New product segments in focus
The vast majority of manufacturers of equipment for soil cultivation, sowing, fertilization and crop protection reported “better than expected” developments for their company since last spring. This is the conclusion of a recent industry survey conducted by CEMA, the European agricultural machinery umbrella organization, as part of its annual arable product groups meetings. A closer look at the Eastern and Western European countries also reveals that this statement holds true: there is no need to talk about a “recovery” in this context, as no significant declines were recorded on the agricultural machinery markets in the first place. The annual meeting of the Product Groups took place in a virtual format on 18th March 2021.
When asked about current industry trends and challenges, the participants unanimously named digitization and connectivity as core topics. Manufacturers now also turn a growing attention to technologies such as mechanical weed control. This development is being driven not only by legislative measures relating to plant and water protection and the associated active customer demand. From a technical point of view, a whole bouquet of new solutions is also available, such as the use of cameras or sensors to increase accuracy and efficiency.
In the three product groups, there have not only been changes in content as a result of such new or trend-adapted product categories. There have also been personnel changes. In the Soil Preparation Technology Group, Mattias Hovnert (Väderstad) stepped down as chairman after two terms in office. Hovnert can look back on an eventful and successful time as chairman. For some product categories, the decision had to be made to no longer nominally continue them as part of statistics (e.g. Disc Harrows/Roller Combinations or Furrow Ring Packers) because they had lost relevance due to declining unit numbers and a reduced group of participants. Others – such as the “Mechanical Weed Control” – on the other hand could be represented in exclusive statistics for the first time. Hovnert’s successor is Dirk Hollinderbäumer (Lemken), who expressly thanked him for the excellent preparatory work and is looking forward to the coming challenges: “I am especially happy about the establishment of the subgroup for interrow cultivation and hope that we will get more members from this segment”.
In the product group meeting for precision seed drills, seed drills and mineral fertilizer spreaders, Elke Pankow (Rauch) was confirmed in office without dissenting vote as chairman after the expiry of her first term of office.
Also, Peter Dahl (Hardi) as chairman of the group for crop protection equipment can hold office for a second period after unanimous re-election.
The secretariat, represented by Nina Janßen (VDMA) is pleased about the constructive and progressive development of the groups: “On the product side, we have the high demand to reflect the current trends and developments. The rapid growth of the groups, with eight new companies joining from all parts of Europe, has shown us over the past three years how valuable this association is for the industry as a whole”.
The CEMA product groups are the association of the leading European manufacturers of equipment for arable farming, harvesting green fodder and hay, as well as tractors and combine harvesters. The main focus is placed on the joint evaluation of the market based on their own statistics. Currently, 29 companies from 13 European countries are members of the CEMA product groups in the field of arable farming. A prerequisite for participation is membership in a national industry association that is a member of the umbrella organization CEMA.