The green brand had all its new equipment recently on display in Moline
In early June John Deere invited members of the farm media to its Harvester Works facility in Moline, Illinois, to see the full line of equipment it was introducing in 2017. And all of it was parked on the lawn in front of that combine manufacturing facility for reporters to photograph and learn about from product reps.
Here’s a look at what Deere had to show us.
1. S700 combines
It was no coincidence Deere held this debut event at the Moline Harvester Works, because the new S700 combines were the most significant addition to the brand’s line up. Four new Class 6 to Class 9 models replace the S600 Series introduced in 2012. And while the S700s look nearly identical—with the exception of a new cab—underneath their skin they push the technology level much higher.
At the heart of these “smarter” machines is the Combine Advisor package, which consists of seven separate technologies meshed together to make setting up the threshing system to match field and crop conditions much easier and faster. ActiveVision cameras provide real-time images of the quality of grain in the tailings and clean grain elevators to help fine tune those settings. From there the combine can automatically evaluate threshing performance and make its own adjustments throughout the day to keep losses at a minimum and grain quality higher.
Up front new options include two new corn headers and a new 700D Series rigid Draper header.
2. 5R Series tractors
First shown to the public at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in January, the new 5R tractor line brings the kind of high-end features offered in the larger models down to the utility tractor segment. And they pack it into a small chassis that offers a turning radius of just 12.1 feet.
The 5Rs use either of Deere’s fully electronic transmissions, the CommandQuad or the Command8 and all models get the AutoClutch feature with eliminates the need for pushing the clutch pedal down.
The more comfortable Premium Panorama cab includes a high-back swivel bucket seat with thicker cushions and wider armrests, and cab suspension is an option. Inside buyers can get an interactive display monitor.
3. 4 Series sprayers
Last year Deere hinted that carbon fibre booms would soon be available on the 4 Series sprayers. This year, they hit the marketplace. The new booms are more than a third lighter than steel versions and are available in 120- and 132-foot widths. They are also not vulnerable to corrosion and have a smooth, easy-to-clean shape.
Along with those booms, the brand introduced the ExactApply Nozzle Control system late last year that offers three times the pulse rate for improved product delivery. And there is a turn compensation feature to ensure even application across the boom during tight turns.
The CommandView III cab, a similar version of which now appears on the larger tractors and S700 combines, gives the operator a more comfortable environment with programmable control function buttons.
Back in November, Deere announced the introduction of the 2230 field cultivator and the 2330 mulch finisher, both with digital TruSet Technology. Available in working widths up to 60.5 feet, these machines are designed to cover a lot of ground quickly.
But Deere also has something for the smaller producer or growers that need to do localized work in places that are hard for those big machines to get at. The VT17 Series of vertical tillage tools is now available under the company’s Frontier brand. With working widths of 10 to 15 feet, the horsepower requirements for them stays under 150.
The disc gang angles can be adjusted from zero to 12 degrees and they can be ordered with 20-or 22-inch blades.
5. Mounted sprayers
The LS11 Series of three-point hitch mounted sprayers debuts with available boom sizes ranging from 25 to 40 feet. They incorporate some of the features available on larger pull-type sprayers, including breakaway booms and optional foam markers at the ends. Booms come standard with single nozzle bodies; although, triple nozzle bodies are available on the 40-foot boom.
Two different tank sizes are available, 250 and 300 U.S. gallons. The tanks have a tear drop shape, which allows the liquid to fully drain. That shape also places most of the weight closer to the rear of the tractor to reduce stress on the hitch arms. Fluid pumps can be ordered with either PTO or hydraulic drive.
An in-cab rate controller gives the operator the ability to make spraying adjustments.
6. Planter tech
Both of Deere’s MaxEmerge 5e and ExactEmerge planters get an improved digital component for 2018 with SeedStar 4HP. It works through the Gen 4 CommandCenter 4600 display in the tractor to provide better monitoring of planter functions and performance. Multiple bar charts can be viewed simultaneously, and it has a “zoom” feature for detailed row-by-row information. Like much of Deere’s latest digital products it is customizable and gets simplified, more intuitive screen formats. Operators can also save configuration settings from one season to the next.
SeedStar 4HP also includes the new Easy Fold feature to make getting the planter ready for road transport an easier task. SeedStar replaces the previous manual frame-fold box by controlling and automating flow through the tractor SCVs.
7. 4640 display
John Deere has added the new 4640 display monitor to its digital hardware line up this year. The 4640 is meant to be a lower-cost option that will allow producers to retrofit older tractors and get the benefit of more up-to-date precision farming practices.
The 4640 supports the most common John Deere applications, including AutoTrac, documentation and section control. It includes more on-screen help functions and diagnostic information to help operators. I also has a simplified work setup app, which Deere claims reduces the typical amount of time it takes operators to get set up.