John Deere ExactEmerge: Buy New or Retrofit?

John Deere’s Exactemerge high-speed planter has definitely changed the game.  With improved seed spacing over conventional planters even at speeds of 10+ mph, unmatched productivity and accuracy now go hand in hand.  Covering dramatically more acres per day and still doing a better job in an ever decreasing planting window is a value story that hasn’t been seen since the introduction of the STS combine in 2000.  Sloan Implement has ExactEmerge customers that have cut their planting fleet in half and still get more done in a day, all while improving the plant stand.   This frees up manpower to do other tasks at a time when skilled farm labor is ever more difficult to locate.

John Deere offers two different options for customers who want to bring this technology to their operation: Buying a new or used Exactemerge planter or Retrofitting an existing 2011 or newer conventional John Deere bulk fll planter.  So what is the best option?  Both offer pro’s and con’s so let’s walk through both scenarios:

Buying a new Exactemerge planter: 

John Deere has introduced features each year since the Exactemerge’s introduction that cannot be retrofitted back to previous model planters.  Frame weight distribution is only available as a factory option and cannot be retrofitted to previous models.  Folding the planter through the display, thus eliminating the fold box, is also a factory only option.  Seedstar 4HP is new for the 2018 planter line-up and is not available for retrofit at this time.  Seedstar 4HP requires a Gen IV display.  The larger screen offers greater flexibility with the planter run page setup for viewing more functions on the screen at the same time.   The frame has also received a few tweaks, in particular, the markers can better handle the increased loads of 10+ mph planting speeds.  Buying new insures that you will have the latest technology as well as a full machine warranty for the planting season.

Retrofit a 2011 or newer central-fill planter to the Exactemerge planting system:

This option allows customers to get the Exactemerge technology at a substantially reduced cost vs. buying new.  Customers can get most of the latest technology except for the items listed above.  The Exactemerge row unit, pneumatically adjustable row cleaners, individual row hydraulic down force, and pneumatic closing wheels can all be installed on an existing planter to get these technologies for less money.  The basic Exactemerge retrofit unit comes with a new shank, openers, scrapers, gauge wheel arms, meter, brush module, parallel arm bushings, and an electrical system that includes vacuum automation and curve compensation.  All of the new components have a full planting season warranty.  What’s more, you can still use your existing 2630 display to operate the retrofitted planter, saving the cost of upgrading to the new Gen IV display.  The frame and seed delivery system both remain the same.  We have done several retrofits and customers have had great success while saving money.

Sloan employees prepared 7 short videos discussing ExactEmerge retrofit kits that can be viewed here:

As you can see, both options have a value story that is different.  What is not different is the performance and productivity each option will bring to your operation.

Click here to read more about the Exactemerge row unit or contact your local Sloan Implement location.

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

NH3 Anhydrous bar with flow issues? Try this fix

by Chris Saxe, Assumption, IL 

I received a  call today about a JD NH3 2510H ammonia bar with a Raven control system that was not getting flow to the applicator.   I walked the operator through the energize system check, then confirmed the settings and it was getting the correct speed. I then verified that the implement switch was working and the operator could also manually open the Raven valve.  The operator said the rate was bouncing all over the place, but he was still was not getting any flow.   The operator was pulling double tanks and one was 50% full and the other tank was empty.   A rate level that fluctuates wildly up and down is often the sign of an empty tank.   I then directed the operator to shut off the empty tank,  which was allowing vapor to spin the flow meter.   I also asked him to shut off the second tank that was 50% full and then to open the valve slowly.  The excess flow valve snapped shut on one tank when both tanks were at 50% so he continued to run until one tank went empty. By shutting off the tank and opening the valve slowly,  it allowed the excess flow valve in the withdraw valve to reopen.  He started running again but said it still didn’t work.  At that point,  the entire bar was drained empty so I told him to keep going and it charged the bar and it then went back to working perfectly.  Tank % gauges are known to stick, so if you have a similar issue where everything on the monitor and on the bar seem ok, have the operator shake the tank to see if it feels full or if float gauge bounces.  The gauge may be broken or stuck in place.  Be safe out there.  NH3 is dangerous stuff.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

New Deere Planter Options, SF2 vs RTK, Guided Planter Hitches, and Prescriptions

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

Prescriptions

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Do you plan on doing any variable rate planting this spring? If so, now is a great time to work on them or sit down with your agronomist.  This will assure that your prescriptions are ready and in the right format for your display come spring.   All too often, we run into issues on the first day of planting of trying to get them into the display and working correctly.  If you have questions on what needs to be done please be pro-active and get a hold of us today.   We also have data management services available to help with this task plus spring software updates and pre-season display set-up.  You can learn more about our data management  service by clicking here.

Active Implement Guidance

laforage

Laforge Guided Planter Hitch

John Deere recently announced a new allied agreement with Laforage for a guided planter hitch. When combined with John Deere’s Active Implement Guidance, it will place the seed right where it needs to go. This would be ideal for strip till. Even if you are not strip tilling, you can see benefits from the consistent guess rows when you return to side dress, spray and harvest. The Laforage hitch has up to 20” of hitch movement available. The hitch replaces the factory 2-point hitch on 1770, 1775, 1790 and 1795 planters.

If you are looking for a hydraulic drawbar hitch or a convertible hitch (2 point and a drawbar), we also have Protrakker hitches available with up to 26” of movement.

Protrakker Hitch

Protrakker Hitch

If you have any questions on hydraulic hitches or active implement guidance, please give us a call.

SF2 Signal vs. RTK

sf3000

As we get closer to planting season, we’re starting to get the question “what GPS accuracy level fits my operation the best”.  We recommended using SF2 or RTK for planting although we have many customers still using SF1 and getting by just fine.  SF2 and RTK both are noticeable improvements especially when planting in hills and contours.  Since John Deere moved the SF2 subscription renewals from their call center to the dealership a few years ago, we’ve taken a lot of calls to activate SF2 subscriptions at the beginning of the planting season. Many customers may not know what it would take to jump from SF2 to RTK.  John Deere’s year-long SF2 subscription is $1050 while Sloan Implement’s RTK subscription is only $1000.  If you already have a SF2 unlocked receiver, you only need a one-time RTK activation ($3500) and a 450 mhz radio ($1795).  That puts your first year total with the subscription at $6,295.  Next year you would only pay $1000 for the annual subscription. John Deere’s RTK signal is a repeatable 1” signal that will not move or drift from day to day or season to season.  Planter shutoffs can now be used with confidence for interior boundaries or water ways. They can also be dialed in for even less overlap while running RTK. The signal acquisition at the beginning of the day is almost instant vs waiting for the accuracy to improve with other Deere and non-Deere signals. Everything else, from autotrac performance to variety locator, is also improved with the more accurate and repeatable RTK signal. Talk to your Sloan Implement AMS Consultant for details on coverage for your area. Sloan Implement is committed to giving you the best accuracy available and we will be building additional towers in Iowa and Wisconsin in time for planting.  You can view our current RTK network coverage by clicking here.

National Farm Machinery Show

John Deere revealed several future products at the National Farm Machinery Show this week.  For 2017 they plan to have a MaxEmerge 5E row unit with an electric drive (no more electric seed clutch or hydraulic variable rate motors).

MaxEmerge 5e

MaxEmerge 5E Row Unit

They also showed a hydraulic individual row downforce system that’s expected to be a factory installed option in 2017 along with a pneumatic closing wheel option (available now for limited models).

IRDF

Hydraulic Individual Row Downforce

Pneumatic Closing

Pneumatic Closing Wheel

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

Planting Cover Crops with a Valmar Seeder and Vertical Tillage Tool

by Lucas Benning, Vandalia, IL 

Things in Southern Illinois, as with the rest of the state, continue to be very wet. I have heard of combines and grain carts getting stuck, but nothing major. Yields continue to be very good for our area. Most guys are planning on a 200 bu/a corn average and hopefully 50bu/a for soybeans. The recent rains have made the double crop beans in the area look very good and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some double crop fields beat some of the early planted beans that didn’t receive rain in July and August.

One thing starting to make an impact in our area is cover cropping.  Guys are seeing cleaner fields in the spring that are free from weeds, and in the process they are boosting organic matter in the soil. Currently there aren’t many options for planting your cover crops.  You can fly it on with an airplane or you can make 2 passes, first with the tillage tool and next with the seeder. Cost is a concern for both of these methods.  Broadcasting during fertilizer application is an option, but stand quality can be an issue because of poor seed to soil contact.

Valmar has created a seeder that combines many of these methods and it can be operated and recorded with a John Deere GS3 2630 or 2600 display.  A Valmar seeder is a bulk bin with a set of rollers and a fan that blows the seed through tubes, similar to a John Deere air seeder, but much more compact. These bins are universal and can be mounted to anything.

mcfarlane cover crop seeder 003

Valmar Seeder on a McFarlane Reel Disk

The seed tubes run directly in front of the rolling basket harrow so the seed can get the proper seed to soil contact.

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The Valmar is either ground or hydraulically driven.   I think the hydraulic drive is the better option since the ground drive wheel seems flimsy and the chain is prone to jumping off.  In order to run the system with a JD GS 2600 or 2630 display you must have the hydraulic drive option as well as a John Deere Dry Rate Controller.  Ag Express has a wiring harness that plugs into Deere’s 37-pin rate controller as well as the PWM valve and the speed sensor on the seeder. It is controlled through a GS 2600/2630 display similar to an air seeder and uses a PWM valve as a controller. You then add your calibration factors and start to calibrate the PWM valve and then do a CFR drop test.  The drop test is where you enter your bulk density of product, test speed, test rate, desired weight, and expected CFR. The expected CFR can be approximated because after doing the test the monitor will give you the weight it thought it dropped and you have to enter the actual weight and it will adjust the CFR accordingly. We had to do the drop test a few times in order to get it dialed in, but we also started with an expected CFR that was way off and had to narrow it down from there. After that everything should be set and ready to run.

The Valmar seeder solves the expense of a plane and the wasted fuel with 2 passes. It also helps with the seed to soil contact issue with broadcasting with fertilizer.

If you have any question about this setup get a hold of your local AMS Specialist or salesman for more information.

mcfarlane cover crop seeder 002