Three Davidson Prize Winners Announced

Ag Engineering Innovators Earn Davidson Prizes at Commodity Classic

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
AGCO was awarded a Davidson Prizes for its innovative IDEAL combine AutoDock system. (Photo courtesy of AGCO Corp.)

The 2021 Davidson Prizes for innovation in agriculture were announced Tuesday at an event held as the annual Commodity Classic swings into its four-day virtual run. Among three Davidson Prize winners is AGCO Corporation.

That prize was given for AGCO's 9350 DynaFlex Draper Header with AutoDock. It is a 50-foot flexible header with AGCO's automatic system for attaching from the cab all mechanical, electrical and hydraulic connections of the header to the Fendt IDEAL combine.

"At AGCO we spend a lot of time out in the field observing what farmers are doing and we look for smart solutions to help them be more productive," said Barry O'Shea, AGCO vice president and Product Line Leader, Global Gold Harvesting. "The AutoDock is a great example of that. Not only do we save the farmer time climbing up and down off that combine to hook up the header, he can get into the field and harvest (sooner) ... where he is making money."

The AutoDock process is straightforward. The combine operator drives up to the header and lifts it. He pushes a button in the cab and within a few seconds automatic coupling is complete. The system completes a self-test to ensure the connection is complete. Operators connect and disconnect the header without ever leaving the cab.

"Then you just start harvesting," O'Shea said. "Some customers have to hook and unhook heads several times a day. So, this is a big savings." To keep the system clean from dust and debris, AutoDock incorporates specialized doors that close as the head is uncoupled.

AGCO is a first-time winner of the Davidson Prize.

The 9350 DynaFlex draper header with AutoDock header docking system is compatible with AGCO's Fendt IDEAL combine. For more information go to: fendt.com/us/combines/ideal-highlights.

Two other Davidson Prize winners at the Commodity Classic are:

-- Purdue University and LeafSpec, LLC for the LeafSpec, a portable hyperspectral corn leaf imager. The technology provides hyperspectral imaging with a mobile device allowing growers, researchers and plant breeders to identify in real time the nutrient and chemical compositions of plants. The scan can help farmers know when to fertilize or identify water deficiencies, for example. There are four versions of LeafSpec used to gather images of corn, soybeans, wheat, and rice. One version looks at particular crop characteristics, such as potential herbicide damage. For an article about LeafSpec go to: https://ag.purdue.edu/….

-- Haber Technologies, Inc. for its DRI-Stack a grain drying and aeration system. DRI-Stack speeds drying time. With Haber's optional low-temp burner, grain managers can dry corn 10 points in as little as 10 days, the company said. For more information go to: www.drycorn.com.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) presented the prize today at the Commodity Classic. This is the fourth year the Davidson Prize has been given. The Davidson Prize was designed to celebrate breakthrough innovations in areas of agricultural, food and biological systems engineering.

"These three products deliver on solutions that truly represent the spirit of J.B. Davidson and the innovative legacy of agriculture," said Curt Blades, senior vice president of Agriculture for AEM.

The Davidson Prize is named for J.B. Davidson, the father of modern agricultural engineering.

Winners were selected from the AE50 honorees, announced at the Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in February.

Dan Miller can be reached at dan.miller@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF

Dan Miller