Prof. Thomas Rademacher from the Life Sciences and Engineering department at Bingen University of Applied Sciences, Germany,

Trends in combine technology at Agritechnica 2019 included headers with variable table length and flexible cutterbars so they can be used to harvest the wider range of cereals grown in more diverse crop rotations.

Draper (belt) combine headers are achieving ever-larger market shares and were on show in significant numbers at Agritechnica 2019. They are characterized by uniform crop flow, reduced crop losses and excellent compatibility with flexible cutter bars.

Maize headers that incorporate stubble-destroying systems continue to be a trend at Agritechnica 2019 as they assist in the control of the corn borer pest.

A trend that emerged at Agritechnica 2019 is the use of sensors in combine header knife drives that can detect problems caused by damaged or component failure, as well as matching knife speeds to crop flow to increase harvesting efficiency.

The latest systems to anticipate crop flow in combines with automated threshing optimization use fixed 3D cameras and images from drones to determine crop density and adjust settings accordingly.

Because legislation limits the physical size of combines that can travel on public roads, increases in output capacity continue to be dependent on innovative developments of threshing and separating techniques.

The first combine without a steering column and steering wheel was shown at Agritechnica 2019. All driving controls are integrated into a joystick on the operator’s left-hand arm rest, providing a better view of the header and crop flow.

Agritechnica 2019 featured a combine with an automatic straw chopper control system that measures the moisture level of the crop as it enters the threshing system to determine the operating speed of the chopper knives for maximum efficiency.

Taking combine efficiency to a new level at Agritechnica 2019 was a new large-capacity harvester where every component has been optimized for maximum output at minimum energy input.