Kris Swan, a territory sales manager for John Deere in Saskatoon, shows Allen Ingram from St. Walburg how to use a combine simulator in the Combine Innovation Zone during Agri-Visions, held at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds Feb.14-15. The simulator is based on the 2018 John Deere S780 combine. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
There were no keys in the ignition of any of the shining new combines on display at Agri-Visions for test rides, but sales leads were made.
Local sales representatives of John Deere, Challenger, New Holland, Case IH and Claas combines pitched the latest innovations in technology to farmers in the Combine Innovation Zone at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds Feb. 14-15.
One of the presenters was Dustin Weinkauf, an optimization specialist with Agland in Lloydminster, who said Agri-Visions is an important event to whet the interest of farmers in their 2018 John Deere S780 combine.
“It’s very important to us—there’s a lot of new technology with it,” he said.
“This is our yearly show to get out to our customers, other producers—and get to showcase what we have.”
Today’s combines handle three key harvesting operations including reaping, threshing and winnowing, with technology aimed at improving grain quality while reducing losses.
“The combines we’re selling will combine any crop out there,” said Weinkauf.
He said some of the technology in the S780 that increases the efficiency of combining is a new combine Advisor package with “set it and forget it” technology performance settings.
When it to comes to making a sale, Weinkauf said “It always comes back to the dealership a farmer wants to work with, making sure you have the parts and service when you need them at the time of year.”
Weinkauf said it’s exciting times at Agland this year, as John Deere celebrates 100 years since the first Waterloo Boy tractor rolled off the assembly line.
“It’s something great to take in a celebration, so we want to share that with our customers,” he said.
He was quick to agree the 2018 S780 combine is not your great grandfather’s combine or tractor for that matter.
“The original Waterloo would have been around 15-20 horsepower,” said Weinkauf.
“We’re up pushing that 620 horsepower range now, so it’s crazy to see where this came.”
He said horsepower in combines has become more important as implements are getting bigger.
“We need to be more efficient with our operations, cover more ground—implements are getting larger and so are machines.”
The new Lexion 780TT combine by Claas assembled in Omaha Nebraska was another piece of farm eye candy that Rick Hubrich, a territory manager from Regina tempted his audience with.
“It’s European design, but half the product is supplied by Germany and the other half by the United States,” he said.
Claas is sold locally by Tingley’s Harvest Centre in Lloydminster, and Hubrich said sales are getting better all the time.
“Tingley’s has done good, they’ve had about 35 per cent market share in the immediate area for the last little while and our numbers just keep increasing all the time as our dealer network grows,” he said.
Hubrich said Claas combines have the best fuel economy and the biggest throughput on the market, which translates to savings for the farmer.
“Nowadays you can’t keep getting bigger and bigger; you’ve got to optimize what you’ve got and getting every last kernel in the tank is key,” he said.
“We’ve probably got the most technology of anybody out there.”
That includes the terra trac on the Lexion to provide flotation and traction in all farm terrain with header control and ride comfort.
Hubrich relished the opportunity to promote Claas combines at Agri-Visions to a live audience and meet potential customers in person.
“That’s they only way to get our name out there,” he said.
“The internet plays a big part in this nowadays, but it’s still the relationships and the one-on-one and spending time with the farmer so you can see where he’s coming from and show him what we’ve got to offer.”
Hubrich added there is no such thing as a bad time to sell combines.
“With our product, a lot of times guys are saving money and making the payments just due to the saving in fuel economy in our unit and their production,” he said.