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Above, left: Called the Trifrut, this three-wheeled, hydraulic transmission tractor has a low profile for orchard canopies and a low center of gravity. Made by FACMA of Italy.

Above, left: Called the Trifrut, this three-wheeled, hydraulic transmission tractor has a low profile for orchard canopies and a low center of gravity. Made by FACMA of Italy.

Published January 15, 2011

Italy's Hermes Company gave a live demonstration of their apple harvest assist machine during Interpoma. The multifunction machine can also be set up as an orchard platform.

Self-propelled elevating orchard platforms designed for slopes, harvesting ­platforms with boxes that mechanically empty into bins, platforms run by ­electric battery, platforms in a rainbow of colors…

More than 15 platform manufacturers had their equipment on display at Europe’s two major agricultural equipment shows. But orchard platforms were just a small part of the technology and farm machinery showcased in Italy last November.

Every two years, suppliers of everything related to apple production descend on Bolzano, Italy, home of the world’s largest apple conference and trade show, called Interpoma. The international event was held November 4–6 and attracted more than 15,000 visitors in 2010, with suppliers coming from nearly 20 different countries.

Less than a week later and three hours south, Bologna hosted the International Exposition of Agricultural Machines, known as EIMA. The four-day technology and equipment show, from November 10–14, is designed for all types of agriculture and forestry. EIMA drew around 165,000 attendees from 140 countries, plus 1,600 exhibitors. The immense setting has more than a million square feet of exhibition space under cover that is spread around 20-plus buildings.

The photos are a sampling of the innovations and technology on display at Interpoma and EIMA. Many of the devices and technology could have application for North American tree fruit and grape industries, though they often lack the size and speed required to cover large acreages.

An octopus towed sprayer has two separate tanks, allowing application of chemicals that can't be tank-mixed. Made by Noboli, Spain.

An octopus towed sprayer has two separate tanks, allowing application of chemicals that can’t be tank-mixed. Made by Noboli, Spain.

A remote-controlled bin transport cart can follow pickers down the row without the need for a driver. Made by Windegger Co.

This Pellenc over-the-row device removes grapevine suckers.