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103 Years Celebration of the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab

One of the first tractors on the tractor test track (Sturm, ATB)

One of the first tractors on the tractor test track (Sturm, ATB)

Today's tractor next to one from 100 years ago

Today and then: Two John Deere tractor models (Sturm, ATB)

In great anticipation, Prof. Barbara Sturm and her colleagues Prof. Cornelia Weltzien and Dr. Sharvari Rautmade their way to Nebraska to attend the Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
A highlight is the 103rd anniversary celebration of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's tractor test lab. As a result of the Corona pandemic, the 100th anniversary celebrations could unfortunately not take place in 2020 as planned, and are now being repeated 3 years later.

The tractor test laboratory in Nebraska was the first test centre of its kind in the world. It has provided unbiased test results for tractor manufacturers since 1920 and is the officially designated tractor testing centre for the United States. Tractors are tested according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) codes. Twenty-nine countries adhere to the tractor testing codes.

There are active tractor testing stations in about 25 of these countries. In Germany, a tractor test field based on the example in Nebraska was opened as early as 1929.
"Germany's first tractor test track was established at the site of today's Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) in Potsdam Bornim, about a year after the Bornim estate became an experimental farm. I am personally very pleased that this long-standing link still exists today. I am very much looking forward to continuing our close cooperation with ASABE and to extend our future cooperation to the University of Nebraska and its Farm of the Future (N-Farm). The Leibniz Innovation Farm for Sustainable Bioeconomy (InnoHof), which we will present to a broad international audience with several contributions at the Circular Bioeconomy Systems Day on Sunday offers great potential for fruitful future cooperation." explains Prof. Barbara Sturm, Scientific Director at ATB.

In 1929, the first German draught performance measurement wagon began its tests in Potsdam Bornim on unpaved ground. The manufacturer was the Institute for Agricultural Machinery at the Berlin Agricultural College. While agricultural machinery testing continued in Bornim in the GDR, tractor trials initially moved to the test fields at Schloss Rauischholzhausen near Marburg and Darmstadt-Kranichstein. Then, 50 years ago, today's DLG Test Centre Technology and Farm Inputs established the official German OECD test centre.