AMS Report 4.25.2014

by Lucas Veale

Good weather over the last 7 days has allowed customers to plant most of the corn in central Illinois.  The pace has been fast and furious, but it is nice to see much of the corn planted in April rather than May.

Understanding the down force system on the new Seedstar XP monitors was one of the main struggles for customers this spring.  Discerning the difference between margin and down force seemed to be the toughest task.  Down force sensors that needed to be zeroed out before they would read margin also contributed to the confusion.

This diagram should help explain the difference between margin and down force:


Section control setup also was a hot topic.  Helping customers understand how to set the “turn on/off times” and the critical nature of correct measurements was a large portion of the questions we received.

Josh Thornton  reports that he has been having issues with Kinze radar guns showing speed with the tractor running but not moving.  Kinze has seen this and is still investigating the root cause.  Josh believes it is a faulty radar gun as the planters using the tractor radar are working fine.  He has seen 3 planters like this.

Josh also reported that he has seen a new sprayer with two boom section valves connected backwards.  He switched the connectors and it was fine.  He also has seen two new sprayers with an incorrect flow meter calibration number in the monitor from the factory.

ITC receivers continue to be inconsistent, especially when planting.  I am hesitant to recommend these receivers for any application other than field work.  Starfire 3000 receivers are the recommended units for planting and spraying.

Justin Bickel reports that if you are trying to hook a Kinze planter to a John Deere 30 & R series tractor, you will need radar adapter AA66780.  It has pin 3 and 4 populated which is necessary for a Kinze.

Lucas Benning has found a couple new planters with the sprocket combination incorrect for the variable rate drive which will cause the population to be incorrect.  Check the “Drive” tab under the setup/configure button to check this issue if you are having population issues.

Matt Sweitzer experienced an issue with a dry rate controller.  The customer had been using a prescription but wanted to switch back to a flat rate.  He had to change the product name under the documentation button and then put the prescription name to the dotted lines to get it to switch back to a flat rate. You also have to change the product name to get it to go back to prescription mode as well.

I am still seeing the receiver stay at the back of the tractor or at the pivot point even after you switch the axle position.  If you get this, try to recalibrate the TCM.  I have seen this fix it.

We checked the 80 acres with the side by side test between the 1775 Exactemerge 24 row planter vs the 1770 24 row that we planted on April 12.  The corn was barely peeking through in a few spots.  However, it had germinated and was all but ready to poke through in the rest of the field.  We will see what it looks like for spacing when it is fully emerged.

Several guys have commented that incorrect radar speed calibrations have caused incorrect population readings on the seed monitor.

Software updates have fixed several minor issues with displays and receivers.  It is important to keep these units up to date with the latest software from Stellar Support.

Jared Wheeler has been dealing with some prescriptions that he has run through Apex from an outside vendor that won’t be recognized by the display.  He has had to import the raw shape file data and run it through the shape file converter in the display and then it works.

He also reminds you to check out the AMS page here on for lots of information on AMS products and services as well as videos and guides.

We have partnered with Horizon Precision Systems as our drone supplier (link). We hope to have a Horizon drone in the next week or so to go scout the 1775 Exactemerge planter side by side test plot.

AMS Report 2.26.2014

by Josh Zuck

Yesterday we wrapped up our customer planter clinics and Sloan technician planter trainings. We had a very good turnout at all of them.  We used the Precision Meter Max stand and did a side by side comparison of a brand new John Deere Pro Max 40 corn disk versus a brand new Precisions E-Set. They both ran identical with 0 skips and 0 multiples.  This really opened customer’s eyes and shows that the Deere Pro Max 40 is an excellent option for our customers.

I have seen that for planters with the 1.6 bushel boxes or 3 bushel boxes, it is important to  remove the row units and send to either Lanark or Assumption and have the double eliminators set and run the row units on the test stand.  This step really helps our technicians that have to go out and start planters so can spend more time with the customer and his monitor, rather than trying to set the meters. Also, this way if the customer has his boxes full, we don’t have to remove corn to get the meter to move the eliminator.

We had a new 1770NT 16 row planter here in Lanark that kept blowing fuses. After looking it over we found the wiring harness going to the right agitator motor was pinched behind a bolt. Hopefully this will be the only one like this.

We have had a lot of interest in the new planters, both Max Emerge 5 and ExactEmerge. These two new planters should be a game-changer in 2015.

There has been a lot of customer interest in Deere’s new program to convert customer to SeedStar XP. Customer can get $2000 off this system.  If you have any questions get a hold of your AMS specialist.   Contact info is on

After the Clinics, we have been getting calls from customers about doing planting prescriptions. They need some help from us on how to do them and we can work with their Agronomist on what to plant and what population.  We are more than happy to help with this service.

Customers have been pricing JD Link to put in their older tractor or non Deere tractors to use Wireless Data Transfer and Remote Display Access.