This week Case IH is launching its Axial-Flow 250 Series combine harvesters at an event in Dresden, Germany. One such machine - an 8250 - is pictured above.

Full details will not be available until later this week. However, the message emerging is that Case IH appears to have concentrated its efforts on making the existing machines (240 Series models) stronger and easier to use.

This, it is claimed, will allow "all operators to be good; and good operators to be better".

[caption id="attachment_288336" align="aligncenter" width="728"] A next-generation Case IH Axial-Flow 250 Series combine harvester in action in Germany this week[/caption]

Full-scale production of the initial three new models will most likely kick off in October of this year. The machines will then be available for the 2019 harvest here in Europe.

[caption id="attachment_288337" align="aligncenter" width="728"] A Case IH Axial-Flow 8250 being put through its paces in Dresden[/caption]

Justin Roberts, who was at the event for AgriLand, took these photographs (above) in Dresden.

For the record, the existing Axial-Flow 240 Series consists of three machines - from 498 to 634hp. The current flagship model - the Axial-Flow 9240 - is home to a 15.9L engine. It carries 1,200L of diesel (plus 166L of AdBlue).

At the heart of the machine is a sizeable threshing rotor; it's 2.638m long and has a diameter of 0.762min. In keeping with the long-serving Axial-Flow (full rotary) philosophy, this harvester has no straw-walkers.

European angle

However, it's that very design concept that has limited sales of such machines in some parts of western Europe.

Straw is a valuable commodity here; rotary-type combine harvesters have tended to be more aggressive on it (for want of a better description).

Ongoing updates to the Axial-Flow design over recent decades, according to Case IH, have resulted in machines that are "gentler" on straw (ultimately enabling more of it to be successfully baled).

[caption id="attachment_288341" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Image source: Shane Casey[/caption]

Nevertheless, few would argue that rotary-type harvesters are "easier" on straw that straw-walker equipped machines.

Don't forget, of course, the preponderance of 'hybrid rotaries' - such as some larger Claas Lexion models (with a 'conventional' drum and concave at the front and a lengthways threshing rotor immediately behind).

[caption id="attachment_288331" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Image source: Shane Casey[/caption]

These, as their descriptor suggests, are somewhere in between - when it comes to straw quality.

In any case (no pun intended!), stay tuned to AgriLand for 'official' details of the new Axial-Flow 250 and when they emerge.