AMS Expo, S Series Combine Updates, and Rowsense for Forage Harvesters

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI

Last week, we spent a couple days in Atwood, IL helping with technician training and the customer AMS Expo. This week we will be in Litchfield for the customer expo on Thursday Aug 7th. Northern customers should mark their calendars for Thursday, August 28th in Belmont, WI. We are combining our fall AMS classes and our combine clinic together with some new items to change it up a bit this year. We hope to see you there!

Most of the area was working on 3+ weeks of no rain until Monday night. Widespread rain caught most of the area with anywhere from .3” to over 4” of rain. At the store in Monroe, I dumped out 2.4” Tuesday morning. At our place near Barneveld we had just under 1”. The corn was starting to fire up the stalk when I headed to IL last week and it changed for the worse while I was gone for a couple days. Beans were also showing stress especially on the lighter ground. The Field Connect moisture probes have also being showing the need for rain as the irrigation pivots were getting to the point where they could no longer keep up. There were days where the daily moisture change throughout the probe was negative .30-.40”. Our top end yield got dinged some over the last couple of weeks, but overall the crop still looks pretty good and this rain should really help fill out the corn and beans. There are still a few wheat fields out there to harvest. Some customers working on some 3rd crop hay while others maybe starting their 4th cutting in 10 days or so. The demo W235 will be around Monroe for the next week before moving up to the Mt. Horeb area. Give us a call if you are in either area and want to give it a try!

John Deere just released their 4th quarter programs. The following retail bonuses are in place until the end of October: $250 off GS3 rowsense activation, $500 off machine sync radio, $500 off machine sync activation and $500 a field installed JDLink MTG with Remote Display Access. I know we’ve priced some rowsense and JDLink installs for Wireless Data Transfer, so now would be a good time to buy either if you’ve been on the fence.

We installed a set of rowsense feelers on a Self Propelled Forage Harvester (SPFH) last week. Unlike rowsense for combines, the SPFH’s do not require a rowsense activation to run and they can also run without a display or GPS.

SPFH with Rowsense

SPFH with Rowsense

Rowsense Feeler on rotary head

Rowsense Feeler on rotary head

Model year 2014 combines with Final Tier 4 engines will have a new feature on them called Interactive Combine Adjust (ICA).  This allows the operator to select an area that they would like to improve (Grain Quality, Grain Loss or Straw Quality). The combine will then walk the operator through possible adjustments and make them for the operator when possible (like closing the sieve). At the end, you will be able to see a before and after shot of your grain loss monitor to see if the condition improved. It should be a neat feature to try out this fall. Just like any other combine adjustment, it’s highly recommended that you only make one adjustment at a time, so you can pinpoint whether it ended up helping or hurting the situation.

Interactive Combine Adjust (ICA)

Interactive Combine Adjust (ICA)

Speaking of grain loss monitors, model year 14 combines will also throw a new code at you if you have not calibrated your grain loss monitor yet.

Grain Loss Calibration Code

Grain Loss Calibration Code

After you properly set your combine, you will need to follow the following steps to calibrate your grain loss monitor:

Main Menu (bottom RH corner)

Combine Icon

H- Set-up Icon (dot with an arrow pointing at it)

G- Set-up Crop

Press the triangle calibration button (found beside the vision trak cal value) while harvesting at your normal ground speed and engine load. You should then see that value change.


Monroe Planting & Hay Progress, 1790 Planters, & ExactEmerge report

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI

Most guys are wrapping up with corn. There are still plenty of soybeans to plant. Some rye has been cut. I’ve seen one field of alfalfa cut, but the windrow was pretty small. There will be a lot of hay cut here after the holiday weekend. It feels like we missed spring altogether and it finally went into summer this week. We had another productive week throughout most of the area and a lot of seed went in the ground. Some areas could actually take a nice rain again.

I had a 1790 this week where everything worked except the recording when starting the tractor each day. Set-up was perfect. Cold boot would not fix it. Unplugging the ISO and plugging it back in would let it record. Kept getting a general communication error message with no controller information on the bottom of the message and PM1 was not coming up clean in the message center. Everything else worked though. Updated all of the 7R tractor software (10 updates). Re-updated the planter controller software. Checked connections. Found row command connector (not in use) dangling down and full of water, cleaned it up, but did not fix the problem.  The GS2 already had the latest software. Did a field reprogram on the 2600 and recording works every time you start the tractor now. The communication error message is also gone. Had a similar communication message a SPFH with a GS2 last year as well. Factory reprogram fixed that one.

Had a customer call last night with the VRD motors turning and dropping seed with the planter raised. Tried to recalibrate the height sensor, but it would not let us. Found a pushed back pin on the height sensor connector.

Customers have been impressed with the high speed ExactEmerge planter in the field. Seed spacing was very good even at 12 MPH when we tested it. Everyone is interested to see what the emergence will be like and we will be watching the fields that we planted with it.

AMS Report 3.7.2014

by Josh Zuck

The weather up north has not been cooperating with us too well. We had another 8 inches of snow since Saturday night. This puts the snow fall for this year in Lanark up around 60 inches when our average is around 30 inches. The temps have been in the teens during the day and single to negative digits at night. My Dad said he has seen anywhere from 5 – 7 feet of frost in the ground!

We had a customer clinic last week on Self Propelled Forage Harvesters (SPFH’s) and had a really good turnout. We spent time discussing the new Kernal Star kernel processor vs. the Claas chopper and Shreadlage.

With the never ending winter, we have decided to add two more customer clinics. One clinic will be March 18th in Verona, WI and will about quality silage and the other is a sprayer clinic in Monroe on March 20th. We will focus on sprayers and the GreenStar displays and also the importance of the tire pressure.  Register online at

We have been getting more and more interest in customers adding liquid fertilizer to their planters and we have been pricing a lot of Surefire systems for 4 – 5 gal. / acre in furrow and also piston pumps with openers for that 10 – 15 gal. / acre range.

Customers are also still thinking about adding row clutches to their planter before the planting season. The savings calculator that we have shown at our clinics really opens their eyes, even with $4.00 corn.

Schlagel closing wheels have really been a big hit up in the northern stores for customers that do a lot of no till. They work great in closing the trench in hard no–till ground, but also work well in softer ground.  They don’t pack the trench like other closing wheels do.

Totally tubular has been a great in furrow option for fertilizer. It places the fertilizer in front and below the kernel. Some customers don’t like the Keeton seed firmer because it can drag the corn and create a poor stand. So if you have a customer that is looking for an in furrow option and is skeptical of the Keeton’s, this is the way to go.

We are still working on the RTK towers up north. If the snow would ever stop and warm up above 20 degrees, we will be hammering these out. We put the amps, radios and power supply in a weather proof box. All the boxes are almost done and won’t take too long to hang them on a grain leg and get them turned on. As long as everything goes good, we should have most up and going before the end of the month or fist week in April.

AMS sales have really grown in the last couple of weeks like Lucas said. The longer winter has given guys more time to think on how to maximize their equipment this spring with a very short upcoming window to apply NH3 and plant.

Planter row units continue to come in and out of the door. Our one tech in Lanark has been running them nonstop for the 3 weeks and still more coming in. With the extra window before planting season, get with your customers and talk to them about getting their units ran yet. We still have plenty of time.