Agco named among top three innovators in US

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Agco Corporation has been recognised as one of the industry’s most innovative leaders having been named one of three winners of the 2021 Davidson Prize by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Agco's DynaFlex draper header with Autodock header docking system was one of three new technologies to win the Davidson Prize

The machinery manufacturer, responsible for producing the likes of Massey Ferguson and Fendt, was announced as a winner for their breakthrough technology, the 9350 DynaFlex draper header with AutoDock header docking system for Fendt IDEAL.

Agco Corporation was joined by Purdue University and Harber Technologies as the award winners by ASABE and Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which recognises agricultural engineering excellence within the agricultural industry.

Agco senior tactical marketing manager, Kevin Forth, said the organisation was proud to be among the winners for the award.

"The Davidson Prize is among agriculture’s highest engineering honours, and Agco is immensely proud of this recognition from ASABE and AEM," Forth says.

"The Dynaflex with AutoDock is a perfect example of Agco’s intentional development of smart solutions that are designed from the ground up with farmers’ needs in mind."

The technology from Agco represents a first for the agricultural and engineering industry and could well pave the way for the future of combine functionality.

The DynaFlex with AutoDock is a 50-foot (15.24m) flexible header and is the industry’s first automatic system for efficiently attaching all connections – whether that is mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic – in the header to the Fendt Ideal combine.

AutoDock aimed to reduce the time farmers spent connecting and disconnecting their headers; a process now completed in five seconds.

Overall farming performance is optimised through the system, which also recognises the specifications of the header and sensitivity settings for header height control. The autonomous capabilities mean operators can seamlessly configure the header without climbing out of the cabin meaning the process reduces time, eliminates errors and provides a safer way to operate.

Senior vice president of Agriculture for AEM, Cutris Blades, says Agco’s technology, along with the other winners’ innovations, delivered on the award’s purpose of celebrating breakthrough innovation in the field.

"I continue to be amazed about the advancement of agricultural engineering and the positive impacts it continues to have on farmers’ ability to work more efficiently," Blades says.

Executive director of ASABE, Darrin Drollinger, echoed the same sentiment.

"The products named as 2021 winners of the Davidson Prize continue to represent the diversity of agricultural engineering, as well as the variety of companies that bring advanced technology and exciting improvements to the marketplace," Drollinger says.

 "I believe J.B. Davidson would be amazed at how advanced farm equipment has become."

Winners were selected following the announcement of the AE50 awards, which celebrated 50 innovations in the area; of which three were chosen as overall winners of the Davidson Prize.

The award’s other recipients also produced ground breaking technologies, including Harber Technologies new DRI-Stack, which provides a fast, uniform and easy system to dry grains.

The DRI-Stack uses less energy than previous grain-drying techniques while also reducing the time it takes and can be monitored remotely.

For Purdue University, the Davidson Prize was awarded for their LeafSpec technology – a portable hyper spectral corn leaf imager which provides more detail and more reliability than other proximal sending machines.

The machine is distinctive when compared to others on the market and includes additional functionality and cyber-infrastructure. When used it will indicate nitrogen levels, water and disease information within seconds on a user’s smartphone.

The Davidson Prize was named after J.B Davidson, who is lauded as the father of modern agricultural engineering, with the prize paying homage to the progression of the industry which has continued to strive for new, innovative technologies that have shaped it into what it has become today.

Agco vice president, Barry O’Shea, was thrilled to be among a storied history of agricultural engineering innovators.

"This is Agco’s first Davidson Prize and we’re very proud of the honour."

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