Attention All John Deere Starfire ITC Owners!

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

We received word from John Deere that effective Jan 1, 2021, Starfire ITC GPS Receivers will no longer be able to receive the SF1 or SF2 corrections required for machines to Autotrac.  ITC receivers will still be able to show coverage, document, and be used for sectional control (in some cases) using the WAAS signal. This was not a decision made by John Deere or INMARSAT (the company that provides the bandwidth for our SF1 and SF2 correction signals). This change is happening because of a government satellite update where new satellites broadcasting the L5 signal are replacing the older signals. The hardware inside an ITC receiver will not allow it to receive the newer data. Starfire 3000s and 6000s are not affected by this change.

The complete government document can be found here:  See page 59 (Section 3.2.8) for more details.

If you still have an SF2 or RTK activation on an ITC receiver, John Deere has extended the transfer deadline again for you to transfer these activations to an SF3000 or SF6000 receiver.  This deadline is quickly coming up on August 1st, 2018. Contact us today at 217-693-6209 if you have any questions about this transition.

Sloan Support Farmer Call Center

Unfortunately, we are in the same position as our customer’s and we currently have too many Starfire ITC receivers in stock, so we can no longer accept trades.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement Co., 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

 

ExactEmerge High Speed Retrofit for Deere Planters – 0% for 48 Mos

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

The John Deere Exactemerge Planter has set a new standard for planter accuracy and productivity.  By controlling the seed all the way to the trench, the spacing is impeccable.  Customer satisfaction with this product has been overwhelming.  Customer interest in this product is also growing with each passing season.   A particularly popular option for these planters is the retrofit kit.  We have many customers with 2011-2014 model year John Deere planters that can benefit from an Exactemerge.  A retrofit kit allows these customers to upgrade for a substantially lower cost than buying a new Exactemerge planter.  In some cases the price difference between a retrofit planter and a new planter can be close to $50,000 and, in some cases, even more on a 24 row.  In any economic condition this would be a big savings, let alone during the current circumstances facing agriculture.  To help with this investment, John Deere is currently offering an 8% discount on retrofit kits as well as 0% interest for 48 months.  This is technology with with a quick ROI.

So, what do I get with a retrofit kit?  You get a new shank, gauge wheel arms and bushings, meter, brush module, openers, hydraulic downforce system, and electrical system.  See below for the row unit components.

row-unit-componenets

You will re-use the gauge wheels and the closing wheels and frame.  You basically have a new planter where it counts.  Along with this you get turn compensation which allows the row unit to speed up or slow down in a turn to maintain proper population across the planter while turning.  If you have a late 30 series or R series tractor in front, you also get vacuum automation.  This allows you to set the desired vac on the monitor and the tractor will adjust the flow to maintain the desired vac automatically.  Here is a comment from one customer who purchased a 24 row retrofitted planter last year.  “I had to get out of the cab only one time during the season in almost 5000 acres due to the planter.  Some debris had built up in a brush.  I got out, removed the debris, and in about 5 minutes was back to planting.  Amazing machine.”

Here’s the tractor compatibility chart for Exactemerge planters.

compatibility-chart

Hydraulic downforce is a must when purchasing an Exactemerge planter.  At higher speeds, maintaining equal and adequate seed depth is imperative and is not consistently achievable with an air bag system.  The ability of the hydraulic system to react to rapidly changing field conditions is unmatched.  It also is broken into smaller sections for more finite and precise downforce when and where it is needed.

Don’t have a 2011 or newer planter?  Not ready for the Exactemerge yet?  We also have the ME5 and ME5e planter upgrades available.  The ME5 upgrade can go all the way back to 2004 CCS planters.  This gives you the new double eliminator and mini hopper configuration.  The ME5e is the electric drive version of the new ME5 meter.  It also provides turn compensation and vac automation just like an Exactemerge.

Check with your local Sloan Implement location for a quote on the retrofit kit that best fits your operation.  Don’t delay since Deere currently has an 8% discount on these kits as well as 0% interest for 48 months.

Here’s a video of a walk around of the Exactemerge planter

 

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

 

Sloan Support Weekly Recap August 8, 2016

by the AMS Product Support Team

Traveled over a large portion of the corn belt the last week of July and the corn and soybean crop overall looks good from Central Illinois all the way to Central Ohio.  Of course, there are a few pockets here and there that have had their share of challenges but overall I think we are going to have a large crop.  Probably not news to anyone but brought a little bit more meaning to the market reports when you see if for yourself.

John Deere has announced their fall software update for all Greenstar equipment.  Make sure that you get this completed before you head to the field.  You can find the update on www.stellarsupport.com or bring your displays and receivers into your local Sloan Implement location and we will do the update for you for free.  You might have to leave them over night, as we are getting several units in and the update can take about 15-45 minutes to complete depending on your model.

Make sure you have your variety locator files setup in Apex and have reloaded your setup data into your display with the correct machine models.  Here’s a blog post with instructions for setting up variety locator in Apex.

If you were one of the unlucky ones that had some wind in your area that pushed the corn down, John Deere Rowsense works really well in these situations.  As long as you can get the snouts under the stalk you should have pretty good success in picking up the corn and staying on the row.  Let us know if we can help set you up with a system of evaluate a field to see if Rowsense would be a good fit.   You can learn more about JD Rowsense Here.

Deere Rowsense Feelers

Deere Rowsense Feelers

Our service departments are still very busy getting customer machines ready to go for fall.  If you have some last minute service items to get repaired, don’t wait as the line is getting long.

Our call center will be back to our seasonal hours on the Tuesday after labor day.  We will again have 3 analysts every day that will be taking your AMS equipment questions from 7-6 Monday – Friday and from 7-3 on Saturday.  This is a free service to our customers.  We will again have our after hours option for the call center.  These hours are 6-9 pm Monday – Friday, 3-6 on Saturday, and Noon to 5 on Sunday.  This service has a $50 fee that is passed directly to the analyst taking your call.

Check out our Sloan 12F folding corn head conversion video at http://www.sloans.com/12f .  We have converted some used 12 row non-chopping heads to a folding corn head that will work on about any late model John Deere combine.  It folds or unfolds in about 35 seconds.

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

 

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

 

Sloan Support Weekly Recap July 18, 2016

by the AMS Product Support Team

The wheat crop is being harvested in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.    Wheat yield have been really good.  We have heard this from many areas including the wheat belt out West.  Damp conditions have slowed it a bit, but the rains are certainly welcome with the forecast of extreme heat that is on the way.

Some of the storms have led to some corn crop damage from wind and hail.  This has peaked some interest in drones as customers and insurance agents are interested in surveying the damage in a more efficient manner.   You can learn more about our drone packages here.   It has also spiked some interest in rowsense autotrac steering systems to help harvest the tangled crop.  Soybeans overall appear to be very good.

The Sloan 12F folding corn heads are also generating quite a bit of conversation as customers look for ways to reduce needed manpower by leaving the header on the combine for transport.  We are starting to see some of these heads roll out of manufacturing and hopefully will have some for show and tell at our local combine clinics late this summer.  You can learn more about the Sloan 12F here.

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

Exactemerge planters and retrofits were very hot topics these last few weeks as the planter program deadline was approaching quickly.  We had several customers update their existing planters as well as purchase new.  This technology is really gaining traction.  Not just for the increased acres per day, but also for the incredible spacing.  You can learn more about these retrofit kits here.

Jared and Austin have been pumping out the data folders for customers this past week.  If anyone has not brought in their data for processing, please do so soon so we will have you set up and ready to roll for fall harvest.

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

 

Sloan Support Weekly Recap July 9, 2016

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Recent rains and cooler weather in central Illinois have really helped the corn crop as it at (or near) pollination.   I have heard of a few small pockets of wind damage but not wide spread at all.  Soybeans have nearly closed the canopy on 30” rows and look to be off to a good start.  I have seen and heard of some folks digging out the row crop cultivators from the back corner of the shed to cultivate some beans with some stubborn water hemp pressure.  Crops overall look pretty good in our area with a few pockets here and there that are showing the effects of some tougher growing conditions.

Tasseled Corn in Assumption, IL

Tasseled Corn in Assumption, IL

There is a lot of buzz in the area about the Exactemerge Planter Retrofit.  Customers are looking for ways to help save some money by upgrading their current planters to the new technology available with the Exactemerge row unit.  The seed spacing is amazing and with an optimum corn planting window of less than 5 days in many areas this year, growers are seeing the value in getting over more acres in a day without sacrificing seed placement.  We also have seen the benefit of hydraulic downforce systems to maintain seed depth when using these machines at higher speeds.  You can learn more about these retrofit kits by clicking here.

RTK signal accuracy is also generating a lot of interest as growers are making multiple passes after planting.  Planting, Post-emerge application of N, as well as weed control are the main drivers for this as they can maintain hands free steering in standing crop.  Late season fungicide is also an excellent use of this technology.  Year over year repeat-ability really opens some doors not available with other signal levels.  You can learn more about the benefits of RTK network by clicking here.

View from the Andover, Iowa RTK Base

Our planter meter test stands have been running strong as growers are taking advantage of our post season planter inspections to get their machines ready to go for next year before they put them away.   You can learn more about the importance of seed meter testing and proper storage by clicking here.

Jared and Austin have been working hard to get all of our data service customers data corrected and printed.  We still have a few customers that still need to turn in their data so would encourage any that still have not brought it in to do so soon so we can get the Harvest Variety Locator Files set up in plenty of time for fall harvest.  You can click here to learn more about our data management services.

Sloan's Can Print Your Maps

Sloan’s Can Print Your Maps

We have sold some new Starfire 6000 receivers to growers wanting to take advantage of the longer RTK Extend period and the new SF3 signal.  We still have some new Starfire 3000 receivers in stock which are a great value for growers that have needs that can be met by SF1 or are not in a sketchy RTK signal area.  You can learn more about the SF 6000 receiver by clicking here.

SF6000 Ready for Install

Keep an eye out for our upcoming combine clinic dates or check with your local Sloan Implement location for their specific clinic dates.

We have sold several drones lately as growers/seedsmen are wanting to assess crop in a more efficient manner.  They can identify trouble spots faster and easier than before and can then spend some of the saved time and effort focusing on determining causes and remedies for the troubled areas.  You can learn more about our Drone packages in a previous post by Jared Wheeler by clicking here.

JD 95 Combine Harvesting Wheat in KS

Drone Pictures of John Deere 95 Combine Harvesting Wheat in KS

 

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

 

New JD Starfire 6000 Receiver vs SF 3000

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

The John Deere Starfire 6000 receiver is now available for order.  This SF6000 receiver uses 3 correction satellites for improved signal and accuracy and can receive the new SF3 differential signal.   SF3  replaces the SF2 signal on the SF 3000 receiver.  The new SF3 signal delivers +/- 3 cm pass-to-pass accuracy, less than 30 minute pull in time, and in-season repeatability without the need for RTK radios or base stations.

Deere Receivers Thru the Years

Deere Receivers Thru the Years

At the base/free level of SF1 accuracy, there is virtually no difference between the SF 6000 and the SF 3000.

The next level of accuracy for the SF 6000 is SF3 and it requires a subscription.  This signal is comparable to the SF2 signal for the SF 3000 receiver.  New for the SF6000 is 3 cm accuracy using SF3 vs  5 cm accuracy on the SF3000 using SF2.   The SF3 signal will allow for in season repeatability of 3 cm.  There is no repeatability with the SF2 signal on the SF3000 receiver.  Please note, the SF3 signal will only work on SF6000’s.

SF6000 Signal Comparisons

SF6000 Signal Comparisons

The new John Deere Starfire 6000 is only compatible with GS 1800, GS 2630, GS 3 Command Center, and Gen 4 4600 displays.

There is now a USB port on the receiver for faster software updates, typically 3 minutes vs 20-30 minutes on older receivers.

USB Port for Faster Software Updates

USB Port for Faster Software Updates

Currently there’s only a deluxe style mount with optional locking system.

Receiver Lock for Security

Deluxe Mount with Optional Locking System

RTK accuracy will be the same between the SF3000 and SF6000.  You can see Sloan’s RTK coverage and learn more about this technology by visiting our RTK website by clicking here.

Click to View Our RTK Network

Click to View Our RTK Network

 

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