StalkBuster is a preventative measure which removes the stubble leftover from harvest so that corn borers cannot use the leftover materials to lay eggs and infect the next year’s crop.

What did it Win? The StalkBuster won a gold medal at the Innovation Awards

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Smart Crop Damage Identification (SCDI)

Who made It? The company listed as the developer of SCDI is Agrocom Polska Jerzy Koronczok, a Polish company.

What does it Do? For larger fields, it can be hard to assess and estimate the cost of damages sustained by weather, hunters, or animals. Smart Crop Damage Identification uses a low flying drone to take 3D image assessments of land so farmers can easily assess damage to crops for insurance purposes.

Why is it Important? Much of the information farmers gather about damages to their land comes from extensive work on the farmer’s part and damage estimates can still be unclear. Using drones for 3D imaging and assessing using SCDI takes the guessing out of damage assessment. The drone sits at a stable altitude for accuracy and runs along parallel longitudinal lines to gather intelligent data and automatically calculate more accurate damage assessments. Having a system in place to survey land saves farmers hours doing so by hand. SCDI also works with very little human intervention and flies high enough over the field that farmers can work while the system runs its assessments. Farmers can get a fuller picture of the damage in their fields more quickly and with less work using the SCDI system. The damage assessments are also able to give insurance companies the full scope of the damage to ensure a more accurate payout.

What did it Win? The Smart Crop Damage Identification system won a silver medal at the Innovation Awards.

These, along with many others, were some of the best, most innovative ideas leading the field of Ag Technology this year, and we’re proud to work alongside peers who show a passion for technology and its many uses. Congratulations to all the winners of the Innovation Awards this year, and we look forward to informing our readers about the projects we see in 2019 at the next Agritechnica!

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