While the world talked of war, a group of Farm Industry News readers went to Paris in late February to attend SIMA, one of the largest agricultural equipment shows in the world. The show featured 1,350 exhibitors, the majority of which were ag equipment companies.

SIMA exhibits are more extravagant than those at U.S. farm shows. Spectacular sound and lighting are used to wow attendees. Exhibits included a tractor lifting two other tractors, and a combine that was positioned so that growers could walk under it.

Our readers strolled through the five massive display halls of SIMA. Afterwards, we asked them what they found most interesting for their use back home. Here's what they found.

Multidirectional corn head


A grower can forget about following corn rows with the new combine corn head by Kemper. Victor DeBlock of Viola, IL, spotted this gem in the John Deere exhibit. The new Corn-Star head uses rotating blades to cut the stalks and has no gathering chain, so a combine with the CornStar can crisscross a corn field without traveling down corn rows.

Kemper is manufacturing the head exclusively for John Deere. A limited number of the heads will be sold in Europe this year and tested during the fall harvest. The CornStar is available in six- and eight-row models. It is unknown if and when it will be available in the U.S. For more information, visit www.kemper-stadtlohn.de.

Moldboard plow


While growers in the U.S. barely till ground, European growers subscribe to deep tillage with moldboard plows. These plows are different from the ones used decades ago, noted Eldon Schrader of Wellsville, MO. Moldboard plows like the one sold by Kverneland (pictured) will flip over at the end of the row so a grower may travel back along the same furrow.

Silage baler/wrapper


A large baler that wraps a bale while the next bale is being made caught the eye of Bill Bertram, Valley City, ND. The Rollant 255 Uniwrap by Claas rolls a dense bale and automatically wraps it in netting. Then the tailgate opens, and the finished bale rolls into a bale articulator where it is wrapped with six layers of stretch film in 35 seconds. While the first bale is being wrapped, the tailgate closes, and the next bale is compressed. After the first bale is wrapped, it rolls out of the wrapper, and the next bale is loaded into it. The advantage of the Uniwrap is that one driver accomplishes two jobs at the same time. For more information, visit www.claas.com.

Fencing implement


Gayla Moeckel of Plevna, KS, saw a great opportunity to make fencing an easier job with a new implement from the French company Rabaud. The implement holds spools of barbed wire (two to five ranks) or wire netting and provides the tension to make building a fence simple. It is available with air nailing. The Cloturmatic works with tractor hydraulics or PTO unit. For more information, go to www.rabaud.com.

Chopper with GreenStar


When Ron Englemann said his favorite piece of equipment at the show was a John Deere chopper with GreenStar installed on it, he was serious. We found him sitting in the chopper the next day when we went back for photos. The Glencoe, MN, grower uses GreenStar to map yields on his farm, except in his chopped acres. Now Deere offers a chopper with GreenStar. Englemann would like to map his chopped fields and then give the maps to a local fertilizer dealer for variable rate fertilizer application.

Extended boom loader


Steve Schulte saw a new model of Manitou's extended boom loader at the show. The model 634 features updated controls, a better radiator and a factory cab. Schulte owns the 633 model and puts it to work on the family dairy operation near Harbor Beach, MI.

Front tractor hitches


Many tractors at SIMA sported 3-pt. hitches on the front. Allen Narwold of Batesville, IN, said he would like the convenience of a tractor with a front hitch. He noted he can order a 3-pt. hitch on a U.S. tractor now. But all tractor brands in Europe appear to have the option of a front hitch.

Reversible engine fan


Kenneth King spotted the Cleanfix fan that reverses itself to blow out trash. The Aledo, IL, farmer thought the fan would work great on his tractors. Cleanfix may be installed on tractors, self-propelled harvesters, combines, TMR mixers and other machines whose radiators can clog with chaff, soil and debris. The device temporarily reverses airflow to purge debris from an engine's air intake. Each fan blade rotates on its individual axis with the touch of a button.

The fan also was displayed at the National Farm Machinery Show and is available in the U.S. for $1,000 to $3,600. Contact Cleanfix North America Ltd. 90 Linton Ave. Stratford, Ontario, Canada N5A 2S3 519-275-2808 , +1 (519) 275-2808, visit www.cleanfix.org.

Folding corn heads


Larry Palmreuter of Frankenmuth, MI, was intrigued by folding corn heads shown by several manufacturers at SIMA. Most European countries require farm equipment to have narrow transport widths for highway driving. Manufacturers resort to some unique ways of folding equipment to meet the rules. A popular method for handling combine headers is to roll the ends over the top of the middle rows, as shown in the photo.

In the U.S., wider roads and fewer transport restrictions have kept this more expensive technology from crossing the Atlantic.