Lemken has announced it has permanently discontinued its production of conventional field sprayers.
CEO Anthony van der Ley explains: “After over 10 years operating in this segment, we have not reached a market-relevant size. The legal requirements in each of our markets are increasing and becoming more and more disparate. This means that there is no single LEMKEN field spraying standard that can meet our quality standards and the variety of customer preferences, with which we could achieve a satisfactory production run. We are also seeing that, even from a consumer standpoint, the boundaries for chemical crop care products are becoming ever higher. Although we introduced several future-focused new models at the last Agritechnica, and our team is extremely motivated by the great reception, we are choosing this moment to break from our field spraying range in a responsible manner”.
As a family company, LEMKEN is taking this step to position itself strongly and independently for the future. This means that it intends to strengthen and expand its soil cultivation, drilling technology and crop care product areas in order to sustain its position as an innovative market leader. In doing so, “crop care” will be concentrated on sustainable crop care solutions (including the recently introduced fertiliser spreaders) in future.
LEMKEN acquired the Dutch hoeing technology specialist Steketee two years ago for this reason. This creates the opportunity to combine mechanical weed control with precise, selective band spraying or spot spraying, thus contributing to environmentally sound solutions when compared to broadcast spraying. At the same time, the new process saves farmers time and money.
Van der Ley sees a trend to meet the increasing demand for mechanical weed control with intelligent controls. “Not only does Steketee offer a range of innovative hoeing technology, it also has the most intelligent camera technology on the market. We want to connect these machines to our digital solutions and make them adaptive. The environment is changing very fast right now. This is why farmers and contractors are now positioning themselves, whether they farm organically or conventionally, and are choosing the best model for them to be able to farm smartly and sustainably. It is a future theme for all of us, to ensure global food security despite environmental restrictions”.
The site in Haren (Emsland) where the field sprayers have been produced will be retained and in fact be expanded to assemble seed drills in the future. This step will enable future expansion to meet the steep rise in demand for these products and make space for future models planned in the seed drilling and precision seeding areas. It will also free up additional capacities at the main site in Alpen for the production of soil cultivation equipment.
Farmers who own a LEMKEN field sprayer are guaranteed a continued supply of replacement parts as well as continued access to LEMKEN customer service. Customer orders will be accepted and fulfilled up until the end of the year.