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John Deere updates flagship S-Series combines for 2020 season

With a focus on increased throughput, greater automation and easier operation, John Deere has announced a number of combine updates for the 2020 season.

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John Deere builds on its suite of automated combine features with latest updates.
John Deere builds on its suite of automated combine features with latest updates.

Featuring improved residue management, enhanced automated systems and a greater range of header options, John Deere has made several updates to its S-Series combines for the 2020 season (see panels).

 

Originally launched two years ago, the latest S700s built on the firm’s flagship combine range with the addition of more technology, allowing further harvest settings and combine operation to be fully automated.

 

On top of previous automated features, this included the combine’s ability to draw upon more sensor inputs allowing it to make better-informed adjustments to the combine. Operation-wise, users were also treated to a brand new control interface, featuring revamped joystick and armrest controls along with a new look touchscreen derived from its tractors.

 

Continuing to build on this suite of technology, we check out some of the latest updates, all of which can be ordered now.


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Automated forward speed

Automated forward speed

Aiming to make operation easier, the S-Series’ automatic regulation of forward speed, Harvest Smart, has been integrated with the combine’s Interactive Combine Adjustment (ICA2) system.

 

As well as control of forward speed based on engine load and crop pressure, ICA2 brings together all of the combine’s automated features, including sieve and fan settings to compensate for sloping terrain, and threshing and separation settings to maintain grain quality. You can also set performance priorities and targets for ICA 2 to meet, with the following four placed in any order; broken grains, grain loss, foreign material and straw quality.

 

However, in situations where ICA2 cannot achieve the required grain sample due to high levels of chaff or broken grain, or it exceeds the set loss rate, ICA2 automatically adjusts the Harvest Smart system and the combine’s speed. At the same time, engine load is maintained at the desired level for maximum efficiency, says the manufacturer.

Residue management

Residue management

To compensate for cross winds, and ultimately spread crop residues more evenly when chopping, 2020 S-Series combines can be specified with an automatic wind compensation system, altering the angle of spread.

 

Using GPS, the new Auto Swap system detects the combine’s direction of travel and automatically mirrors the broadcast pattern once the combine turns at the headland and moves in the opposite direction.

 

Counter knives can now also be adjusted from the cab, making adjustment and operation easier, says Deere. By checking the chop quality using the reversing camera, the firm says this allows the operator judge how the knives should be set.

Yield monitoring and connectivity

Yield monitoring and connectivity

Building on its Active Yield automatic yield sensor, introduced in 2017 with the last round of S700 updates, which removed the need for manual yield calibrations, JD has supplemented this with a more precise humidity sensor.

 

This is said to considerably improve data collection, especially for low and high grain moisture contents. Calibration intervals plus yield and humidity data is recorded along with other important information on the combine’s documentation software.

 

Data can be transferred wirelessly and exchanged between any mobile computers and smartphones, as well as the farm office via JDLink Connect. In addition, compatibility between the firm’s open platform MyJohnDeere.com website portal and other systems is being expanded, with data transfer in the ISO XML standard possible from next year.

New headers and pickups

New headers and pickups

John Deere will also be launching the new 700X variable length header for 2020. This maintains the existing unit’s 1,200mm table but with improvements made to crop flow, says the manufacturer.

 

The new headers feature a low-profile feeding design, resulting in a smoother transition to the auger, especially for short crops such as spring barley, says Deere. In addition, the slip clutch position has been moved directly to the auger to minimise wear, and further durability improvements have been made with 25 per cent thicker skid plates on all units.

 

With increasing restrictions on the use of herbicides and crop desiccation products, the ability to effectively combine swaths of oilseed rape, legumes and other crops is regaining importance, says the manufacturer.

 

To pick up swaths with as few losses as possible, John Deere will be offering the new 615P pick-up header. It has a working width of 4.5m and is equipped with air-sprung support wheels. Crop is picked up by tines before being transferred to a horizontal belt to minimise losses.

New display for W- and T-Series combines

New display for W- and T-Series combines

W- and T-Series combines can now be equipped with the new fourth generation 4640 Greenstar Display. While all combine settings are still regulated using the armrest display, all other functions can be controlled through the 4640 display.

 

These include guidance, documentation, data transmission and Machine Sync automatic steering of the tractor/trailer combination driving alongside. The universal 4640 display is removable and can also operate Section Control on a sprayer, for example.

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