A telehandler market


Telehandlers and other unique loaders found their way into many exhibits at SIMA, where the equipment line is popular with livestock farmers. Merlo is among the companies manufacturing the most unique telehandlers and loaders, such as this lime and orange “TurboFarmer” loader. Merlo is building most of its telehandlers and loaders to do more on the farm than just loader work.

Quick-attach loaders


For several years, Europe has had the technology for a quick-attach loader, which includes automatic hydraulic coupling. Attachment and detachment take only 10 seconds because the operator doesn't need to climb off the tractor to hook up the hydraulics.

The French company Mailleux demonstrated to a crowd of farmers how quickly its loader arm attaches and reattaches to the hydraulic loader.

For more information, visit www.mailleux.com.

Robotic milkers


Robotic milking technology has taken off in Europe. It is not unusual to head into a quaint dairy barn in Germany and find a robotic milker taking care of a 60-cow milking herd. These dairy farmers have embraced the technology as a way to ease the milking regimen that saddles small dairy operations.

Robotic milking technology is moving west, particularly into Canada. Companies such as Gascoigne Melotte hope large dairies in the U.S. eventually will invest in this technology.

The technology allows dairymen to expand their operations without adding labor. In addition, milk production should remain stable or improve because cows are milked more frequently. Each cow is milked and fed on its own schedule, meaning less stress and more milk production. A German dairyman says his herd goes into the robotic milker an average of three to four times a day for milking. The herd average is about 22,000 lbs. milk/year.

Gascoigne Melotte displayed its newest robotic milking prototype called the Zenith at SIMA. Designed for two cows, the milker is contained in a stainless steel stall with side openings. Its newest feature is an overhead transportable robot that can handle four milking boxes. The robot uses double ultrasonic sound waves to detect the first teat and follows the movement of the animal. Then a “fine” sensor locates the other teats, and the cluster attaches for milking. The teats are washed inside the teat cups. Cost for this milker is about $200,000. For more information, visit www.gascoigne-melotte.com.

Sprayer technology


Most European countries tightly monitor pesticide application. For example, inspectors in Germany randomly check farms to inspect equipment for low-drift nozzles, look over the financial records to make sure the chemicals and equipment were actually purchased, and take chemical samples in the field.

Sprayers and nozzles have become more sophisticated to meet this increasing need for accuracy. Under development is the technology to select nozzles automatically from the cab. Each nozzle will have a digital address and will be adjusted individually.

Sprayers at SIMA exhibited the trend toward sophisticated controls and equipment design. The John Deere sprayer shown is equipped with air suspension and disc brakes. The Segup sprayer control box also shown will sense flow, plugged nozzles, and other actions, indicating them to the operator.

The sprayer company Tecnoma exhibited an all-plastic sprayer with an automated method of handling and rinsing tanks. An operator from the cab programs and transfers the exact liquids in the system.

Enclosed grain tanks


U.S. farmers attending SIMA immediately noticed that most combines included grain tank covers. Not only do the covers limit grain damage from poor weather, they also increase capacity.

Case IH was one of the many companies displaying a combine grain cover with a pop-up lid.