Lemken, specialist for professional arable farming, closed the past business year with a 22% jump in sales. The €446 million sales volume achieved represents a record for the family business, which has a 242-year history. The new year started equally well with a high number of orders on the books.
Incoming orders have exceeded expectations. Most farmers and contractors benefited above all from consistently high producer prices and therefore invested in modern professional agricultural technology. In this positive environment, the restrictions associated with Covid-19 measures, together with more difficult material procurement and rising procurement costs, resulted in particular challenges, which were overcome thanks to excellent teamwork. As a result, production was optimally maintained throughout the year, and almost all implements ordered could be delivered. The number of Lemken employees worldwide increased to 1,697.
Business was particularly good for Steketee, still a fairly recently acquired subsidiary. Under the Steketee brand, the agricultural machinery specialist offers mechanical hoeing machines capable of detecting individual plants by means of a camera. These machines help to reduce the use of crop care products and help farmers to save money.
Given the difficult conditions, the German market was able to hold its ground at a high level. Strong sales of seed drills compensated for the discontinued field sprayer segment. The export share has increased to 81%, as almost all international markets have developed very well. Growth was particularly pleasing in the overseas markets of Canada, the USA, Oceania and South Africa. In the USA, Lemken set up its own sales and service base near Des Moines last year in order to handle increasing demands even better.
For the current year of 2022, Lemken is concerned by the ongoing war in Ukraine, not only on an economic level, but above all on a human level, given the company’s long-standing relationship with this important agricultural market. It hopes that this conflict will end as soon as possible. At the same time, the sound volume of existing orders, which extends across all other sales markets and has been further boosted by high producer prices, means that the risk arising from this conflict can be mitigated and employment remains secure at the production sites. Against this background, Lemken expects a consistently high level of sales this year.
What will 2022 bring?
In 2022, Lemken will also continue its “Excellence Programme” at its Alpen headquarters in order to modernise production and assembly and make it even more flexible. The assembly site in Haren, which was successfully reorganised in 2021 for the manufacture of seed drills, will be extensively expanded to meet the high demand. It will also be capable of building a range of new models that are currently in the planning stages. For the Steketee machines, Lemken is currently building a completely new, innovative factory in South Holland, which is scheduled to open in Q3/2023.
New implements to be launched in 2022
- The Heliodor compact disc harrow with liquid manure distributor.
- The Karat 10 cultivator as a tine implement with leading discs.
- In terms of hoeing technology, Lemken and Steketee will also be introducing the IC-Weeder automatic intra-row hoeing machine in an AI-enhanced version. A new feature is the combination of highly economical band spraying and hoeing.
- For the autumn season, the Solitair DT will be available as a completely revised trailed drill combination.
Research & development
In addition, Lemken will be collaborating with the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research on a carbon farming research project to develop a plough that permanently binds CO2 in deeper soil layers and thus increases the humus content in the cultivated horizon in the long term.
Together with Krone, Lemken has just introduced a development concept for the autonomous deployment of implements in order to safeguard and optimise processes via implements by using sensor-based monitoring and camera technology.