When model year 2022 combine production soon begins at Deere’s Harvester Works in East Moline, Ill., the S series machines leaving the plant will sport some extra bling, in the form of a 75th anniversary decal on their flanks. These machines mark the celebration of a significant milestone for Deere, which has now been building combines for three-quarters of a century.
However, the anniversary edition machines will have more to offer than just additional decals. The company has lengthened the factory-installed options list for them too.
To start with, the S series can now be ordered with the same LED light package available on its X series brothers. It offers more forward- and rear-facing lights, along with auger light, grain tank light and better service area illumination.
A flat-toothed comb chaffer (previously called the high-performance chaffer) will be available on both the S and X series. The brand claims it makes the combines easier to set when working in canola and reduces tailings when operating in weedy crop conditions.
To better accommodate small grains, the combines can be equipped with the Kondex all-crop concave. It maximizes material-on-material threshing to keep the rotor full and improve overall performance even at high field speeds.
Up front, there are header improvements too. The new HDF hinged, flexible draper headers are available in 35- to 50-foot cutting widths. To level the draper wings, operators can simply press a “home” button to return it to a pre-set position after lifting it on headland turns. And it can be lifted in a flat or “smile” shape with greater ground clearance at the ends to help clear obstacles.
The integrated transport feature allows the header gauge wheels to convert to transport wheels for faster changeovers when moving between fields.
The S series can also be mated to a new eight-row corn head that offers more convenient road transport as well.
When it comes to residue management, the S series will offer the extra-fine cut chopper on the S780 and S790 models. Deere claims this chopper can better handle high residue conditions and still cut fine enough to eliminate the need for harrowing, something that no-till producers will appreciate. Also on the options list are the brand’s advanced PowerCast tailboard for better residue management in soybeans and the premium “tough crop kit.”
Servicing will be easier with the addition of remote grease zerks for final drive components. And as anyone might have expected, the S series will get improved digital features. Deere’s Automation Activation 4.0 with Generation 4 Machine Sync and AutoPath are now available.
AutoPath allows the combine to follow GPS guidance lines saved from previous field passes, such as seeding. That provides for hands-free navigation in the field regardless of equipment widths.
“John Deere S series combines are a great harvesting solution for producers who grow corn, small grains and pulses across North America,” said Ray Gherardini, marketing manager for John Deere, in a press announcement. “These new options can help farmers push the envelope of high-capacity harvesting while improving grain quality.”