John Deere first introduced its S Series combine for model year 2012. “Since then,” said Kevin Ripple, product manager, “we’ve continued to provide additional innovations.” The 2016 models don’t offer major changes, but there are several updates.
One of those is greater shoe capacity and a new shoe drive system.
Making the sieve longer (a 12 per cent increase), said senior marketing representative Todd Verheecke, will give users more day-to-day capacity. “For those in corn, the capacity will increase up to 10 per cent, and for those in wheat or canola you’ll see an increase of about 13 per cent.”
Verheecke also said farmers will see a reduction of up to 20 per cent in tailings. “This will increase your acres harvested per hour 1.5 acres.”
Active Terrain Adjustment is an optional feature for the 2016 S-Series combines, designed to help operators optimize performance on hilly ground. “On uphill slopes,” Verheecke said, “it opens the chaffer and sieves and slows the fan speed. This prevents grain from going out the back, allowing for increased productivity throughout the day.”
If you’re going up a slope of 12 to 16 degrees, the chaffer and sieve will open, and fan speed will decrease. John Deere estimates this can lower tailings by 35 per cent, saving you, they calculate, $32 to $64 per acre at today’s prices. “On downhill slopes, the chaffer and sieve close, and the fan speed increases,” Verheecke said. “This helps to increase grain quality.”
Also, watch for on-board air compressors on all the new S Series combines. Verheecke said this will add “flexibility for those customers with special or seed crops to clean their combines right there in the field.”
Up front and in the cab
For corn growers, there’s a new 12-row folding corn head for 2016. Deere said, where transport is an issue, the ability to fold up and move from field to field without having to unhook the header can increase productivity by six acres per day (as compared to a traditional 12-row header).
For operators not looking for a corn header, Deere has updated its 600 HydraFlex Draper headers. These 30-, 35- and 40-foot models come with redesigned, streamlined end dividers and a wider centre-feed section that should increase material feeding by 15 per cent. The reel fingers have been “redesigned to help with greater crop lifting in those downed crops,” said Verheecke.
In the cab, the main changes are digital. With the 2016 models, operators can use an iPad in the cab with the John Deere Harvest Mobile app. This will free up the GreenStar display to put more screen-based information in front of the operator.
Interactive Combine Adjustment is a relatively new application designed to make it easier for new operators to adjust the combine from the cab. The operator inputs information about what’s happening in the field, and the computer suggests settings to enhance performance.
Now, if there is more than one green combine in the field, operators can easily share coverage maps and guidance lines. This allows multiple operators to know what areas are left to be picked up and to easily share the same A-B line.
With these upgrades, said product manager Kevin Ripple, “Harvest is too short to run anything but a green combine.”