Zürn Harvesting

We mourn the loss of Dr. h.c. Hans-Ulrich Hege

Who passed away on February 4, 2021 at the age of 92.

He was literally engaged in many fields as a down-to-earth farmer, visionary plant breeder and ever creative machinery manufacturer entrepreneur.

Hans-Ulrich Hege did not only just inspire us, but was actively supportive. Our business on the Hohebuch estate builds on the work he did. His name is well respected in the industry across the world.

The inventions he developed together with his team were a strong contribution to the vital high-yielding plants that secure today’s food supply. In nearly every loaf of bread that is made somewhere around the world there is a little piece of Hege.

We will remember him with honour and gratitude. Our heartfelt sympathies are with his admirable wife, his children and family

Pioneer of field research technology dies at 92

On February 4, 2021, Dr. h. c. Hans-Ulrich Hege passed away at the age of 92. All the staff at Zürn Harvesting GmbH & Co KG join the Hege family in mourning the loss of this leading seed breeder and field trial pioneer who was a towering figure in German agriculture.

Hans-Ulrich Hege joined his parents' seed breeding company on the Hohebuch Estate near Schwäbisch Hall in 1954, eventually taking over the management of the company. As a seed breeder, he found himself confronted with a lack of suitable harvesters for small trial plots. So, in 1963 he developed the first plot combine for his new breeds of winter wheat varieties.

This invention profoundly revolutionised agricultural field trialling around the world, because for the first time, breeders were able to harvest their trial plots with machines without the risk of mixing varieties.

After the German reunification, the agile seed breeder became the new owner of the former East German combine manufacturer MDW Mähdrescherwerke Singwitz near Bautzen. Here he developed the legendary Arcus, a brand new type of combine harvester which was capable of harvesting up to 65 tonnes per hour, a record capacity at the time. Later on he sold the company to Case IH.

Although Hans-Ulrich Hege’s passion for plant breeding and mechanical engineering earned him international awards and recognition, he remained the down-to-earth farmer he had always been. The visionary plant breeder and mechanical engineer lived with his wife Magdalene on his Hohebuch Estate in Baden-Württemberg.

Focus on the Future

Zürn invests in a cutting-edge surface treatment centre with coating facility

Zürn Harvesting recently expanded the production facility in Merchingen where mainly cutting platforms for commercial farming are produced.

“Central part of this expansion is an entirely new semi-automatic powder coating installation which complies with the latest environmental protection standards. With the new facility, we can process parts with an individual length of up to 14 m in one run. This is not only unique in the area but helps us to meet the high expectations for our product quality”, underlines director Rolf Zürn.

Protecting the environment

In the new surface coating facility, parts can be prepared for the coating with sandblasting and an automatic washing system. During the actual coating, powder is manually applied and the parts are then heated up in the curing oven with a product-specific temperature curve.

New technological standard

“Even regarding energy demand, the new facility scores: The hot process air is used to heat the factory halls via heat exchangers” says the department head Martin Filz about the environmental aspects of the new technology.

Besides cutting platforms for combines and forage harvesters, the Merchingen factory produces various header attachments and header trailers. In the last years, Zürn Harvesting also started to manufacture mechanical weeding technology in these halls. In addition to this product range, the Merchingen factory also supplies welded assemblies for the field research technology factory in Hohebuch.

For an optimal capacity utilisation throughout the year, the new facility also provides services for third parties.

“Pulse crop” specialist is universal

The longer header with special knife geometry is perfectly adapted to cut close to the ground in pulse crops. Field experience confirms lower header losses even compared to special row-crop headers. Moreover, our customers all around the world verified that this concept performs excellent in cereals and oilseeds as well. We will therefore make this header our standard solution on our plot combines ZÜRN 110 to ZÜRN 150 with cutting width ranging from 1.25 to 2.0 m.

Optional gauge wheels right next to the cutterbar allow precise floating and perfect ground following. An underbody protection prevents feeding belt damage when cutting low. It can be opened with quick-locks for cleaning to ensure hygiene.

Mechanical weeding in field trials

The trend towards more mechanical weed control in agricultural practice also has an impact on field research.

New experimental questions on chemical-free arable farming strategies or in the context of organic farming require field trials that can be compared in practice. There’s a growing need for alternative solutions to herbicides not only when they lose their acceptance in society but even in new crops that are intended to extend the crop rotation.

Camera-guided precision hoes

Garford machines are generally acknowledged to be some of the most precise hoes on the market. Advanced camera technology is the heart of Garford hoeing technology. The Garford camera can detect rows or individual plants in the field. But it is the perfect balance of optoelectronics, mechanics and hydraulics that creates a high-precision machine. Philip Garford and his team have been working on this for more than 20 years.

The cutting platform and field research technology specialist Zürn Harvesting has acquired a majority stake in the English hoeing technology manufacturer Garford Farm Machinery Ltd. Research companies benefit from the close cooperation between the hoeing technology and the field research technology specialists. For the first time, these two companies bring together the expertise from both worlds and can now offer precision-guided hoes specially tailored to agricultural field research.

Agritechnica impressions 2019

Invitation to Agritechnica 2019

Welcome to Hall 13, Stand C26

Agritechnica is about to start shortly in Hanover. The world‘s leading trade fair for agricultural machinery will be held on 10-16 November 2019. We are curious about the discussions with you and look forward to your visit in Hall 13, Stand C26.

Never before we had this many new products to be presented. Some of our existing products are improved substantially while others are newly added to our product range. Moreover, some developments are not only new for us but even for the whole industry: entirely new product categories that cannot be found in any other manufacturer‘s portfolio.

Visit us at Agritechnica and meet the passionate people from various countries of the world who are
deeply rooted in agriculture and who have worked with us to bring these products into the field.

A whole range of new products is launched by Zürn and Garford at Agritechnica 2019: Come an see our innovations in mechanical weed control, precision hoes, cutting platforms and field research technology.

Our Innovations at Agritechnica

The better choice

ZÜRN D62-SF: Manoeuvrable sowing combination with John Deere tractor

As powerful and cost-effective alternative solution to self-propelled seeders, we offer the ZÜRN D62-SF seeder.

With a mounting frame, the mechanically driven ZÜRN D62 is rigidly coupled to a standard tractor. To ensure operator comfort and occupational safety, only the coulter bar is lifted hydraulically while the platform and all other functional components are not moved around.

With its modular design, the flexible concept builds a basis that can equally be used for the mechanical single-row seeder ZÜRN D90 and the plot fertiliser spreader ZÜRN D50.

The manoeuvrable and compact John Deere 3038E tractor is part of the economic efficiency. With special adaptions and the desired track width, it is perfectly build for your trials. Using tested series-production technology reduces acquisition and maintenance costs, and the tractor can be used throughout the whole year for other tasks.

Brand new dry-matter sensor for grain moisture analysis

Grain moisture analysis of the highest accuracy

In our business, the season doesn’t end with the harvest. It’s the result data which we are looking for.

Collecting this data already in the field enhances efficiency and increases process reliability. Zürn plot combine harvesters can be individually equipped with comprehensive weighing and analysis technology.

Besides the whole NIRS content analysis, we now offer another optical measuring device. The brand new sensor technology is extremely robust and ensures grain moisture analysis of the highest accuracy.

The technology behind this new device is a compact-photometer on a LED basis. The contact sensor head collects the data of numerous measurements and directly calculates the average moisture with the integrated references.

The great advantage over existing systems is the measurement right in the crop flow which ensures an average moisture value of the whole plot yield. The measurement does not require the correction with the specific weight as an additional factor. Therefore, a volumetric box is not necessary.

The sensor operating terminal is fully integrated in the ZÜRN WieSEL weighing system menu structure. Choosing the crop type and storing the result data is done directly in the reliable and tough operating screen.

Celebrating the 90th birthday of Dr. Hans-Ulrich Hege

Great birthday parade for the anniversary

In 1963, an invention by Dr. Hans-Ulrich Hege revolutionized the world of agricultural field research. The first viable plot combine harvester to ensure seed purity left Hohebuch and conquered every continent. Nearly 60 years on from the first Hege unit Zürn is again developing and manufacturing machines at this historical site. So the Hohebuch estate continues to be a reliable partner for research technicians all over the world.

Recently, the ZÜRN employees celebrated the 90th birthday of Dr. Hans-Ulrich Hege, the inventor of the plot combine. With a historical machine parade and barbecue, they honored his life’s work at the place where he once laid the foundation for modern field research.

Watch the birthday parade in the video.

ZÜRN 130-ST: The new Stationary Thresher

Stationary thresher now available with weighing system

We have redesigned our stationary thresher in many details. The new ZÜRN 130-ST is of a modular design which allows us to customize the stationary thresher easily to your specific needs. The threshing and cleaning units now are identical to those of the proven plot combine ZÜRN 130. The single-sieve cleaning system is easy to adjust - a fast clean out of the machine and a clean sample are guaranteed.

In order to increase the ergonomics, the stationary thresher can be equipped with a flexible bagging platform. Weighing systems are available now as option: Customers can select between a ZÜRN WieSEL weighing system or the HarvestMaster weighing system.

With the integrated chassis, the stationary thresher is flexible and offers a high level of mobility. The drawbar can be removed quickly to guarantee a neat straw discharge. The long in-feed table, various safety devices and the central operating terminal grant a high level of occupational safety and ease of use.

Learn more about the ZÜRN 130-ST.

ZÜRN 540: New versatile tool carrier

For various applications

The high clearance tool carrier ZÜRN 540 expands our versatile tool carrier fleet. The new multi-functional tool carrier can be used in combination with a plot divider, fertilizer spreader, sprayer and other various applications in order to be in use all year round. The large tires reduce the ground pressure and offers enough traction in tough conditions. The ground clearance (1,30 m for cereals; 1,60 m for higher crops like rape seed) can be adjusted to your requests.

Find out more about the ZÜRN 540.

New Plot Combine Harvester ZÜRN 110

The strong basic machine for plot trials

Zürn Harvesting is expanding its proven range of plot combine harvesters by a powerful basic machine for smaller research companies and plant breeders. The new ZÜRN 110 is a very simple and compact plot combine harvester for clean and mix free harvesting of research plots.

Simple equipped. Simple to operate. Simple to service.

This plot combine harvester is very easy to operate and extremely service friendly. Driving forward and reverse is controlled directly by a hydraulic foot pedal. All header and threshing settings are operated directly from the driver’s seat by hydraulic valves.

All threshing components are designed very efficiently. The largest concave area in its class assures best threshing results also under tough conditions.

Learn more about the new plot combine harvester ZÜRN 110.

“BreedVision” – World´s first field phenotyping platform for crops successfully tested

Mobile platform non-destructively collects data via modern sensor technology

Since 2012 several institutions joined forces in the research project PredBreed. They developed a system based on modern sensor technology enabling the rapid, non-invasive and accurate phenotyping of plants in the field.

On behalf of the joined institutions Zürn developed a mobile sensor platfrom. The modular designed high-clearance multifunctional-carrier vehicle ZÜRN 550-GT is continously adjustable in height and width. Now the self-propelled platform, equipped with various sensor systems, is ready for use and first test runs in the field have been successfully completed. The mobile platform "BreedVision" non-destructively collects data via modern sensor technology.

This development represents the world's first vehicle of this kind and it is expected that it substantially accelerates and improves the phenotyping of plants under field conditions. This precision phenotyping holds the potential to advance knowledge-based breeding of many crops. In the PredBreed project in particular, the researchers plan to use the platform for the breeding of triticale as bioenergy crop.

ZURN Harvesting in Canada – a story of success

Local Service and Harvesting Support - through our partners all over Canada

Thanks to our Service Partners in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatoon and Alberta ZURN Harvesting ensures a flexible and fast support during harvest and a local Service for all customers. Next to our main Spar Parts Depot at John Deere Cervus Equipment in Saskatoon we will also provide spare parts to each of our partners.

ZURN Harvesting Mechanic Training 2016 – Saskatoon

In February 2016, ZURN Harvesting invited mechanics from all over Canada for a one week training on ZURN plot combines in Saskatoon. Thorsten Wirth (CTO) and Benedikt Hofferek (After Sales Manager) from the German headquarter made sure that each participant is able to do Harvesting support as well as the annual service of the combines.

50 Years of Plot Combine Production at Hohebuch

50 years ago a invention of Dr. Hans-Ulrich Hege revolutionized the world of agricultural field research. The first usable plot combine left Hohebuch and conquered all continents.

Even today, the Hege System is found again in the equally powerful and reliable plot combine ZÜRN 150, developed further and equipped with all technical possibilities of today.

50 years after the first Hege machine Zürn Harvesting develops and manufactures the plot combine ZÜRN 150 again at this historical site. So the domain of Hohebuch continues to be a reliable partner for research technicians all over the world.