Deere Winter Software Update 15.1 and Swath Control Settings for Spring

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

We have been running a lot of meters this winter with our seed meter test stand.  One of the major causes for performance issues is leaving the disk in the meter over an extended period of time.  This warps the disk and can disfigure the seal.  Make sure that when you are finished planting that you remove the disk from the meter and store it in a vertical position.  The best way to do this is take an old broom handle and slide the disks on it and then hang it so the disks are vertical.  Throwing them in a box or on a bench will cause them to warp.  Another issue we have seen is leaving seed in the planter.  This attracts Disney characters to make their winter homes in your planter meter.  They feast on the seed and your rubber vac seals.

Planter Clinic Lanark

Winter Planter Clinic Lanark, IL  March 5, 2015

 

Deere just announced the winter software update (15-1).  It is a good practice to update your AMS components with the latest software updates.  It is especially important to update your receivers this year as there is going to be a frequency change in July.  If you perform the winter software update it will automatically find the new frequency when it is released.  This is true for both the ITC and the Starfire 3000 receivers.

One of the main in-season issues or questions we get during planting is the swath control settings.  It is absolutely imperative that the receiver to machine measurements for the tractor and the planter are checked and entered into the GS3 display.  This will make sure that the GPS receiver and display can calculate the position of the seed tubes and turn on/off the clutches at the proper time.  If these dimensions are not entered correctly the time adjustment will likely not do much good to correct any stop/start planting issues.  So, before you start, check these dimensions against a tape measure and make sure that they are correct.  Along those lines, Sloan Express sells a light that will turn on and off with your clutch to give you a visual reference as to the exact time the clutch is turning on or off.  You can put one on the outside rows of the planter so you can be sure that the clutches are performing correctly. You can see more info on this light by clicking here.  It won’t get you down to the last 6” of where the last seed was planted but it will help you see if there was a moderate or major change in the settings for swath control.

Row Clutch Indicator Light – Click Picture for More Info

 

 

 

Sloan Winter Technology Expo in Atwood, IL Feb 3

You are invited to attend Sloan’s Sprayer Clinic on Tuesday March 3 at our Atwood, IL Training Facility.

Classes will begin at 9 am and finish at 2 pm.

Our sprayer experts will provide training on the following topics:

  • Set-up and operation of Spraystar monitor
  • Section control and Documentation
  • Solution system changes from 30 series to R’s
  • Service and maintenance
  • Sprayer walk around
  • And answer any questions you might have about your John Deere sprayer
  • You can view more info and register at sloans.com by clicking this link

You can view more info and register at sloans.com by clicking this link.

Sloan Winter Technology Expo in Atwood, IL Feb 3

You are invited to attend Sloan’s Winter Technology Expo on Tuesday February 3 at our Atwood, IL Training Facility.

The expo will begin at 8 am and end at Noon.  Stop in at any time.

Our product support specialists will provide training on the following products:

  • Field Connect, Machine Sync, & Shared Coverage maps
  • MaxEmerge 5 planters
  • MaxEmerge XP planters
  • Planter Test Stand and Seed Meter Inspections
  • Gator Mapping and RTK Boundary Service
  • Sprayers
  • New Generation 4 Command Center
  • Myjohndeere.com and JD Apps
  • Seedstar 2/XP Simulator, Swath Control, Documentation
  • Accudepth for Field Cultivators
  • Autotrac Controller & Rate Controllers
  • Sloan Call Center

You can view more info and register at sloans.com by clicking this link.

The Importance of Planter Meter Inspections and Clearing your Yield Data

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Winter is the time to get your planter meters inspected and tested so you are ready to go for spring.  We can run your meters on a modern test stand and check for doubles, skips, and misplaced seeds.  Our test runs are 1000 seeds per run and we require 3 consecutive tests of 99.7% or better performance for a passing grade.  It might not pass due to several factors.  It could be worn parts, a misaligned double eliminator, improperly adjusted hub setting, or a myriad of other factors.  The test stand allows us to find the “why” behind the problem.  We will then contact you about the recommended changes and get your approval to make these repairs.  Most times John Deere Pro Max meters don’t need  a tremendous amount of parts to get them ready to roll.  Of course, all of this is dependent upon how the meter has been cared for and how long it has been since it was last checked over.  The only way to know is to put them on a test stand and have them checked out.  Emerged corn is not the time to discover an issue with your meters so have them tested.  The planter is a system of different components working together and the meter, while being the heartbeat, is not the only item that can cause issues if not properly maintained.  Your entire planter including the row units, frame, drive system, delivery system, air system, etc. should all be inspected to insure that you are ready to go when mother nature decides to cooperate.  If you do take your meters to get inspected make sure to take your seed that you are going to plant this year along with it to the dealership.

planter meter

Another item to get squared away now is your data collection system and autotrac monitor.  Download all of the data from the monitor and make sure that it is safely backed up.  Remove the data from the monitor and install any available software updates.  These are usually released by John Deere in Mid-February.  Now you should re-load any setup data with all of your farms, fields, and varieties.  Don’t forget to also load in the CORRECT dimensions of the tractor and the planter so your clutches will shut off correctly.

 

 

1770NT vs. 1775NT Non-High Speed John Deere Planters

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Here are the main changes for the 2015 John Deere 1775 Planter with Max Emerge 5 row units:

Ability to run cable drive and granular insecticide.  Can run with 1.6 or mini hopper and cable drive.

Gauge wheel arm bushings much more durable because of smooth bushings rather than full thread-much longer life

Double eliminator is adjustable from outside the meter with a knob and a number.  Repeatable from season to season and seed to seed.

No elbow on the mini hopper to impede seed flow.  Less time spent shaking hoses because of seed stuck in the delivery hose.

All vac air is from the main hoppers.  Cleaner air with less debris in meter housing.

Easier access to the meter with a 1.6 bu hopper.  No need to remove the hopper from the unit to access the meter.  All done from the side.

With new quick change doors, you can easily snap in the knocker wheel and bean flapper.  They are no longer bolted in.

Here are some pictures of the new row unit

doubles eliminator up close 1 up close 2 up close 3

Row Clutches, Section Control Settings, 569 Balers, & Planter Inspections

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

Planting has pretty much finished up in Northern IL. There are still a few beans to be put in, but customers are getting a crop of hay off their last year alfalfa before tearing it up and planting some late beans. Weather has been hot and dry for the most part, with a few shots of rain here and there to help get the corn out of the ground. Corn and beans are looking great so far. Some side dressing will be starting next week along with second spraying on corn.

With the corn being up, I have had the chance to visit with customers in their fields, checking section control settings, seed population, and looking for any issues that can be fixed before next year.

These pictures show the difference between fields planted with and without row clutches.

Without Swath

With Swath

You can see how the row clutches really can save you money.  Farmers of any size can benefit from the input cost savings as well as increased yields. Don’t let anyone tell you that the clutches never pay for themselves. These pictures say it all.

Spraying has been going full bore in Northern IL. I have had the chance to calibrate the section control settings on several of the new R series sprayers. John Deere changed their theory of operation on section control about a year ago. If you are having an issue with gaps in your coverage maps, especially with GS3 2630’s follow these steps:

1. To set the on and off times, set the sprayer to manual pressure and have a stop watch handy. Start the solution pump, and use the stop watch to check the time from when you hit the master to when the spray comes out of the nozzles.  Let’s say it is 1.1 sec. This is your turn on time.

2. Turn on your master so flow is coming out of the nozzles and use the stop watch again to check the time that it takes from when you hit the master and the flow stops from the nozzles, let’s say it is .8 sec. This is your turn off time. So your turn on time is 1.1 and turn off is .8 sec.

3. Now in your section control settings, go to overlap settings and set your coverage overlap to % overlap. 100% overlap would shut the booms off as soon as it hits the covered area. Usually you want a little bit of overlap with a sprayer and it also depends on your speed.  1% equals 1 foot. Usually setting this to 103% works well. If you have any issues or need help setting this up please contact our call center at 217 693 6209 and they can walk you through it.

Hay making has also started up north with first crop hay. The new 569 balers are running great. One thing to make sure is that if you have a coverage baler and are running edge to edge net wrap, you need to make sure you have the spacers for the edge to edge net wrap in, otherwise the net wrap can walk from side to side and potentially rip the net wrap. Contact your local Sloan’s parts department to get these spacers, part number 567PLUG.

Sloan’s will be doing baler demos this summer, if you are thinking about a new baler contact a Sloan Implement salesman to set up a time to do a demo on your farm.

Lastly, make sure to get your planters in for service inspections. Service inspections are the best insurance for your farm. We will clean them out and get them ready for next spring. We have a really good service inspection going on now and details can be found here.  We will also run your row units on our state of the art test stand and make any repairs necessary. This way you have confidence next spring that you are ready to go to the field when the conditions are right.

If you are walking your fields and see that you had a row not performing the way it should be, bring it in to Sloan’s and we can test the meter and diagnose the problem. I would recommend testing your row units every year. They may look ok, but you won’t know until the corn comes up. Always remember that your combine is useless without a crop. Your planter is the most important piece of equipment on your farm and you only have one chance to make good yields!

1775 ExactEmerge High Speed Planter Clinic June 4

You are invited to attend Sloan Implement’s ExactEmerge High Speed Planter Clinic at our Lanark location on Wednesday, June 4th starting at 10:00 AM.

We will discuss the fundamentals of the new planter along with the proper settings and adjustments. We will also show the differences from current production planters and the new ExactEmerge as well as the 2015 MaxEmerge 5 planters.

We will cover the new features of both planters and options you can get on them that you could not before. Salesmen will also be present to discuss the Early Order Program that starts on June 3rd. Some area fields have also been planted with the ExactEmerge (high speed) planter this spring and we plan on walking some of those fields. We hope to see you there!  Register and print tickets for the event here.

1775 ExactEmerge

 

 

Central IL Planting Progress, Height Switches, & Connector Issues

by Derek Sloan, Assumption, IL

The majority of the crops have been planted in the Central IL area. A few customers are still finishing soybeans and with the current weather forecast should be finishing up with those by next week. Several customers have been side dressing with liquid and fast bars. I have seen a couple of height switches that were out of adjustment and it is always a good first place to look when having problems with product application. You can find the height switch status under the book and wrench tab in the rate controller in the readings drop down box. It will read “Switches/Status”.

I have spoken with several customers that are still having issues with section control setup and offsets. It is very important to double check your equipment offsets throughout the season and make sure that the measurements you have input are staying there every time you cycle the key when using the R series tractors. I suggest taking a picture of them with your phone or writing them down on a piece of paper you can leave in the armrest for quick reference upon start up. Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon but for now it is better to be safe than sorry.

I have also seen two instances where the connector pictured below causes problems with correct operation of equipment. Once on a 1770NT 24 row, the connector was just not pushed together enough and was causing intermittent problems on the GS3 display and not allowing proper operation of the planter. The second situation was on a new 2510L that the customer had just taken home and was preparing to use. The customer put water in the tank and attempted operation of the tool and the valves would not turn on allowing proper product application. Examination of the connector and a tug on the wires pulled the ground wire out. After proper replacement of the wire and insuring the connector was pushed together well, the tool worked just like it was supposed to. This connector is found on many John Deere machines and on the rate controller harness. The last situation was on a rate controller harness.

connector

 

 

Lanark Planting, GS3 Software, & 1770NT 24

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

Cold and wet is the week we had in Lanark. We had about 3 inches of rain this week with a little snow on Friday. Most of the corn is in the ground, very few beans. Customers have switched over to beans and ready to go when it dries out again. Some corn has been popping through and is looking pretty good so far. Some customers are getting there rotary hoes checked over and ready to go also.

I had a customer calling me that was getting ACK warning on his GS3 then it would reboot and he would lose his documentation.  I found that he was running AB Curves for tracking mode, I then looked at his software and found that it was at 3.16. If you remember back 1 year ago we had that same issue with that software. I installed the latest software and I will find out next week if that fixed it.  Check here for the latest software versions.

We have been having some issues with a new 1770NT 24 row that has chain drive row clutches that trash is getting wrapped around the clutch sprockets and causing them to start slipping. After checking it over, we noticed it was on the rows that has the vac motor in between them. The vac motors are creating a turbulence that throws the trash around and then get wrapped around the sprockets. We came up with a deflector to help move the vacuum air back and out of the way.  See picture below for reference.

image

Planting Progress near Effingham, IL May 8, 2014

by Matt Dehlinger, Effingham, IL

Last night’s rain brought field work to a halt and they are forecasting some more rain over weekend yet.  Rain was pretty spotty and ranged from 3 tenths to a little over an inch.  Some corn is out of the ground and some are waiting to see what kind of a stand they will get.  All of the planters have been started and Autotrac systems have not been causing too much of an issue.  I have a Deere 1770NT that had a down force sensor fail and had to replace it.  Varying seed size seems to be causing some issues in finger pickup meter accuracy in Kinze planters, but slowing planting speed seems to help with that.  Hopefully we can get back in the field next week.