Lemken to halt production of conventional sprayers

Lemken has announced its decision to permanently discontinue its production of conventional field sprayers at the end of 2020.

In a statement this month, the farm machinery giant outlined that discussions around sustainable crop care as well as the constantly increasing regulatory requirements in the various markets have prompted the move.

The firm’s site in Haren, Emsland, Germany, where the field sprayers have been produced will be retained and expanded to assemble seed drills in the future.

This aim of this is to make space for future models planned in the seed drilling and precision seeding areas and free up additional capacities at the main site in Alpen for the production of soil cultivation equipment, the company says.

Farmers who own a Lemken field sprayer are “guaranteed a continued supply of replacement parts as well as continued access to the firm’s customer service”. Customer orders will be accepted and fulfilled up until the end of the year, the company said.

AgriLand staff Jim Breen machinery image (634)

Lemken CEO Anthony van der Ley said: “After over 10 years operating in this segment, we have not reached a market-relevant size.

“The legal requirements in each of our markets are increasing and becoming more and more disparate,” he added.

We are also seeing that, even from a consumer standpoint, the boundaries for chemical crop care products are becoming ever higher.

“We are choosing this moment to break from our field spraying range in a responsible manner,” the CEO said.

Lemken said that it intends to strengthen and expand its soil cultivation, drilling technology and crop care product areas, adding that “crop care” will be concentrated on sustainable crop care solutions (including the recently introduced fertiliser spreaders – from Sulky) in future.

The firm says it acquired the Dutch hoeing technology specialist Steketee two years ago for this reason.

The machinery giant said the pairing “creates the opportunity to combine mechanical weed control with precise, selective band spraying or spot spraying, thus contributing to environmentally sound solutions when compared to broadcast spraying”.

Van der Ley predicted a trend to meet the increasing demand for mechanical weed control with intelligent controls, pointing to Steketee’s “intelligent camera technology” in assisting with this.

“We want to connect these machines to our digital solutions and make them adaptive. The environment is changing very fast right now.

“This is why farmers and contractors are now positioning themselves, whether they farm organically or conventionally, and are choosing the best model for them to be able to farm smartly and sustainably.”