Last week, I was at the National Farm Machinery Show, where Case IH debuted its new AF11 combine. This giant machine generated a lot of buzz on our sister publication Farm Equipment's website and at the show, where a consistent crowd was gathered around it. In fact, a photo we posted of it from the show got over 3,600 interactions and 260 shares.

On the morning of day 2, Precision Farming Dealer Technology Editor Noah Newman and I noticed something. Several people had commented on our Facebook photo that Case IH wasn’t letting anyone near the AF11.

We got to the show early that day, made a beeline for the Case IH booth and explained we wanted to get under the rope for some close-up pictures as a followup to that post. And just like the people in our comment section, we were denied access. Case IH employees weren’t able to disclose much information and, when telling us we weren’t allowed to get close, pointed at locks that had been installed on the side panels keeping anyone from trying to look inside the AF11.

A little frustrated but determined to get our readers the story, we decided to hop over 3 booths to see if the folks at New Holland would let us take a closer look at the AF11’s twin: the New Holland CR11 that was introduced at Agritechnica 2023.

I found a completely different attitude from their staff. After some discussion about what we wanted to accomplish, they lifted the rope for me to start filming what would become an 18-minute deep dive into everything new about this combine.

New Holland Cash Crop Specialist J Cole Sanford gave me one of the best product tours I’ve had, let me see almost every inch of the machine and answered all my questions on the spot. In the end, we were able to get our readers the details they couldn’t find at the Case IH booth, just on a machine that was painted yellow.

And that’s the difference between these 2 nearly identical combines: how the manufacturers interacted with the public. New Holland’s “open book” attitude allowed our viewers to learn everything they needed to know about the CR11 (and therefore, the AF11), while those interested in seeing the guts of the AF11 itself are still in the dark.