StarFire 6000 GPS Receiver – $3895

by Jared Wheeler, Assumption, IL

  • If you are running RTK and you lose RTK signal you will have RTK Extend for 14 days vs. 15 minutes with a StarFire 3000
  • Uses 3 correction satellites for improved signal and accuracy
  • SF2 is replaced by SF3 which is 1.2” accuracy with in season repeatability
  • USB port for faster software updates (3 minutes vs. 20-30 minutes)
  • USB port can be used to export a data log for easier troubleshooting
  • Deluxe mount only with optional locking system
  • Sloan Implement will allow $2000 for your trade in StarFire 3000

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




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

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 



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


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


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).


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

Wisconsin Planting, ExactEmerge Success, Active Implement Guidance, and Swath Control Settings

Row Clutches at Work

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

Planting started in Southern Wisconsin two weeks ago with above average temperatures followed by a week of below normal temperatures and even some snow flurries last week! This past week has been very good planting conditions and a lot of corn has went into the ground. We have some customers finishing with corn and more could be done by this weekend if the rain holds off.

The ExactEmerge planters have all been running well. Most customers have been running 7-10 mph across the field. Seventy acres per hour in our larger fields with a 24 row planter has been pretty common. Setting swath control has been pretty quick since you can dig seed like a sandhill crane when the spacing is so close to perfect. We did notice that some hub torques got a little loose after the initial break in. Similar to the ProMax 40 disks, it seems that a tighter hub torque has been better than a loose hub torque. Round seed has also singulated a little better than flat seed 98-100% vs 97-98% on average. With the brush belt carrying the seed to the trench and with it being speed compensated, the in ground spacing has been very good on both types of seed.

8370R 1775 ExactEmerge Active Implement Guidance

JD 8370R & 1775 ExactEmerge

Active Implement Guidance with ProTrakker hydraulic hitches have also been working very well this spring doing strip till in some rolling ground of Southwestern and South Central Wisconsin. Our local RTK bases have been performing very well again this year. If you are interested in RTK, give us a call and we can line up a demo before you’re done planting.

9410R 2510H Active Implement Guidance

JD 9410R Pulling JD 2510H Using Active Implement Guidance

I got a call yesterday about soybeans overplanting 5-6%. We ended up finding the seed very small and multiples getting stuck in some holes on the disk. We reduced the vacuum as much as we could and then cut back on the prescription rates using the Prescription Multiplier in order to get the correct amount of seed in the ground. It sounds like there many some abnormally small beans out there this year, so keep that in mind.

Small Bean Seed Overplanting 5-6%

Small Bean Seed Overplanting 5-6%

I’ve received a few calls this week from guys running adaptive curves in our small and irregular shaped fields. When the customer leaves his first line to go plant on the other side of the field, the line will not let him engage autotrac when he returns. Backdating to 14-1 GS3 software has fixed the problem on all of them so far.

Adaptive Curves Not Working

Adaptive Curves Not Working

Last but not least, I’ve had a lot of calls this week in regards to planter clutches. It’s impossible to dig too much seed when you start planting. In many cases, set-up has been incomplete and measurements were missing causing gaps on one end of the field and extra overlap on the other end. If you are running the new 15-1 GS3 software, I would recommend that you go in and uncheck the Implement Detection box, so there’s no way that it can get changed on its own once you take your measurements (Menu, Display, Diagnostics, Multiple Displays, Change Settings, uncheck the Auto Implement Detection checkbox and hit the save button). If you are still planting, it would probably be a good idea to dig some seed coming into and then again coming out of the headlands to make sure there are no surprise when the corn comes up. If you like what you see, make sure that you record all of your tractor measurements, planter measurements and on/off times so you have them for next year.

Sectional Control Info

Sectional Control Info


Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 19 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at

Deactivate Implement Detection and ExactEmerge Planter Video

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Software update 15-1 (spring 2015) has finally given users the ability to shut off implement detection.  Implement detection auto-populates the offset dimensions of the planter and tractor for the purpose of swath control and does so at each key cycle.  The system is supposed to save any changes made by the operator.  However, sometimes these dimensions are incorrect or different than those entered by the operator when auto-populated causing unexpected skips or overlaps in the field.  Many times this is not recognized until the crop emerges and many acres have been done incorrectly.  To disable this feature, go the Menu, Display, Diagnostics, Multiple Displays,   Change Settings, and then uncheck the Auto Implement Detection checkbox and hit the save button.  At this point, verify that the dimensions that are loaded in the display are correct for both the tractor and the planter.  This should prevent the system for changing them and will eliminate the implement detection warning screen at start up.

The ExactEmerge  high speed planters have been rolling for the past two weeks with great success.  Here’s a video of one screaming across the field in excess of 10+ mph being pulled by a JD 8370R.


RTK Stations & Rowsense Tips

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI

Blue Mounds, WI

Platteville Mound

Phil Loduha

We installed a new RTK base station in Wiota, WI this past week. The 24 hours survey is complete and it’s ready to use. Contact us if you are interested in using this base’s frequency.

Wheat Drilled with AT and 15' drill

Things have been going pretty smoothly with many guys wrapping up soybeans. We’ve been getting some calls on rowsense as people are switching over to corn. First of all, check your rowsense feelers and make sure the slop is adjusted out of them. Next, if you have a lot of hills and contours try turning up your steering sensitivity (140 has been working well for a lot of guys). If you are still having issues, give us a call and we can take a look at it.

I installed Active Implement guidance on a Steiger 600 with an external SCV and Protrakker drawbar hitch for pulling a 2510H this week. It was working very well.

Wisconsin Harvest, Record Stop Height, and New Pro Trakker Hitch


by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI

We finally got some heat and sun last week and as a result the crops in Northern IL and Southern WI dried down a lot. The chopping season is winding down. We found some 19% corn in northern IL earlier this week and it tested in the high 20’s the week before. This early variety was also averaging over 200 bu/ac. Most of the corn that I’ve seen looks pretty good with the exception of some sandier fields. I’ve heard a few reports of poor stalk quality and some corn looking like it could go down, so that will be something to watch out for.

A lot of the soybeans actually got too dry this week. On Monday, I found 9% beans in every field that I was in. From the road they look a little green and uneven. Guys are having to scout some fields and do a little blending in some cases. Bean yields have been anywhere from 40-70 bu/ac. Brown stem rot, white mold and SDS have pulled back the yields in some fields. Most areas missed the rain Wednesday night, but they are still calling for a good chance tonight.

Remember, that in order for variety locator to work you must first run your planting data through Apex. I’m getting a lot of calls where customer forget to do this. You need to check the box for variety locator on the set-up page and then you need to “Set-up Variety Locator” in the bottom left hand corner of that page.

Another common call has been getting recording to work. Many times, there is more than one tab open under documentation. If the documentation screen on your 2600 or 2630 does not say “Harvest” and “New” only, then you have too many open. Select the extra tabs and hit remove in the bottom left hand corner to get rid of them.

One more thing that affects recording is the record stop height. On 60 series and earlier combines, this will be found under original Greenstar Display, Set-up, Harvest Monitor. On 70 series, it will be found on the command arm display under the combine icon (page 3/5). On S-series combines, it will be found on the armrest display, Combine, and then the Header Icon on the right hand side. The easiest way to set this height is to set your number 1 button on the hydro handle to where you want the head to be when you turn around on the headlands. After that, manually lower the head down a foot or so and then press the save button for record stop height on your display.

We’re still getting some calls on S-series combines “s-ing” on the autotrac line. This is usually a wheel angle sensor that’s out of adjustment on the back left hand axle. Give us a call if you are having this issue and we can get it readjusted for you.

A couple of weeks ago, we got the chance to install a Pro Trakker hydraulic hitch to use with Active Implement Guidance. With this set-up, the tractor and implement both have receivers on them. We ran an RTK receiver on the tractor and used John Deere’s Share Signal software to share the RTK accuracy with our SF1 receiver on the implement saving some money on activations. The tractor drives on the line and the hydraulic hitch steers the implement on the line as well.

Pro Trakker Hitch

Pro Trakker Hitch

The Pro Trakker hitch has 13” of movement side to side for a total of 26”. I was very impressed with the hitch and the guidance system in the hills and contours that we used it in. This system looks like a perfect fit for strip till in our area. Feel free to contact your AMS specialist for more information.



Wisconsin Wheat Harvest and New AMS Products for 2015

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI

We’ve been busy harvesting wheat in northern IL and southern WI this last week. The weather has been warm and dry, so getting the wheat and straw out of the field has not been a problem. Yields, test weight and straw have been good for the most part. I have heard some rumors of vomitoxin and some loads getting rejected at elevators. We could use some more rain across the area. Most fields have not had any rain for 2 weeks now. We had a few showers in the area this morning, but they only wetted the sidewalk for the most part. We do have some more chances Saturday and Sunday though.

We were out at Deere’s ISG headquarters in Urbandale, IA this week for our annual summer meeting. There we talked about changes to and the Field Analyzer. There will be some nice additions for those using Apex today. If you have a combine with a valid JDLink subscription and a GS3 2630 display, contact us to set-up a free trial of Wireless Data Transfer for harvest this fall. The only other item that you will have to buy is the Ethernet cable. We also discussed the fall software bundle and Field Connect. The fall software bundle should be out by mid-late August. With John Deere’s product introduction coming up on August 18th, they were pretty tight lipped on the new products for 2015 and beyond. We will be sure to fill you in as soon as we learn more at Intro. While we were out at Urbandale, we also picked up a ProTrakker hitch to demo Active Implement Guidance to a customer after wheat. Active Implement Guidance places a second GPS receiver on the planter and the Protrakker’s hydraulic hitch steers the planter over a previous strip till pass and for higher accuracy with guess rows. If you are interested in Active Implement Guidance, give us a call and we may be able to get you in the field to see it in action yet this summer.

I also worked with some growers and researchers in Italy set-up their 7750 SPFH to map their corn yield. The time zone change and language barrier was challenging for both sides at times,  but they are up and mapping now.



Farms (Kevin and Erika Klahn) waiting for the sun to come back out near Brooklyn, WI

Klondike Farms (Kevin and Erika Klahn) waiting for the sun to come back out near Brooklyn, WI