Tag Archives: drone

René Koerhuis


The majority of Agritechnica visitors is of course drawn to the – literally – big new tractors like the John Deere 9RX and the Fendt 1000 series. Not surprisingly, Agco said the Fendt 1050 was the most photographed product at the Agco booth. Another tractor, but with the size of a small car and parked somewhat secluded in hall 26, also attracted much attention. Not by that many visitors, but moreover by a lot of engineers from (tractor) manufacturers, including the above mentioned global players. I’m talking about the autonomous Greenbot tractor developed and manufactured by a Dutch company called Precision Makers. In fact, the roots of this vehicle lie at Dutch Wageningen University. It undoubtedly opened the eyes and ears of all tractor manufacturers. I definately see an analogy with ‘start-up’ car maker Tesla and the ratrace to introduce the first autonomous car between Apple, Google and the established car manufacturers.

For those of you who looked beyond the big machines and tractors, different trends were undeniably visible in the area of precision farming and smart farming, or should we call it (big) data farming? Almost all manufacturers of slurry / manure application equipment displayed NIR (Near Infra Red) spectroscopy solutions for inline nutrient content determination. John Deere and a number of partners (again) won a gold medal for their Connected Nutrient Management concept. Dutch company Veenhuis showed its Nutri-Flow NIR application and German company Zunhammer introduced VAN-Control 2, also with NIR. At the end of this year the first commercially available NIR systems will go into practice.

The neccesaty of collecting, transmitting and processing of big data was another unmistakable trend. Several companies showed telematics systems to send data wirelessly from field to office. The collection and transmission of data from implements and machines via the telematics system of the tractor was presented amongst others by Claas and by Kverneland (in a bèta version). Claas’ system goes by the name of TONI (Telematics ON Implement). Tractor manufacturers increasingly put effort in TIM or ICT solutions: Tractor Implement Management and Implement Controls Tractor. In Hall 15, the number of drones (UAVs) on display was enormous.

René Koerhuis


While the first event specifically focused on UAVs or drones for agriculture has already taken place in the USA, the number of drones on display at Holland’s largest agricultural event AgroTechniek Holland (ATH) will be limited. 

UX5 droneOf course there are many enthusiastic (arable) farmers who are already scanning fields with their own drone, but in contrast to countries like Germany and France, the offering of drones and drone services for agriculture in the Netherlands still is limited. There are nevertheless several companies that are active in this area, some for over 20 years, but they are hesitant regarding entering the Dutch agricultural market. Firstly, because of the small scale in comparison with other countries and because transcending project and funding stages commercially not always pay off. Another aspect that continuously keeps coming back is the gap, or rather pitfall between the collection of data, its interpretation and translation into concrete measures.