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.


John Deere/Stine Seed Twin Row Planters & W235 Windrowers

by Bill Kletecka, Cuba City, WI 

Wheat and oats are finally being combined around the Cuba City area. Yields have been good, and moisture seems to finally be dry. Straw quality has also been good, due mostly to our dry stretch that we are going through. Corn and bean crops both look good considering we haven’t had a significant rain event in three weeks. Some of the lighter soil fields are starting to fire up the stalk from a lack of moisture. This week shows a few chances of precipitation that hopefully makes it to us. Stine Seed Company and John Deere have announced that they will be working together to build a planter that is capable of planting ultra-narrow rows. The planters are DB60 72 row and also a DB40 48 row that is set up on 20” twin rows with 12” in-between pairs and 8” within the pair. The partners decided to the use the twin 20” method to utilize factory available equipment and get away from expensive customized planters and corn heads. Stine Seed Company is only requiring a small amount of seed to be purchased, along with a small upfront amount of money for the first year’s use of the planter. If the producer feels that the ultra-narrow rows are not worth the investment they can walk away from the program. If the producers opt to stay in the program for the second year they can purchase the planter for only a little more money. It is clear that Stine Seed Company is confident that their seed along with John Deere’s planter is the key to higher yields. With this arrangement, it is very exciting to be involved on the cutting edge of this technology.


JD DB Twin Row Planter

IMG_7576 IMG_6576 Along with a few of the other stores, Cuba City and Bloomington have been actively demonstrating the W235 windrower. Customers have been very impressed with the power and speed of the mower. The new W235 has 235 H.P. with up to 255 H.P. during the power bulge.   It also has a huge 44% torque increase. Usually higher horsepower engines seem to be less fuel efficient, but this hasn’t been the case with the W235. During our demo’s we had two customers ask if the fuel gauge was broken! They couldn’t believe that it was cutting hay at a faster speed and using less fuel than their current windrower. Crop dry down has also been compared to the customer’s current windrowers,  and for the most part the W235 with a 995 and Tri-lobe rolls seems to be very similar. Customers have also commented on finally having a true centered cab that is both quiet and spacious. In addition to the better cab, the W235 has integrated auto-trac that works great at a high rate of speed especially when utilizing the new Sloan Implement RTK network in Southwest Wisconsin.

JD W235 Windrower and 569 Premium Baler

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI.

We ran the new John Deere W235 windrower in some contour fields near Montfort, WI last week. If you’ve ever driven a windrower before, you know how squirrelly they can be with the two separate wheel motors driving the machine similar to a skid steer. We’ve been requesting an integrated steering system in windrowers since the ATU left a lot to be desired in our hills and contours at higher cutting speeds. I was VERY impressed with the new integrated steering system in this machine. As you will see in the picture, I had my demo receiver on the machine which was set-up for RTK, but we ran the machine on SF1 since that’s the system most customers would use for cutting hay. We cut up to 15 mph in these small contours and the system was very smooth. Whether you have an ATU in your windrower today or not, you will want to run this new machine. Give us a call if you want to set-up a demo.


W235 Windrower


This week, I got the chance to start out a customer with his new 569 Premium round baler. The premium round baler includes: new cam style pto slip clutch for less wear and maintenance, ISO monitor with 3 bale shape sensors instead of 2, a grease bank for easier service, 2 year or 12,000 bale warranty, improved mega wide pick-up (larger cams, larger bearings and larger spider gears, but same low profile) and two options for tractor/baler automation. This baler had both of these automations activated. With a level 1 baler activation the baler gate opens and closes automatically. With Level 2 the baler tells the tractor when to stop. The baler wraps the bale, kicks the bale out and closes the gate without operator involvement besides pressing the brakes after the tractor begins to slow down on its own. In hilly fields, there is also a pause button, so you can kick the bale out where it will not roll away. This is pretty neat technology that will save a lot of operator fatigue if you bale a lot of hay or corn stalks. Once again, give us a call if you are interested in a demo.

569 Premium Baler

569 Premium Baler

569 Permium Monitor