SolutionsPlus Mobile App from John Deere

by Jared Wheeler, Assumption, IL

The John Deere SolutionsPlus app is your toolbox for managing technology products from John Deere. The SolutionsPlus app is used to support, configure, and enable John Deere precision technology products for agriculture, construction, and forestry industries.  The SolutionsPlus app can be used for updating software, transferring subscriptions, connecting MTG 4G LTE to a wireless network or configuring MTG 4G LTE to receive wireless connections.

Most impressively, the SolutionsPlus app can help you setup your GreenStar equipment before you head to the field this season.  It includes things such as:

  • How to setup your layout manager on the screen
  • Calibrate your TCM
  • Enter machine dimensions
  • Setup AutoTrac
  • Setup Documentation

You can also dive deeper into things like:

  • Prescriptions
  • Section Control
  • Boundaries
  • AutoTrac sensitivity settings and troubleshooting
  • Wireless Data Transfer
  • And more

Here are a couple of videos that show how to use the app for renewing an activation or submitting feedback directly to John Deere.

 

Download the SolutionPlus app today by going to the “Apps We Recommend” section of the Sloan Implement app or by following the links below.  You can learn more about the SolutionsPlus app by visiting Deere’s  MachineFinder Blog.

iTunes  

Google Play

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

 

 

 

John Deere 4640 Gen 4 Display vs JD 2630 GS3

 

This month, John Deere introduced the new 4640 universal display. The 4640 display incorporates the easy-to-use layout of the 4600 Command Center and the portability of the GreenStar 2630.  With the release of the new 4640 display,  John Deere has moved to a subscription based activation system which is different from the previous approach of a one-time activation purchase.  Now activations for the 4640 are offered in four different configurations shown below:

1-year Autotrac Subscription $850

5-year Autotrac Subscription $4000

1-year Premium Subscription $1700 (Autotrac, Swath Control, Documentation)

5-year Premium Subscription $8000 (Autotrac, Swath Control, Documentation)

The 5-year subscription option is only available at the point of purchase of the new 4640 display. If you choose to go with a one-year subscription, you will not have the option to purchase the five-year subscription down the road.

This price comparison graphic illustrates a customer’s cost of entry for a 4640 Universal Display and a 1-year subscription compared to a similarly activated GS3 2630 display.

The entry price for the 4640 is approximately 1/2 of the GS3 2630.  Over the course of 5 years, a customer who purchased a 4640 display and a 5-year subscription will spend less money than the customer who purchased a GS3 2630 with activations.   Also, in 5 years, there’s certain to be updated technology that will be better suited for the 4640 than the legacy 2630 display.

 

Why the change to subscription-based activations?  Subscription-based precision ag offerings provide the following benefits:

  • Lower cost of entry to get started with display and subscriptions
  • Ability to try new applications for a year without having to commit to a permanent software license
  • Ability to match the cost of use with the revenue generated in the same fiscal year
  • Flexibility in selecting the level and duration of subscription that best fits the needs of the business without the expense of a one-time software license purchase

As previously mentioned, the 4640 display is portable, much like the GreenStar 3 2630 display. One of the things that the 4640 display is capable of over the 2630 display is that the 4640 can be used in conjunction with a Gen 4 extend monitor. This allows you to run the 4640 display with double the screen space.

Gen 4 extend monitor

The 4640 display also has enhanced data capturing abilities making section control and coverage maps more accurate. Setting on/off times is made much easier with the 4640 display. Simply select skip or overlap and enter the distance and speed.  The new operating system on the 4640 functions like a smart phone with swipe and touch integration.

At this time the 4640 display has a few limitations, but John Deere will correct these with upcoming software updates that wwill make the 4640 display even more versatile. Some of the current limitations of the 4640 display are: RowSense in combines, Vision and RowSense in sprayers, Coverage map and A/B line sharing, and Machine sync.  Also, the 4640 display is also not fully compatible with the John Deere Rate Controller 2000 at this time.

Here’s a video from Deere on the features of the new 4640 display.

by Conrad Meyer, Cuba City, WI

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

 

Pneumatic Closing Wheels from John Deere

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

In mid-January, John Deere introduced pneumatic closing available for the 2016 planting season.  As of now, these will only fit 2016 ExactEmerge planters.  Deere plans to add more models to the lineup in 2017.

Adjustments are made from the cab on your 2630 display. You can preset up to 20 different settings based on your ground conditions.  With the manual adjust closing wheels, it can take up to 5 min to adjust a 24 row planter.  With the pneumatic, that time can be taken down to 10 seconds.  Adjustments can be made on the fly with the press of a button.  The pneumatic closing wheels will be able to be set up in 2 sections.  Recommendations are center 4 rows as 1 sections, then the outer 10 rows on each wing as a 2nd section.  This will allow you to put more pressure on the center where the weight is carried and should help to close the seed trench.  There is also a pressure feedback sensor to let you know how the closing wheels are  performing.

Pneumatic Closing Wheel

Pneumatic Closing Wheel

Why pneumatic closing wheels? One advantage is more uniform emergence.  Uniform emergence is a 10 to 18 bu / acre factor. There is also 76% less variance in closing the trench than manual adjust.  You can now take control over your ground conditions even more. Contact any of our Sloan Implement locations for more info.

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

The Importance of Good Data

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Greetings from Sloan Implement Company!  I hope everyone enjoyed great food and family time over Thanksgiving.  I am looking forward to more of the same as Christmas quickly approaches

Warmer than normal weather has been the rule this fall in our area.  A great deal of NH3 was applied, but there will definitely be some spring application needs as well.

Let me ask each of you if you had an autotrac system 10 years ago in 2005?  What about 5 years ago?  I bet the answer to the first question would be that very few had a system in ’05.  I would venture to say that many, or more likely, most of you had at least 1 system in 2010.  The question for most producers today would not be if you had a system, but rather how many systems you currently have in your operation? I pose these questions to shine a light on how fast technology is changing and how much of an impact it has on you and your business.

If autotrac was the first big use of GPS technology, section control or auto swath is definitely a close second. So what is number 3?  Any guesses?  It is a hot topic in nearly every farm publication or Ag website.  The answer is data.  Not just data, but GOOD data!  Inaccurate data is not much better than no data at all.

So how does good data have an impact like autotrac or section control?  Good data is the inside information you need to help you make informed decisions about every acre within your operation.  All of you know that there are productive and not-as-productive areas in each of your fields.  But the question is not just how productive or not-so-productive, but how big is the good area and where and how much does it change as you move out of the highly productive area?  Even better, why does it change?  Can we fix it? Is there something holding back the sweet spots from getting even better?  The list could go on and on.  Treating every acre of the field the same, or flat rate application, of seed, fertilizer, nitrogen, lime, etc. does not make agronomic sense, especially in these economic times. Knowing what each acre is putting in your pocket will be of paramount importance going forward.

I will admit that the amount of information that can be gleaned from yield maps, soil tests, application data, etc. is mind boggling and can be intimidating.  The question you are probably asking, is how do I know when, where, and how much change to make?  The only way to answer this question is to have a good “data bank” of past history from each field.  This can then be used by you or a trusted advisor to guide your decisions. As with anything of value, good data takes time and effort to collect.  The good news is that nearly every combine/planter/application tool built within the last 10+ years has the ability to collect the data you need to build your data bank.  The even better news is that most customers already have the majority of the equipment they need to complete these tasks!

Another storm on the horizon is the political climate (pun intended!) in Washington.  As fewer folks in the general population actually understand production agriculture, greater imposition on your use of commercial fertilizers, chemicals, etc. will be the focus of many state houses and in Washington.  Has anyone seen a news story about the algae bloom in the Gulf as an example? The ability to show, on an acre by acre basis, how accurately and efficiently you use inputs will be extremely valuable, if and when the rules change.

So where do we go from here?  Make a point to start or continue to collect good data from this point forward!  Calibrate and post calibrate your combine yield monitor, record your as-applied planting rates and varieties, and obtain the as-applied fertilizer maps from your ASP (Ag Service Provider).  All of this needs to be in an electronic format so it can be used later on.  Find someone to help you clean up your data if you are not able or willing to do it yourself.  Sloan Implement offers a basic data service that allows you to begin to collect GOOD data without even owning a computer, all while using the GPS equipment you already own.  You can see more info on Sloan’s Data Management service here.  John Deere has a website, www.myjohndeere.com, where you can store and view the data as well from any smart phone or tablet and share it with only those you choose.  Finally, find a trusted advisor to help you interpret the data and help you make informed decisions.

In conclusion, even if you think you are not ready for all of this, start collecting good data now!  Remember my questions at the beginning of the article?  How many of you had an autotrac system 10 or even 5 years ago?  The difference now is that you could get into an autotrac system whenever you made the decision to do so.  Collecting data takes time.  You have seen how fast the last 10 years has changed.  Imagine what the next 5 or 10 years has in store.
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

 

Wisconsin Crop Progress and Exactemerge Post Season Maintenance

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

We had a lot of rain the last few weeks, but most of the area crops are still in very good shape. There was some localized high winds causing some down corn and wheat.

Windblown Corn near Dodgeville, WI

 

 

Now we just need some heat and drier weather. A lot of 2nd crop alfalfa was made this past week.

Marshall Brothers 7930 cutting oats and peas

R450 Cutting Alfalfa

D & J Manthe Forage Service merging with 7270R

D & J Manthe Forage Services Chopping 2nd Crop

 

 

Wheat has begun to turn, but is still probably a couple weeks away from harvest.

 

 

Soybeans planted with the ExactEmerge planter have been very impressive. Consistent spacing really helped them push through and crust and emerge very evenly.

ExactEmerge Soybeans

ExactEmerge Soybeans

RTK Sectional Control Row Command Clutches

 

 

Before you put the ExactEmerge in the shed, here are some tips for winter storage and planter maintenance:

Purge all remaining seed

Install plugs in vacuum manifold bells

Empty and clean all seed hoppers

Relieve all spring tension on the closing wheels

Clean meters with a brush and mild detergent if needed to remove any seed treatment or talc buildup.

Remove the seed bowls

Spray bowls with graphite lubricant

Hang bowls on a wall out away from direct heat and/or sunlight

Remove brush belt and hang it on a wall

Clean out any fertilizer or insecticide and winterize with RV anti-freeze

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 www.sloans.com

Convert a Cultivator to a Side Dress Applicator

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

The weather has been pretty hot and dry up in Northern IL.  The corn is looking good in most of the area. A lot of spraying has been going on along with side dressing. I have had the opportunity to install Rate Controllers on customers bars this year for ease of operation and/or running prescriptions. A couple of customers have found a good use for their old row crop cultivators that they aren’t using anymore. They have taken the old cultivators, removed the row units, and installed Yetter or Blue Jet coulters with knives. Then add a tank to the bar or side mount tanks to the tractor and have the proper set up to control flow. Most customers have gone with a Raven Flow meter, standard control valve and 3 boom section valves to run with their Rate Controller and Section Control. If you need some help or would like to install a Rate Controller on your side dress bar, call your Sloan’s Product Support specialist and they will be glad to help.

IMG_0688 IMG_0691

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 www.sloans.com

Wisconsin Planting, Exact-Emergence, W260 Windrower & 500R Platform

W260 & 500R cutting Alfalfa

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

It’s still pretty busy in Southern Wisconsin.  With all of the cool and wet weather over the last few weeks, some guys are just now finishing up corn and beans. Others are busy spraying, cutting down rye. or making hay. Some sidedressing has started as well. Most of the corn in the area is getting a little yellow from the dampness and nights still in the 30’s. Today’s sun and heat is just what it needs.

The ExactEmerge stands look very good. We walked some fields and talked to customers today. Overall they are very happy. The singulation and spacing is very good. The planters that we checked also had sectional control dialed in nearly perfect.

ExactEmerge Section Control

ExactEmerge Section Control

Exactemerge Spacing

Exactemerge Spacing

We have cut some rye and alfalfa with the new W260 windrower and new 500R platform with Tri-Lobe conditioning rolls. The W260 has a 6.8L engine that with 260 engine horsepower at 2400 rpm and up to 285 horsepower at the power bulge. The windrower didn’t bog down at all in tall, wet, and sometimes lodged rye, all while going a constant 12 mph across the field. Meanwhile, a competitor’s windrower couldn’t get over 6.5 mph in the same field. The W260 seems to be a great fit for heavy crops and/or hills. The new 500R platform was making a very nice and even windrow in both rye and alfalfa. The 500R includes a new overshot cross auger that delivers increased performance in windrow formation and cut quality. Crop flow is also improved because of the auger and additional converging drums that are taller and closer together on each end of the platform to provide an even flow into the conditioner while reducing bunching, recutting and wrapping on the ends.

W260 500R Rye

W260 & 500R Cutting Rye

500R converging drums overshot auger and tri-lobes

500R converging drums overshot auger and tri-lobes

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 www.sloans.com