John Deere 750A drill

By: Ian Harwood, Photography by: Ian Harwood

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The John Deere 750A drill can be used as a direct and arable drill, enabling contractors and cropping farmers to use the one drill to do everything

John Deere 750A drill
John Deere 750A drill
  • Well proven openers with excellent vertical travel
  • Good contour following
  • Accurate metering
  • Marker discs make for easy drilling

During the recent test of a John Deere 7930 tractor, we took the opportunity to try out the attached JD 750A 6m drill.

The test

We ran the drill in a sprayed-out pasture first and then went into cultivated ground that had been heavy rolled.

The sprayed paddock was quite dry and hard, however with the hydraulic pressure set correctly the discs cut in to the required depth with no problems.

A feature of the openers is their lack of surface soil disturbance over a range of speeds, which assists with weed control in a no-till situation.

I was particularly impressed with the job done by the press wheel and slot closing wheel and think it would be very unlikely to see the slot open up and expose the seed if ground conditions were to dry out after drilling.

Transport width is 3m, however the design of the drill with the wheels 6m behind the towing point means it is not very easy to manoeuvre off laneways or through gateways – although some dealers do fit rear steering. This design also means that the drill can essentially only be used in a straight line so that the openers are not subject to side loading.

On the cultivated ground, which had been heavy rolled to push the stones down, contractor Simon Broom was sowing rape at 5kg/ha with a ground speed of about 10km/h. Using the equation width x speed x FE (say 85 percent), he was sowing about 5.1ha/h.

Drill features

The openers consist of a single disc set at seven degrees running against a rubber gauge wheel, the disc cutting a slot for the seed. A narrow press wheel follows this with an angled wheel after that to ensure the slot is completely closed.

A combination of hydraulic and spring pressure keeps the openers in the ground and allows them to move vertically to achieve an even seeding depth. The hydraulic pressure gauge is mounted on the front of the drill where it can be viewed by the operator.

Opener vertical travel is excellent so the drill’s contour following is very good.

Seed hopper
The 750A is a "seed only" drill and has the hopper mounted lengthwise on the centre frame. Capacity is 2300L and access is via a ladder and platform. Broom has fitted cameras inside the hopper so he can tell when the seed is about to run out.

The hopper is mounted quite high, and although it has good ladder access, you cannot get close enough to load off a truck. The addition of an auger accessed from the rear of the drill or by using a drill filler, or possibly a hiab truck, would solve the problem.

There is no fert hopper on the drill. Though there is plenty of research that indicates applying fertiliser when direct drilling assists crop establishment, the cropping job is a bit different in that fert is usually applied in bulk, and fertility is usually reasonably high anyway so there is no need to apply fert through the drill.

Metering system
The well proven Accord metering system is used on the drill and is electrically driven with hydraulic drive to the fans.

John Deere has added electronic drive to the metering units, but has stayed with the old ground drive steel wheel to provide the signal.

The drill monitor is a decent sized, easy to view screen and shows seeding rate, type of seed, forward speed, fan speed and much more. Seeding rates for different crops can be stored for later use, which saves on calibration time when changing between jobs.

Marker discs
The drill is equipped with an excellent set of markers that make for easy drilling – simply look down the centre of the tractor bonnet. The arms have a shear bolt to prevent any damage.

The markers also control the tramline system if you require them for your sprayer and fertiliser spreader.

What the owner says…

Simon Broom is very happy with his John Deere drill as he has found it versatile and very user-friendly. The ability to change between direct drilling to arable drilling shows just how versatile it is.

Prior to purchasing the John Deere drill Broom used an Accord 6m air seeder with a front mounted hopper and same metering unit as the JD750A drill. Although it is a good drill, it was limited to well cultivated soil, as the Suffolk shoe openers don’t handle trash well, and the front mount hopper and seed piping to the rear meant it wasn’t a five-minute job to take on and off the tractor.

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