Precision agriculture (PA) is an approach to farm management that uses technology to ensure that crops and soil receive exactly what they need for optimum health and productivity, using specialised equipment and real-time data.
PA technology is at the forefront of harvesting solutions to ensure accurate and increased consistency, productivity and performance. Agriculture equipment company John Deere affirms that PA technology is part of its turnkey solutions, aimed at making it easier for farmers to tap into the power of high-quality information by simplifying decision-making that could lead to increased profitability.
The company’s new range of harvesters is designed to include various automation and intelligent technology features that enable continuous, maximum uptime through the season and a low cost of operation, regardless of outside factors.
John Deere asserts that its harvest technology aims to ensure that the machine operates at its best at all times, reducing losses and maximising profits. The optional Combine Advisor package helps to set, optimise and automate main harvester functions when conditions change. The software constantly analyses the level at which the harvester is performing and adjusts all machine functions accordingly, to limit losses by maintaining the target as conditions change.
The company’s front-end equipment has also received updated harvesting solutions in line with improved performance, up-time and cost of operation.
John Deere’s range of front-end equipment includes the following:
- HDR Rigid Cutter Bar Drapers: ideal for small grains and canola growers to maximise the harvester's hectares an hour across various crops, changing conditions and uneven or rolling terrain, while capturing more grain. The HDR has a hinged frame that provides terrain-following capability, with an exceptional wing range and a uniform cut height. It sweeps the down or lodged crop across the cutter bar to recover more crop. HDR Drapers are available in 30 ft, 35 ft, 40 ft and 45 ft cutting widths to bring more crop into the combine with each pass. The upgrade from the 40 ft draper to the new, larger 45 ft version, is designed to enable farmers to cover around 10% more ground each day for the same number of passes.
- RDF HydraFlex Drapers: based on the existing John Deere 700FD, with new features to reduce grain loss, includes a two-speed center feed section that lets operators slow down the feeding drum and center feed belt speed by 20%, compared to the 700FD. Includes the John Deere 10 cm double-cut, dual-drive shaft HydraFlex cutter bar. The knife system is said to provide industry-exclusive cutting performance by making 1 980 cuts per minute.
- BP15 Belt Pickup: for small grains and canola growers to harvest more hectares an hour. Features improved feed rate adjustability to handle large or bulky crops with a standard two-speed auger drive sprocket that delivers a 20% faster feed rate when needed, particularly suited for harvesting canola.
- A new line of Corn Heads has also been developed. For harvesting leaning, down or fallen crop, CR Rigid Corn Heads can be equipped with Active End Fenders that pull more ears into the head. The CF Folding Corn Heads include all the features of CR Rigid Corn Heads but offer a low-profile folding frame and an industry-leading fold cycle time of less than 60 seconds when connected to the Combine Harvesters. They also cut down costs by eliminating the need to purchase a header trailer.
Technology included in all of the latest John Deere front-end equipment is a Header Control Unit (HCU) that communicates seamlessly with the combine. The HCU saves head-specific factory calibration settings and collects and sends header-width information to the combine for accurate yield mapping, reduced set up time and an accurate maintenance schedule.