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.
The spring season is trying to get here in some areas of central Illinois. A few places have seen NH3 and other fertilizer being applied. There are even rumors of a field or two that have been planted. Customers are definitely making last minute preparations for spring as the store and phone traffic is on the rise. The AMS crew has been completing customer visits on planter and tractors as well as Accudepth Field Cultivators.
AMS product sales are also going well right now. StarFire 3000 Receivers and RTK upgrades are leading the way along with strong autotrac and swath control activation sales.
Kinze ISO conversions also continue to gain in popularity. The Sloan AMS team has done several installs this winter with a couple yet to go. One issue is the version 2.0 software update. It has provided frustration as it takes several attempts to get it to install. Matt Dehlinger, Product Support Specialist at our Effingham, IL location, reports that if this occurs you should shut off the key, unplug the planter harness, re-install the planter harness, and try again. He has had success with this procedure to get the software installed. Also see his comments about downloading from the website.
“Kinze ISO updates have been causing issues yet. When you download the update from Kinze click open and then copy the file straight to the File Server folder on the zip drive and don’t change the name of it and it should work.” Matt Dehlinger, Product Support Specialist at Effingham, IL location.
Josh Thornton, product support specialist at the White Hall, IL location, reports that the R-series sprayers have a connector at the back of the cab that connects a CAB CAM to the GS3. However, the connector is different than what is found on an R-Series tractor. Deere has a harness but it is on backorder.
Lucas Benning, product support specialist at the Vandalia, IL location, has found a height switch from AG Leader that works well on Kinze planters that have rate controllers for ½ width swath control. He also found a solution for a 900 radio not being recognized by the receiver. His comments are below
“When I was checking RTK bases, the 900 radio would not recognize on the receiver. I updated software and still nothing. I back dated software to 1.52 and it worked just fine. I ended up having to reinstall GS Live Update and then download the 1.90 software on the receiver and it seemed to work fine.” Lucas Benning, Product Support Specialist at Vandalia, IL location.
Matt Sweitzer, Atwood, IL and Justin Bickel, Virden, IL, have seen issues with upgrading ITC receivers to 3000s and the Stellar Support website seems to be the issue. They are working on a solution. In the meantime, be careful trying to update. It might be beneficial to call the JD activation line when trying to complete this so you will have documentation if the problem arises.
Jared Wheeler, product support specialist at Assumption, IL, has been busy loading cards for the Mapping Service and converting prescriptions from Harvest Max. He says that wireless data transfer is gaining a lot of interest.
Derek Sloan, product support specialist at Assumption, has been busy running the gator doing our boundary and A/B line service. We have completed about 14,500 acres since Jan 1 with this service. Customers like the convenience of their A/B lines already loaded and having their waterways mapped so the planter clutches will shut off when they cross it. It has also driven some RTK upgrades.
Matt Sweitzer and Dylan Vickers, both at the Atwood, IL location of Sloan Implement, completed setup of the ExactEmerge planter at the Atwood location. Read Matt’s comments on this task.
“Dylan (Vickers) and I also set up the new ExactEmerge planter. Set up is pretty straight forward. It is much easier to run the planter because you do not need the simulator kit anymore. You can run the meters from the cab and then get out and walk around the planter. The new Seedstar monitor is also much improved in my opinion.” Matt Sweitzer, Product Support Specialist at Sloan Implement Atwood, IL.
The new seed meter test stand has been very successful. We have signed up 438 meters since Feb 6th when we picked up the stand. We have 48 more rows pending sign up if we can get to them before they need to start planting. One of the biggest issues comes from customers leaving the plates and seed in the hoppers over winter. Jake Pippen, product support at Assumption, has done a great job with this unit. See his comments on new planter seed meters. He has also received quite a bit of help from Josh Zuck.
“I have been running meters and found that the hubs on a brand new pro-series planter were way too loose and needed to be tightened at least a full turn to raise the torque to aprrox 40-45 in-lbs. Also on finger pickups, we have been having good luck with running the Precision fingers and Kinze back plates. I have also had good luck running the Precision fingers and Precision back plates. Running Kinze on Kinze will work, but not near as high of singulation percentage as the other settings. I also found one of the meter housings was sprung causing poor singulation. I have also noticed that if the door seals are caked with talc and seed treatment, then you will need to clean off the seals and run for 10+ tests to get them to “wear” back in to the meter and start running properly. ” Jake Pippen, Product Support Specialist at Assumption, IL.
The call center started on Monday. Please refer customers to this number for any AMS questions that they might have including SF2 subscriptions. Any feedback about the call center would be appreciated.