Last August John Deere gave everyone a heads up that its 4 Series sprayers would eventually be available with new carbon fibre booms, but it didn’t say when they would hit the market. In February at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, the company made it official. Starting in June, 120- and 132-foot (36.6 and 40.2 metre) booms can be ordered as a factory option for Canada- and U.S.-bound machines. (Deere has been offering them in Brazil for a few years now.)
“The strong, durable and lightweight material reduces boom wing weight by more than 35 per cent, and overall machine weight, minimizing negative effects to the soil or crop,” said Doug Felter, marketing manager, in a press release. “The booms are corrosion resistant and their simple design makes them easy to clean and maintain. Using the 132-foot boom can increase spraying productivity by eight per cent compared to the 120-foot boom.”
But the booms aren’t the only new feature 4 Series sprayers will get. The updated CommandView III cabs will also debut on 2017 4 Series machines, offering what the brand calls a “customizable workspace.”
“The CommandView III cab comes equipped with the John Deere 4600 CommandCenter that enables producers and ag service providers to efficiently capture, manage and transfer data,” adds Felter. “The redesigned CommandARM features a multi-function handle to give operators additional ways to customize their work environment.”
The cab also gets a ventilated leather seat that can swivel up to 15 degrees.
To help owners keep track of a sprayer’s performance while it’s working in the field, Deere also introduced the new John Deere Connect Mobile App, which is designed to provide real-time data on a “nozzle-by-nozzle” level.
“It’s managing the job at a micro level to make macro improvements,” said John Mishler, production and precision ag marketing manager, in a separate release. “The result is a better understanding of the job being performed. Data is saved on the iPad, so it goes where you go. At any time, or in any location as the data is saved, you can quickly review past work.”
When used with 4 Series Sprayers, operators can use the app to view mapping of job quality information, which includes as-applied rates, rate deviation, spray pressure, and ground speed. In addition, Connect Mobile delivers high-definition documentation for ExactApply Nozzle Control, and provides real-time estimated droplet size information.
“This ensures on-target application, mitigating the risk of product drift and avoiding the need for re-application,” Mishler added. “You can more quickly see and react to any problems and optimize job performance.”
The app also lets operators quickly compare data layers from previous production steps with what’s seen when scouting fields. “This information can help growers better understand what might have caused what they’re seeing in the field,” said Mishler.
The app also provides sprayer operators with more information options to view inside the cab on the machine’s 4600 screen. And the app can be used with Deere seeding equipment too. Eventually, the company expects to expand the app’s use to harvesting equipment as well.