AEM Equipment Manufacturing Trends, JCB Hydrogen-Powered Engine, Greeneye-FBN Precision Agreement

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
JCB is bringing its first hydrogen fuel engine prototypes to the U.S. next month. Shown here is its hydrogen-powered backhoe loader. (DTN image courtesy of JCB)

In this Equipment Roundup, DTN/Progressive Farmer looks at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers' thoughts on parts and employees, JCB's hydrogen-powered engine technology and an AI precision spraying pact between Greeneye and FBN.



The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released earlier this month a paper identifying and commenting on trends in the equipment manufacturing industry for 2023. While these may not apply to the farm (or, with some imaginative management they may), AEM's look at the impacts of COVID-19 and the Great Resignation on the pace of equipment manufacturing is worth a few spare moments of contemplation while you await your new planter.

Here are three thoughts from AEM's examination of manufacturing trends.

1. Manufacturing leadership will need to address the morale of their workforce this year. What many have called the Great Resignation has affected organizations of all sizes and has made employee retention the single most important issue of 2023.

While employee training and development may be a budgetary afterthought, it's becoming increasingly clear that up-skilling, re-skilling and new-skilling employees on an ongoing basis is fast becoming the new normal. Here's something for the farm, too, from this AEM paper. Consider someone who has an engine spread out in a garage, is wiring his or her friend's hunting cabin, or is the neighborhood handyman and, based on his or her hobbies, interests and personal aptitude, the person would be a good fit to work in a certain area. Imagine being able to cast an organizational hiring net to consider people based not only on their workplace skills [but also on] talents and interests.

2. While we (DTN/Progressive Farmer) mention for the thousandth time there are two words, supply chain, a place where AEM does not offer much hope for relief. A recent AEM survey of 179 equipment manufacturers revealed that 98% of equipment manufacturers are still battling with an unreliable supply chain -- and over half (58%) are experiencing worsening conditions.

The two driving factors of these supply chain woes stem from workforce shortages and access to intermediate components for production.

3. Governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations throughout Europe and across North America and Asia look to transition their automotive and equipment fleets to decarbonized technologies.

These pressures, plus consumer demand, reveal themselves in the form of new rules and regulations on internal combustion engine emissions and incentive programs for zero-emission equipment purchases.


JCB is set to showcase its hydrogen combustion technology for the first time ever in North America at the Conexpo 2023 show in Las Vegas (March 14-18).

JCB has developed a hydrogen internal combustion engine and it already powers a JCB prototype backhoe loader and a telescopic handler.

As part of JCB's 'Road to Zero' program, the manufacturer has also developed the world's first battery-electric mini excavator and it claims the largest electric line-up available in the construction industry.

For more information:


Greeneye Technology, manufacturer of AI precision ag spraying technology, and Farmers Business Network (FBN) have announced a collaborative agreement combining Greeneye's retrofit precision spraying system with FBN's Precision Spraying Packs (customized crop protection and nutrition plans which FBN is developing for use specifically with the Greeneye technology). FBN has also made a "significant" but undisclosed investment in Greeneye's latest funding round.

The program will launch first in the U.S. for the 2024 growing season. FBN will offer financing for both the Greeneye system and its Precision Spraying Packs.

The Greeneye system is suitable for both pre- and post-emergence applications, and it is designed to integrate with any brand or size of commercial sprayer. Its dual line/tank configuration enables precision and broadcast spraying simultaneously. Greeneye says it has allocated dozens of systems for sale to FBN farmers in 2024, with the intention to significantly increase availability in the following season.

Dan Miller can be reached at

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