Winter farm show season is a time when companies can make major announcements and show off their latest tools. For John Deere, the news comes with the 6R Series tractors, a redesigned air seeder and an update to its Gen 4 and 4640 displays.
More power, speed
The John Deere 6R Series tractor line offers users a wide range of machines, and that grows with the launch of the 6230 and 6250 models. “These machines were built for transport,” Anne Anderson, John Deere product marketing manager, pointed out. “The way that the power from the engine and the size is configured, you can go to the top transport speed — 31 miles per hour — very easily and quickly.”
There are two transmission choices on these new models. The base choice is an Infinitely Variable Transmission with a 25-mph top speed, but there’s an optional IVT that provides a top speed of 31 mph. This can boost productivity when moving material on the farm.
“For our dairy and livestock customers that are switching implements often, we have the option to put a front hitch and PTO on the front; you can also configure the machine with a loader,” Anderson said. “And with the base machine, they are AutoTrac- and JDLink-ready. And you can add the CommandPro option.”
She explained that the CommandPro system allows the user to configure functions on that control, which can help reduce operator fatigue. And with CommandPro, the user, during transport, can push the control forward and move to top speed quickly, which helps when moving out of a field onto a road.
The new machines are heading to market for 2019.
NEW AIR DRILL: The N500C Air Drill incorporates new features from its “big brother” 1895 Air Seeder. It also has a redesigned seed distribution system, with enhanced access for greater uptime. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)
New air seeder
Air seeding is an efficient way to get a small-grains crop in the ground. John Deere is introducing a redesigned N500C Series Air Drill for 2019. These machines use the newest seeding tech, including the new ProSeries Openers.
The new seeder is designed to give the user easier access to meters, and it integrates the latest technology for improved seed placement and accuracy. Tyler Rumbold, John Deere product manager, shared a wide range of features during a walkaround of the new machine.
“This is a direct replacement of the 1990 air drill,” he said. “We improved the meter access to make it easier for customers to clear those blockages.” The new design repositions the fan to the front of the machine, providing easier access.
The machines also has 20 more bushels of seed capacity. On the 30- and 36-foot-wide models, the tank has 100 bushels of capacity. For the 40- and 42-foot-wide models, there are 120 bushels of capacity.
The company also took on some tech from the ExactEmerge planter on the new openers for the machine. The ProSeries Openers were first launched on the 1895 Air Seeder in 2018. They require less daily maintenance for more uptime. There are spoked gauge wheels that keep them from plugging, a problem in the past. There’s also a serrated closing-wheel option that farmers requested, and a flexible press wheel helps durability. The seed boot is also recontoured; it fits behind the shadow of the blade, creating less soil disturbance and less wear.
Rumbold noted that this machine is designed for soybean and small-grain producers. “This is a true dual-season, multi-crop machine,” he added.
Other tech brought over from the larger air seeder to this air drill includes the relative flow blockage system. “We’re measuring flow from one row to the next row. It allows us to assure we have a more even seed spread behind the machine,” he said. The improved spread creates a more even plant density and emergence, and better crop establishment.
“We’re going to go after that extra 1% or 2% of extra yield, which we need to do in this market,” he said.
The N500C can also be outfitted with a scale for ActiveCal that helps farmers ensure that the machine is delivering the seed a farmer wants to put down during operation. The tank scale is standard. There’s also TruSet downforce on this machine, which allows a farmer to use up to 400 pounds of opener downforce without leaving the cab. The system is controlled through the Gen 4 display.
Ramping up tech
John Deere has also announced the latest software for Gen 4 systems and Machine Sync updates. The update includes enhancements to automation, documentation, functionality and security for the Generation 4 4600 CommandCenter and 4640 Universal Displays. Called the 19-1 software update, it includes a higher level of automation activation that enables the Machine Sync harvest automation functionality on the Gen 4 platform for tractors and combines.
Machine Sync is a feature that “locks” tractor and combine in line during on-the-go unloading, which can be a productivity booster during harvest.
The update also includes Gen 4 Display compatibility with more John Deere equipment including 8000- and 9000-Series Forage Harvesters, and expanded AutoTrac functionality and automation on more equipment.
One added feature many farmers may appreciate is a new security function. The update gives users the ability to secure John Deere displays and receivers from improper use and theft by setting up a four-digit personal identification number. This allows users to lock their devices with administrator, operator and master unlock codes for Gen 4 displays and StarFire 6000 Receivers.
Among the added AutoTrac features is the ability to use the Turn Automation and Implement Guidance (which provides Curve Center Shift) with SeedStar 4 when planting. That means operators can automate end-row turns and guidance for faster and more accurate headland turns, and assures the implement stays on the intended path.
For more information about the new 6R Series machines, the N500C air seeder and the 19-1 upgrade, visit johndeere.com.