Profile: John Deere S-series

John Deere has unveiled a number of optimisation tweaks to its combines for 2020 – just in time for Agritechnica and for customers ordering a new combine for next season

Increasing throughput, automation, and making the machines easier to use are the main changes being adapted across the ranges.


First up, the S-Series combine’s automatic regulation of forward speed, HarvestSmart, has been optimised and integrated with the Interactive Combine Adjustment system ICA2.
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 HarvestSmart system and the combine’s speed just as the driver would normally do.

At the same time, engine load is maintained at the desired level for maximum harvest efficiency. Side winds can have an enormous effect on the distribution of combine residues, so it will be possible on S700 Series machines for 2020 for the angle of spread to be adjusted automatically.

Using GPS, the new AutoSwap 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.

Improvement in chop quality is also enabled by remote adjustment of the counter knife. The operator can easily assess chop quality from the comfort of the cab by checking the combine’s reversing camera and set the counter knife position from the seat.

The previous introduction of the ActiveYield automatic yield sensor removed the need for manual yield calibrations and relieved the operator of the stress and time involved in waiting to get results, while also increasing their accuracy.

From 2020, this system will be supplemented with an even more precise humidity sensor. This will result in a considerable improvement in data collection, especially for both low and high grain moisture contents. Calibration intervals plus yield and humidity data will be recorded along with other important information on the combine’s documentation software.

Additionally, compatibility between the 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 display for W and T Series

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 MachineSync automatic steering of the tractor/trailer combination driving alongside. The universal 4640 display is removable and can also operate SectionControl on a sprayer, for example.

New headers

New John Deere 700X combine header 

John Deere will also be launching the new 700X variable length header for 2020. This maintains the existing unit’s long 1200mm table for maximum harvesting capacity and minimum losses in oilseed rape, with the benefit of an even better crop flow.

The 700X headers will feature a new low-profile feeding design to guarantee an even smoother transition to the auger, especially for short crops such as spring barley. 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% 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.

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

A special feature of this system is its smooth uptake, which is nearly free from vibration to prevent any pod shatter losses. The crop is then compressed by a windscreen controlled by double-acting hydraulic cylinders to ensure optimum feeding.

The large 660mm auger, with a float range of 57mm, is big enough to adapt to the highest crop volumes and ensure that the combine is constantly and evenly fed for maximum performance.

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