Will discontinue production from end of 2020

German farm equipment manufacturer Lemken has announced that demands on agriculture for sustainable crop care solutions and the constantly increasing regulatory requirements surrounding sprayers and crop protection products are behind its decision to discontinue crop sprayer production from the end of 2020.

The news affects the firm's mounted and trailed machines, and also Lemken's recently-introduced Nova self-propelled unit.

Anthony van der Ley, the firm's CEO, suggested that after ten years in the sector it was felt Lemken's sprayer business had not reached a market-relevant size, and that with the legal requirements in each of its key markets increasing and becoming more disparate while customer needs and preferences continued to be diverse, satisfactory production runs could not be achieved.

"We are also seeing that, even from a consumer standpoint, chemical crop care product hurdles are becoming ever higher. Although we introduced several future-focused new models at the last Agritechnica, and our team is extremely motivated by their great reception, we are choosing this moment to break from our field spraying range in a responsible manner.”

Lemken says it intends to strengthen and expand its soil cultivation, drilling technology and crop care product areas, and in doing so that its crop care focus will in future be concentrated on sustainable crop care solutions, including its recently-introduced fertiliser spreader range. This fits with its acquisition two years ago of Steketee, the Dutch hoeing technology specialist, which the firm says creates the opportunity to combine mechanical weed control with precise, selective band spraying or spot spraying rather than broadcast spraying, with environmental, time and cost benefits. Mr Van der Ley said the firm also sees a trend to meet the increasing demand for mechanical weeding with intelligent controls.

"Steketee offers a range of hoeing technology, including intelligent camera guidance. We want to connect these machines to our digital solutions and make them adaptive, for use by both organic and conventional farmers."

Lemken's Haren site in Germany where its sprayers are made will be retained and expanded, with production switched to drill manufacturing, an area in which the firm says there is a significant rise in demand. It will also free up additional capacities at the main site in Alpen for the production of soil cultivation equipment. Lemken sprayer owners have been assured of continued replacement part supply and service support, while dealers have been assured that customer orders will be accepted and fulfilled up until the end of the year.

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