In early December John Deere released three new advanced or expanded guidance features along with a new machine data-sharing application for its Generation 4 displays. AutoTrac Turn Automation, AutoTrac Implement Guidance, AutoTrac Vision for Tractors and the In-Field Data Sharing applications are now being sold as bundled activations for the John Deere 4600 CommandCenter and as bundled subscriptions for 4640 displays. They’ll be sold based on one- or five-year terms.
The Implement Guidance feature deals with the problem of trailed implements veering off line from the tractor due to hillsides, when following curved field paths or for other reasons. To work, both the implement and tractor will need receivers that can share differential correction signals and compensate to keep the implement on course.
AutoTrac Vision was released a while ago for Deere’s 30 Series sprayers, but now its use gets expanded, so it can be installed on large-frame 7030 Series tractors, as well as the 8030/8030T Series and the current 7R, 8R and 8RT models. This feature uses optical sensors to keep the tractor wheels within rows to minimize crop damage, and it can be used in corn or soybean fields with plants up to six inches tall and 90 per cent canopy cover. It’s compatible with row spacing between 20 and 40 inches.
The Turn Automation application does exactly what its name implies. It automates all the usual control inputs required by the operator when turning at the end of an A-B line. Operators can set up all the necessary control inputs, such as raising and lowering and implement and changing ground speed, from a single display page and arrange them to automatically occur in the proper sequence.
For those with large enough operations to have multiple machines working in the same field at the same time, the data-sharing application allows each one to share field data. That includes real-time coverage and application information as well as yield and moisture data. Information collected by one machine can be immediately shared with up to six others.
“It’s easy to share and check maps with In-Field Data Sharing,” said John Misher, precision agriculture product marketing manager with John Deere, in a press release. “Operators can monitor machines’ as-applied maps to see if they’re properly calibrated and performing in a similar manner, thus maximizing machine performance. In-Field Data Sharing also lets users transfer guidance lines between machines without manually moving a USB stick from one machine to another.”
All four products will available starting February 2018. Owners will need to have machines equipped with Deere’s 4640 Universal Display or Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter displays to run these new applications.