Agricultural engineering

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Fendt 516 Vario tractor with Krampe tipping body

Agricultural engineering ( listen ? / I ), agricultural engineering , agricultural engineering or agricultural engineering , refers to the agricultural and forestry equipment used in the agricultural sector , stationary and mobile agricultural machinery and the associated sensors, as well as the branch of industry that deals with the manufacture, sale and service of these equipment . Within agribusiness , the manufacture and repair of agricultural technology are among the most important input areas for agriculture and related areas. Agricultural engineering equipment includes agricultural machinery as well as equipment for indoor farm work ( milking machines , feeding technology, filter systems, etc.). Audio file / audio sample

Agricultural technician


Agricultural technician , agricultural technician rsp. Agrotechnicians work in agricultural businesses (in gardening and wine-growing operations, on goods and in agricultural testing and research institutes). They take care of the soil, animal breeding, seeds and the machines. They are also responsible for planning work processes, but they also do physical activities themselves.
The training to become an agricultural technician takes place through a two-year advanced training course at a technical college . The prerequisite for this is a completed vocational training.
Most of the agricultural
technicians are paid according to BAT  Vb . The basic remuneration BAT Vb at the federal and state levels (West; gross average salary in euros) is € 1,424 at the age of 21, plus local supplements and a general allowance . The basic salary according to the collective agreement can range from € 1,964 to € 2,144, depending on professional experience.


In Switzerland the degree is called dipl. Agricultural Technician HF .

The following education providers exist in Switzerland (as of 2012):

  • Strickhof , Lindau
  • Inforama Rütti, Zollikofen
  • Grangeneuve, Canton of Friborg

The schools are higher technical schools for agriculture and forestry.

At the Inforama School, the training lasts two to three years part-time with at least 50 percent professional activity. At the Strickhof, the training lasts two years full-time.

The interests of farmers in matters of agricultural engineering are represented by the Swiss Association for Agricultural Engineering (SVLT-ASETA), founded in 1924 .


Agrotechnics used to be a field for technicians . The Strickhof was consequently a technical school . With the facilities of the higher technical schools in 2005, the Strickhof became the first higher technical school for agriculture and forestry.

Mobile agricultural machinery and sensors

Combine harvester Claas Lexion 570
Fertilizer spreader

Agricultural machines are specialized machines that are mainly used in agriculture . They are usually characterized by their mobility. That means they are either self-propelled or pulled by a tractor.

In the meantime, modern technology and information processing have also found their way into agricultural machinery. Modern tractors, fertilizer, seed and harvesting machines already have satellite-controlled navigation and mapping systems ( precision farming ) and a high degree of automation for the purpose of targeted application of the quantities . In the course of structural change, the areas to be cultivated per farm will be larger and the machines used will be correspondingly more efficient.

The associated investments are often no longer worthwhile for small and medium-sized farms. They therefore often join forces in machine rings or hire contractors for special tasks.

Selected types of agricultural machinery:

Independent tests on agricultural machinery are carried out by the German Agricultural Society (DLG) , among others , which has its own test center for this purpose.

The most important international exhibition of agricultural engineering is the Agritechnica trade fair , which is organized by the DLG every two years at the Hanover trade fair . Agricultural machinery now includes a whole range of sensor applications that record physical and chemical soil parameters, among other things.

Agricultural engineering industry

The Agricultural Engineering Association in the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering e. V. estimates the global production volume for agricultural machinery and tractors at 100 billion euros (2014). The European Union has a share of 28 percent, followed by North America (NAFTA) with 22 percent and China with 18 percent. In line with the growing importance of the Chinese sales market, production here has increased significantly over the past few years. This happened both on the part of the originally Chinese companies (the largest here are the Shifeng Group and the state-owned YTO Group) and the companies from Europe, America and other parts of Asia that have built factories in China.

By far the largest agricultural technology company in the world is John Deere (total sales in 2014: 36 billion US dollars, including 26 billion with agricultural technology). The following top-selling companies are Case New Holland, AGCO, Kubota and Claas. Together, these five providers represent half of global agricultural engineering sales. AGCO and Claas specialize in agricultural technology (tractors and agricultural machinery, mainly harvesting machines), while the construction machinery division also plays an important role at John Deere, but above all at Case New Holland and Kubota. AGCO and Case New Holland use a multi-brand strategy for sales.

The second half of global agricultural engineering sales are generated by other large companies with sales of over one billion euros (e.g. Iseki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Same Deutz-Fahr, YTO) and a large number of medium-sized manufacturers. There is a particularly high density of small and medium-sized agricultural engineering companies in Germany, Italy, the USA, Turkey, India and China. The VDMA divides the machines into the following categories: tractors, devices for tillage, devices for sowing, fertilization and plant care, harvesting technology, transport technology and logistics, forestry technology, machines and systems for indoor work (e.g. milking technology), irrigation systems, Equipment for garden and landscape maintenance. Some machines are offered as so-called self-propelled machines, ie with their own engine and driver's seat (including combine harvesters, forage harvesters, potato and beet harvesters, mixer feeders, crop protection devices, wood harvesters). Tractors represent around a third of total sales. Some of them are also used for non-agricultural purposes. In second place in terms of sales are harvesters.

The technological development trends for agricultural machinery relate, among other things, to automation, networking and data management, electrification and a further increase in the size of machines in order to increase efficiency in the field and to counter the increasing labor shortage. Modern management standards are subsumed under the term precision farming or smart farming.

The sales markets for agricultural technology are distributed in the individual countries and regions according to the importance and degree of mechanization of agriculture. The European Union (EU) had a share of 26 percent in 2014, followed by North America (NAFTA) with 23 percent and China (16 percent). India, Brazil, Turkey and Japan also play a major role. Within the EU, France and Germany are the largest sales markets for agricultural technology with a volume of around five billion euros most recently (2014).

The VDMA estimates sales of new tractors for 2014 at 2.05 billion euros worldwide. In terms of number of units, India is the largest tractor market, but with a predominantly low engine output between 25 and 35 kW. For comparison: in Germany, the average engine power in 2014 was over 90 kW. The second largest sales market for tractors is China, followed by the USA and the European Union.

In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which among other things plays a major role in the production of grain, agricultural investment in new technology has decreased significantly since 2008. The political framework, e.g. B. Trade barriers for foreign products contributed to this.

After reaching a new record level in 2013 with a global sales volume of 104 billion euros, the industry is in an economic downturn in 2014/2015. The so-called megatrends urbanization, changes in consumer habits, population growth and the trend towards decreasing agricultural land are seen as influencing the demand for modern agricultural technology as favorable medium and long-term factors (source: VDMA 2015).

Agricultural machinery trade and agricultural machinery trade

Handicraft and trade are in the hands of tradesmen and service companies. The German market is divided roughly equally into cooperative and private companies. The largest dealers are the corresponding business areas of the main cooperatives ( BayWa , Agravis Raiffeisen etc.) with their numerous branches. There are also independent local agricultural cooperatives with their own agricultural technology business. In addition to a few large private companies with several branches, otherwise small companies with only one location characterize the image of the private agricultural machinery trade. In Germany, around 5,500 such businesses are currently registered in the craft register. The occupational field is called agricultural machinery mechanic trade. In addition to typical agricultural machinery, the activity also includes repairs and servicing of construction machinery , gardening equipment , municipal technology and equipment for environmental protection. Around 45,000 people are employed in the industry. Around 6,000 trainees are learning the trade of agricultural machinery mechanic. Around 200 masters are admitted annually. The cooperative operations are organized in the German Raiffeisen Association, private operations in the main working group for the agricultural machinery trade and craft . (Data: H. A. G.)

See also


  • Wolfgang Kutschenreiter: Focus on agricultural technology - strategies, companies, opportunities . DLG publishing house, Frankfurt a. M. 1999. ISBN 3-7690-0590-2 . 192 pages
  • Christof Ludowicy, Reinhart Schweiberger, Peer Leithold: Precision Farming . DLG publishing house, Frankfurt a. M. 2002. ISBN 3-76900608-9 . 168 pp.
  • Georg Bauer: The fascination of tractors & harvesting agricultural technology through the ages . DLG publishing house, Frankfurt a. M. 2007. ISBN 978-3-7690-0691-9 . 288 p. (Numerous color images)
  • Klaus Krombholz, Hasso Bertram and Hermann Wandel: 100 years of agricultural engineering - from handcraft to high-tech in Germany . DLG publishing house, Frankfurt a. M. 2009. ISBN 978-3-7690-0737-4 . 320 pp.
  • Winfried Süßmann, Jakob Entholzner, Siegfried Mitterhuber: Expertise in agricultural machinery mechanics. Ernst Klett Verlag, Stuttgart 1970. ISBN 3-12-845510-4 .
  • Tractors Schlepper Jahrbuch 2009. The standard work for the old-timer tractor scene . w | k | & | f Filmverlag, Kempten 2008. ISBN 978-3-933451-08-8 .
  • VDMA Agricultural Engineering: Economic Report 2015 [1]

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Thünen Institute: Work areas. (No longer available online.) In: Formerly in the original ; accessed on May 20, 2015 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  2. Archived copy ( memento of the original from July 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /