Product profile: John Deere CH9 Series

The John Deere dual-row CH9 sugarcane harvester series has been designed to increase harvesting efficiency

John Deere global cane business manager Jesse Lopez at a Tully farm where the new CH960 has been tested over the past two harvests

John Deere has introduced a two-row sugarcane harvester range that promises greater efficiency than single-row harvesters.

Launched in Brazil in 2020, and now available to order in Australia, John Deere global cane business manager Jesse Lopez says the CH9 Series was tested on Australian soil for the past two harvests to ensure the machine was ideally suited to local conditions.

"We have worked with Australian growers over the past two harvests to receive fundamental feedback and to prove the CH9 Series is designed to excel in the local environment," Jesse says.

"As a company, we’re committed to providing customers with machinery and technology to be the most productive, profitable, and sustainable in the world, and the CH9 Series is the perfect example of John Deere innovation meeting the needs of today’s farmer."

The CH9 Series is available as a 1.4- to 1.5-metre row width CH950 model, and a 1.7- or 1.9-metre CH960 unit.

John Deere production system manager Ben Kelly says the CH9 Series was designed to support growers’ desire to achieve lower production costs per tonne, with controlled traffic integration.

"The two-row system has proven to achieve in excess of 1.5 times more harvesting productivity while reducing machine hours by 33%. The CH9 Series also benefits from increased fuel efficiency, with the larger fuel tank meaning the new machines can potentially be fuelled only once every 24 hours," Ben says.

"In order to address the challenges of this increased harvest volume and uneven row height, John Deere engineers developed RowAdapt technology, allowing the base cutters to float independently. Cane from the two rows then merges in the machine right after the plant is cut.

"The RowAdapt system, coupled with a wider 10-blade chopper and redesigned primary and secondary extractor, reduces billet losses by up to 50%."

The CH9 Series also features a new 13.6-litre Tier 4 engine with 50% larger displacement than the CH570 nine-litre, and uses, on average, only 82% of the maximum horsepower capacity. Maintenance costs have also been reduced on the CH9 Series with new heavy-duty tracks and more wear-resistant components on the elevator.

As well as increased harvesting capacity, the CH9 Series is equipped to offer industry-leading precision ag technology with the inclusion of the new Gen 4 Monitor, 4600 CommandCenter, providing the operator with more interaction and intuitive use.

Ben says that, as global demand grows for more sustainable and productive food and fibre, one of the most exciting developments of the new CH9 Series is its positive impact on soil compaction.

"The rebalanced CH9 Series offers a wider base aligning the harvester’s tracks directly in the centre of the rows, providing up to 60% reduction in soil compaction as the machine only travels on every second interrow," he says.

"The reduced soil compaction and improved cut quality will also allow farmers to potentially increase the cane growth cycle from five to up to eight years. There are many benefits to extending the replanting cycle beyond just increased yields, including savings in input costs like planting and fuel, and the overall environmental impact of the production cycle."

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