BOLOGNA, Italy — Case IH won its fifth Tractor of the Year honors for its 2019 Maxxum 145 Activedrive 8, tying it with Fendt as the most winning tractor manufacturer in the competition.

The Maxxum 145 was described by judges as a “high-tech tractor with high engine power, efficient power consumption and driving comfort as well as outstanding visuals, maneuverability and performance.”

Other top tractor winners included:

  • Best Utility — Fendt 313 Vario. Judges noted its low fuel consumption, suspended front axel and versatility.
  • Best Design — Case IH Maxxum 145 Activedrive 8, especially for its modern and elegant look.
  • Best of Specialized — Same Frutteto Cvt 115 S, collecting accolades for its multifunctionality, electronic controls and easy-to-use interface in such a small tractor.

A jury of 25 ag journalists from 20 countries gathered last May in Italy to begin the judging process. Their first task was to create a “short list” of finalists in four categories: best tractor; best utility tractor — with more than 70 horsepower; maximum four-cylinder motor and maximum 8.5 kilogram weight; best specialized tractor — orchard, vineyard, hill and mountain; and best design.

Tractor of the Year is an award started in 1998 and has attracted entries from 23 countries. The judges have tested 250 tractors in very different conditions over the past 20 years.

As a reflection of the changing times, the competition will eliminate its Best Design category and replace it with Best Sustainable category. The rationale for the shift is based on the projections that there will be a world population of 9.6 billion by 2050 and that food production must increase by 70 percent to meet this growing need.

Judges will look at these nominees based on the machines’ safety, comfort, technology on board, efficiency, non-conventional fuel use, virtual terminal, connectivity and the brand’s commitment to the environment.

Jerome Bandry is general secretary of the European Agricultural Machinery Association. He pointed out that the European tractor market is a 26 EU industry. “It’s a very important industry. And for the 500 companies in our industry, these awards are golden nuggets. So we need to ensure that we continue to have the innovation.”

Among those innovations is reform of common agricultural policy that’s underway in Europe. Bandry emphasized the need to ensure that farmers can secure financing and afford new ag technology machinery.

And regarding trust in the new realm of digital ag data, a code of conduct has been developed to help farmers make better and smarter decisions for precision agriculture.

Karen Binder can be reached at kbinder@agrinews-pubs.com or 618-534-0614. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Binder.

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