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Crowdfunding asked for all-terrain electric tool carrier

A British company called EMotive has turned to crowdfunding to take its prototype zero-emission electric tool carrier to the pre-production stage ready for demonstration and production under licence.

Known as the Scarab, the vehicle can be fitted with both front and rear linkage/pto, and the platform can carry a 4 to 6 tonne payload. It is described as an eco-alternative to the Mercedes Benz Unimog for a range of applications including forestry and farming. The electric architecture of the powertrain includes advanced torque control, smart power distribution, telematics, and the possibility for autonomous control.

All wheels are powered electrically, and the vehicle can be configured to two, four or six wheel-drive. A wide range of different powers will be available, but peak output of the base vehicle is 668 kW. Electricity is supplied from a battery pack. The details have not yet been released, but Stephen Vale from profi, an agricultural technology magazine, speculates that the options list will include a hydrogen powered fuel cell as a range extender and to recharge the batteries.

It is envisaged that commercial partners will use the technology to produce their own branded e-vehicles under licence.

Crowdcube investors will receive shares and will be able to drive the vehicle on a Land Rover Experience course to see it being put through its paces. (Source: profi)


LEMKEN conducts carbon farming research project

LEMKEN has developed the concept of a Carbon Farming Plough in collaboration with the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). The ZALF research work on yield and climate effects of partial deep tillage are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. LEMKEN will use this research to create an implement for carbon enrichment in arable soils.

This plough is intended to be used to break up compaction and improve the soil as a result. The implement features bodies which plough at alternating depths to create wells below the tillage level in every other furrow, which are then filled with humus-rich topsoil. Analyses of historical trials conducted by the ZALF have shown that more than half of the humus introduced in this manner is retained to secure the long-term storage of CO2 in the soil.

The lower soil layers with little humus which are ploughed up in the process are mixed with the topsoil and form new humus-rich topsoil within a matter of only a few years, as carbon is introduced from crops. Overall, the humus content of soils tilled in this manner therefore increases, and soil fertility improves. At the same time, this sustainable soil improvement creates a new business model in the form of carbon farming.

Breaking up compacted soils while also introducing humus-rich topsoil into wells allows plant roots to grow into deeper soil levels and access the water and nutrients retained there. This approach can increase yields by up to five percent even in the first year.

This effect was established as early as in the 1960s and 1980s and has been confirmed by recent field trials conducted by the ZALF. The method can be repeated diagonally to the main direction of work after five to ten years.

This new plough will be available to purchase from mid-2024. (Source: LEMKEN)


Kubota announces a new series

Kubota replaced its flagship MGX series with the new M6U series – U standing for utility.

Five models are available. Two are short wheelbased (2,54 m) and use the 3,8-litre Kubota engine. The M6-101U peaks at 77,6 kW and the M6-111U at 83 kW.

The three models in the long wheelbase (2,68 m), M6-121U, M6-131U and M6-141U provides outputs of 92 kW, 99 kW and 106 kW, with maximum torque figures of 503 Nm, 544 Nm, and 586 Nm, respectively.

All five tractors have semi-powershift transmission with eight powershifts in three mechanical ranges (24×24). The option of a creeper range increases this to 32×32. Auto-shifting is included in each range.

Rear lift capacities are 5 t (short wheelbase) and 6,1 t (long wheelbase), and a two-speed 540/1 000 pto is standard.

The new models include many other options such as a 2,6-t capacity front linkage, 1 000 rpm front pto, front axle suspension, two additional spools and a sunroof for users looking to fit a front loader. (Source: profi)


John Deere unveils fully autonomous tractor

John Deere has unveiled its first fully autonomous tractor at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022) in Las Vegas. The 8R model has been used and it would still welcome, and need, an operator to take the tractor out to the field and back to the shed.

360-degree obstacle detection and distance calculation are taken care of by six pairs of stereo cameras. Images are passed through a deep neural network that classifies each pixel in approximately 100 milliseconds and determines if the machine continues to move or stops, depending on if an obstacle is detected. If there is something in the field the tractor is not sure about then it will stop and alert the mobile device user.

The autonomous tractor is also continuously checking its position relative to a geofence, ensuring it is operating where it is supposed to with 2,5 cm accuracy.

The tractor’s status can be monitored remotely from a mobile device, and the app not only provides access to live video, images, data, and metrics, but also allows the tractor’s speed and working depth of the implement to be adjusted remotely. The app also allows the fuel level to be checked and to see how much of the field has been covered and how much is left to do.

Currently, the technology for the 8R410 is available in combination with a special John Deere chisel plough. A limited number of tractors will be delivered to North American customers this year. (Source: John Deere)

John Deer

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