Ever since the initial introduction of the S series models, John Deere engineers have been offering buyers additional ability to spec out green combines to better suit either corn and beans or small grains crops. And this year, Deere has gone another step further with the introduction of a completely new group of headers tailored to those different crop types.
Included in the new offering are HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers, RDF HydraFlex Drapers, CR and CF Corn Heads as well as a BP15 Belt Pickup. All of them are compatible with the brand’s X series and most S and T series combines.
The new HDR rigid-frame drapers are available in 35- to 50-foot working widths to accommodate the largest combine models and improve their efficiency. “Farmers can upgrade from our 45-foot-wide draper to the new 50-foot-wide draper and can harvest up to 33 acres more per day,” says Matt Badding, harvesting product manager for John Deere.
The HDRs use a newly-designed hinge frame that Deere claims provides improved terrain following capabilities, as well as better performance in downed crops. “(They) effectively pick up and sweep the down or lodged crop across the cutterbar to recover more crop, thanks to a consistent distance between the reel fingers and cutterbar, improved reel range and increased reel-drive motor torque,” Badding says.
The HDRs can also be ordered with Deere’s Grain Saver belts, which the brand figures can reduce losses by up to 25 per cent compared with typical smooth draper belts. Deere’s marketing staff did some calculations, and by their estimate based on canola prices at the end of March and assuming a loss reduction of 0.125 bushel per acre, that should pencil out to an annual gain of CDN $1,240.
The new RDF Hydra-Flex Drapers, which are compatible with X, S and T series combines, are an upgrade to the 700FD models Deere had been offering. The new two-speed centre feed section lets operators slow down the feed drum and centre feed belt by 20 per cent compared with the 700FD.
“This puts more grain in the tank by reducing free grain loss,” Badding explains. “Operators can easily go from low to high speed to reduce losses in easy-shelling crops such as soybeans.”
The RDF headers will still use the four-inch, double-cut, dual-drive HydraFlex cutter bar built into the 700FD models, which operate at 1,980 cuts per minute. Two centre feed belt options are available as standard equipment. But there is also an optional cleated centre belt for better feeding of high-volume crops like canola.
Just like the RDF, the CR Rigid Corn Heads are also compatible with X series, S series and T series combines.
“These heads feature a 19-inch cross auger and rolled auger floor to help improve grain handling,” Badding says. “The higher torque of the large auger ensures the corn head is not the limiting factor, so farmers can realize the true bushels-per-hour potential of the combine. The space between the auger flighting and rolled auger floor minimize the opportunity for ears to pinch or grind, reducing grain damage during harvest.”
When it comes to harvesting leaning or downed crop, CR Rigid Corn Heads can be equipped from the factory with the optional Active End fenders, which help pull stalks into the head. Another new feature is the factory-installed stalk deflectors that press standing corn stalks to the ground and fracture them at the base as the head passes over them. This minimizes tire or track wear caused by standing corn stalks.
There are also 12-, 16- and 18-row CF Folding Corn Heads available for X series combines and 12-row heads for S series combines. CF Folding Corn Heads have a fold cycle time of less than 60 seconds when connected to S700 combines and approximately 40 seconds with X9 combines.
Lastly, Deere is also introducing the BP15 Belt Pickup for small grains and oilseed growers. BP15 headers offer improved feed rate adjustability to handle bulky crops with a standard two-speed auger drive sprocket that delivers a feed rate 20 per cent faster than the 615P in canola. A slower speed feed rate can be used for less bulky crops like cereals. A factory-installed crop shield minimizes grain loss and prevents buildup on the feederhouse.
“Compared with the 615P, this new pickup has a wider feederhouse opening with adjustable feed auger flighting and tines that allow this belt-pickup platform to harvest more acres per hour,” Badding says. “When used with an X9 Combine, a BP15 can handle 30 acres of wheat or 23 acres of canola windrows per hour.”
The new drapers, corn heads and the belt pickup come with a header control unit (HCU) that communicates seamlessly with the combine, eliminating the need for head-specific factory calibration settings. It also sends header-width information to the combine for accurate yield mapping.
“The HCU also detects and reports header-specific diagnostic codes, plus tracks hours of use and maintenance intervals,” Badding says.