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Self-propelled harvester for sweet potatoes ""

At Agritechnica 2019,, the start-up company founded by Christoph Grimme in 2017, which is based in Düsseldorf (Germany), presents the first self-propelled sweet potato harvester on rubber tracks.


The popularity of vitamin-rich sweet potatoes is growing year on year and is largely covered by imports. Initial trials to grow sweet potatoes in Germany show promising results. Harvesting the very sensitive sweet potato is time-consuming and is mostly done by hand. In addition, sweet potatoes are often grown in small plots, which makes it difficult to use large machines. For this application, the harvester "" was developed in close cooperation with the GRIMME Group. Another goal is to use intelligent technology to allow the harvester to navigate autonomously on the field. Instead of driving the machine, the driver is able to use his manpower in the selection process on the machine. has cultivated and harvested sweet potatoes on its own area in a self-experiment.

For optimum soil protection and traction, the harvester is equipped with two rubber tracks. GRIMME's well proven ridge intake system ensures a reliable and gentle harvesting. After digging the crop, it's then conveyed on a conventional main web before being transferred onto a closed conveying belt, which is used as a picking table. The picking platform is designed for up to 4 people to enable a comfortable separation of impurities and a gentle deposit of the crop in boxes.

The machine is powered by a 3 cylinder diesel engine with 37 hp. This engine provides sufficient power to move the 2 600  kilogram harvester through the rows. The compact dimensions of (length: 5 m, width: 2.5 m, height: 2.2 m) make the machine ideal for use on smallest fields. Both the vehicle drive system and the drive of the belts can be infinitely adjusted in speed, allowing the operator to react to changing harvest conditions at any time.

Sensors to locate the machine, for in-field navigation and for 3-dimensional object recognition are also important steps towards an autonomously navigating machine.

Thanks to its compact dimensions and low weight, road transport from field to field can easily be done with adequate car trailers. is designed as a multifunctional carrying vehicle for various equipment to harvest also other root crops such as potatoes or onions. The harvester has already been used successfully in Germany.

The medium-term goal is that "" can be purchased or rented. This enables growers with small cultivation areas to harvest the crop in a mechanical and gentle way without the need of large investments.

Source: GRIMME Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG