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 by clicking this link

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

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!

Southwest WI Planting, Row Clutch Settings, and RTK Field Trials

by Bill Kletecka, Cuba City, WI 

Planting progress is nearing the end in the southwest Wisconsin area.  This past week we had very favorable weather and we luckily dodged a few rain events.  A large portion of the soybeans in the area are planted, and the last corn acres are waiting for the rye or hay to be taken off and planted for silage.  This past week’s heat  pushed a lot of the corn out of the ground and we are finally able to row the early planted crops.  With the crops finally out of the ground it is a great time to walk the fields and see exactly where the planter clutches were turning on and off.  Hopefully you dug seed when you were planting, and adjusted them properly before planting was over, but if they are still off you can adjust them for next year.  This picture shows you how to adjust your on/off times on your GS display.

Row Shut Off Settings


With the new RTK network in Wisconsin, I have had several customers that are planting beans with 30” planters on 15” rows.  The customers have done both AB curves and also straight track with very good luck.   They have found that you cut your desired population in half and plant across the field.  Then they would clear the field coverage and shift their line over 15” with the line shift buttons and make another pass across the field.  Granted it is another pass across the entire field but the customers are experimenting more than anything.  Also I was invited in helping with several trials with corn and beans this past week.  A few examples are row spacing on beans from 7.5” to 15” to 30”, and also a starter fertilizer trial done with different row spacing on beans.  The use of the RTK network is making these trials much more useful due to no longer needing large gaps or spaces in the field to separate one trial from the other and still be close enough to have comparable data on our highly variable soils.  You can see our WI RTK coverage map here.

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.


AMS Report 4.22.2014

by Lucas Veale

Planters are rolling strong across the area.  Conditions remain a bit damp, but with the promise of warmer weather on the way farmers are seizing the opportunity.  Continue to see the normal startup issues of customers trying to remember how their planter monitor, Autotrac, documentation, and Swath Control function and need to be setup or they need help getting all of the hoses and electrical connection hooked up correctly.

We have seen several customer having the problem with the receiver “white triangle” showing up at the hitch position which will make the section control malfunction.  Most of these have been corrected by simply changing the axle position to the opposite setting and then back to the correct setting.  However, Jeff Kraft, store manager of Sloan Implement in Hamel, IL found an instance where he had to change the offsets before it would allow it the position the receiver correctly.  Make sure you customers get out and dig to make sure the row command is working correctly!!!!!  Any other form of checking is inaccurate.

The new 1775 ExactEmerge high speed planter (pictured below) is in action and has had some field time.  Derek Sloan, product support specialist in Assumption comments on his experience pulling the new planter.  “ I got the chance to run the new high speed planter for a day and was very impressed with how well the machine ran. Singulation was excellent even at speeds around 10 mph and ride quality really did not suffer as much as I thought it would staying around 88 percent with downforce around 80-90. Population was even across the planter as well. Having the proper tillage tool running in front of this planter preparing the seed bed will play a big role in the effectiveness at higher speeds. Still waiting on seed to come up so we can see how the spacing really looks.”


Derek also reports that he has seen a barn lot nuisance code from the PM2 indicating that the down force sensors are out of range.  He reports that once it gets in the field the code does not return.

Matt Dehlinger, product support specialist in Effingham, IL reports that if you have a Kinze KPM III that will not keep the speed cal number you need to make sure you shut off the monitor when you complete it rather than turning off the key.

Justin Bickel, product support specialist in Virden, IL reports that on planters with more than 24 rows the PA1 controller can disappear.  The population will continue to function but the doubles and skips will turn red and show poor spacing.  Simply going into the monitor setup and turning off all of the seed sensors for all rows and then turning all rows back on will alleviate the problem.

If you have a customer with a Precision 20/20 monitor on a John Deere Seedstar XP planter and they call you because the monitor is not working correctly, unhook the 20/20 seed sense module back on the planter.  Numerous reports of this fixing planter monitor issues.

Lucas Benning, product support specialist in Vandalia, IL is making gains on the installation of the 4 new RTK base stations.  Three of them are in place with one to go.

Matt Sweitzer, product support specialist in Atwood, IL worked with wireless data transfer this week. He emphasizes the need for all components to have the latest software for a successful start up.  He also found that A/B guidance lines will not transfer from the display.  Only the documentation data will be sent.

He has also seen a 450 MHZ radio glitch.  He states that is says the radio is not responding when you first configure or turn on the system.  Cancel the warning and everything seems to work correctly.