Our soils may arguably be one of the most essential factors in our farms. Without soil, where and how would we grow our crops? John Deere seems to agree with this statement with the rollout of the 8RX tractor series at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany.
RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney caught up with Simon Schowalter at the show, to talk about the tractor that is being dubbed the “soil specialist.”
“It’s a revolutionary tractor concept that we designed from the ground up. And why did we do that? Why did we bring in a third 8R tractor concept into the market? It’s about soil protection,” explains Schowalter. “Soil is probably the most critical essence to any farmer and if you treat the soil nice, it will treat you nice as a farmer as well.”
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Schowalter adds that the design of the tractor is about keeping the water in the soil structure to further support root development.
“A better crop will grow, and therefore [you’ll get better] yields. Conservatively speaking, we’re looking at a two to three per cent increase in yield in European crops — mostly corn and wheat,” he says in the video below. “In today’s crop prices, that equals to about 30 Euro a hectare, on a one thousand hectare farm, that is a potential of about fifty-thousand Euros annually (in incremental revenue), just for doing more sustainable farming. (Story continues below video).
So far the response from the tractor has been positive and Schowalter couldn’t help but express his own excitement for the future of the tractor.
“There are so many exciting parts. If you think about the operator, if you think about the large farms, retaining or attracting highly qualified operators isn’t an easy task on large farms. With urbanization, it won’t become easier. So we put a lot of focus on giving that perfect operator experience here as well, to a cab that is really second-to-none in so many aspects.”