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 Food and Farming
Josef Mägele is pleased with his test-drive of the new Fendt 942 Vario—“the perfect tractor.”
employs 150 specialists to develop software solutions. The company attracts these IT experts to Marktoberdorf from around the world. Thanks to the high quality of life in the area, this is not too difficult. Paffen is sometimes amazed at the speed with which the experts develop new products and updates. “There’s absolutely no comparison between this and the pace of development cycles on the hardware side,” he remarks. Another significant advantage is that the “smart farming” approach also opens the door to the introduction of completely different business models. Similar to car sharing, some farmers will no longer own their own combines or for- ager harvesters. Instead, they will purchase harvesting ca- pacities as services, directly from the manufacturers.
In addition, many machines will work autonomously day and night. Technical advances have already made driverless agricultural machinery possible today. One job where this is
helpful is the application of crop protection agents—an activ- ity best done at night because the bees are not out and there is generally less wind and no sun to evaporate the relevant substances. This alone shows that the glorified image of farm- ers as cheerful field workers wearing straw hats and chew- ing cornstalks has long since lost any semblance to reality. “Today’s farmers are managers who need an extensive com- mand of high-tech as well as agriculture,” observes Paffen.
Electromobility only with fuel cells
In contrast to the automotive world, electromobility is not expected to take over farming in the foreseeable future, says Paffen. For one thing, the requisite batteries would make tractors or combines much too heavy and thereby damage the soil. In addition, it would take too long to charge them. To operate efficiently, machines need to be used as much as
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