The quality marks awarded by German Agricultural Society’s (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft, DLG) Test Center Technology and Farm Inputs stand in the market for highest product quality that has been proven independently and impartially. This has also been reinforced in a recent survey amongst users in practice. Nevertheless the farmers that participated in the survey by the majority pointed out, that a reduction of the great number of issued quality marks would be reasonable. The participants stated the wish to make confirmed quality easier to spot as the main reason for the reduction. Thus DLG’s Test Center replaces the existing quality marks by “DLG APPROVED” at the turn of the year.
“We hope to gain the quality mark’s recognitions value by a more simple structure of test labels. Consequently we should be able to exploit DLG’s brand potential even better, because the more coherent a brand’s appearance, the stronger its performance will be”, summarized Hubertus Paetow, chairman of DLG’s Test Center the reasons for the change. He added: “A higher recognitions value raises the worth of a quality mark and subsequently also the worth of the awarded product. Needless to say, that previously published test reports and awarded quality labels remain valid, but manufacturers can switch labels immediately, if desired.”
Five varieties possible in total
The quality mark’s new and modern design relies on a high information density for practioners and conveys DLG’s reliable examinations statements in two main elements. The first element shows a gold medal with the lettering “DLG APPROVED” and DLG’s website address, in the case of agricultural engineering products or machinery in addition the awarding year is specified. Furthermore, a lateral flag carries supplementary information on the product, scope of the test and in particular the number of the correspondent test report. By using this number, detailed test results can be obtained easily from DLG’s website by just a few mouse-clicks.
In total five varieties for the new quality mark were fixed:
- A “DLG APPROVED” full test for a specific agricultural engineering products or machinery replaces the present DLG SignumTest. Thus a fully DLG-approved product or machine successfully passed DLG’s comprehensive utility value test based on independent an recognized assessment criteria.
- “DLG APPROVED” for single, value-determining criteria stands for a smaller-scope usability test for product differentiation and special highlighting of machinery or technical products. This variation replaces the present DLG FokusTest as well as the special quality labels for ISOBUS and ISOagriNET conformity. The present label for a DLG PowerMix test on specific fuel consumption of tractors, which due to the tractor’s special status on the farm is of particular importance for many practioners, remains as special variety.
- “DLG APPROVED” for farm inputs will be initially awarded to new groups of products and replaces the present DLG Quality Sign in those product groups. The two possible variants distinguish between a product test and a certification of both the manufacturing process and the product quality.
Topicality at a glance
Any DLG approval in the field of agricultural engineering products or machinery runtime limitation of five years applies. If product manufacturing is continued without changes, the manufacturer can apply for a run-time limit extension of another five years at a time. In the case of farm inputs tests the obligations for a neutral long-term product quality monitoring remain as is. To this, trained samplers annually collect unannounced specimen at the plant, in trade or on farms to be further analyzed by the DLG experts.