John Deere has announced the addition of three new models to its 8000 Series range of self-propelled forage harvesters.

The new models utilise advanced technology to reduce crop losses and boost performance, including new Active Fill Control (AFC) for automated filling of trailers, a spokesperson for John Deere said.

The machines are designed to provide customers with up to 15% more productivity, increased uptime, lower operating costs and faster, easier maintenance.

Building on the momentum from the 8000 Series launch last year, these models expand the horsepower range to deliver optimal harvesting speed, fuel economy, reliability and forage quality, and line up as follows:

  • 8300, with a 490hp Stage IV 13.5-litre engine.
  • 8700, with a 761hp Stage II 19-litre engine.
  • Top-of-the-range 8800, with a 845hp Stage II 19-litre engine.

Because of their longitudinal engine layout, the new foragers feature an improved airflow through the entire machine, resulting in lower cooling requirements and more power for chopping, according to John Deere.

At the same time the lowered engine position provides an improved overall centre of gravity and enhanced visibility.

This helps to improve stability when working on steep slopes or while travelling on the road at speeds of up to 40kph.

The forager cab features an anti-glare screen, Bluetooth connectivity, plenty of storage room and automatic air conditioning, adjustable from the CommandARM.

Other advanced features include a GreenStar 2630 with touchscreen display and all functions conveniently located in the CommandARM, Remote Display Access (RDA) and AutoTrac automatic steering with RowSense, according to John Deere.

Each model can also be equipped with HarvestLab, an advanced crop analysis and documentation system that uses constituent sensing to improve forage quality.

Headers include John Deere's new 9 Series grass pick-ups and Kemper 300 or 400 Series row-independent rotary drum harvesting units.

These include the new 10-row 475 Plus rotary harvesting unit with 7.5m working width, which reduces stalk and ear losses and improves the ability to harvest laid maize.

These units also reduce plugging in weedy conditions. and all John Deere headers are automatically speed matched to the selected length of cut.

Additional features include a DuraDrum cutterhead with reverse knife sharpening and other technologies designed to improve forage processing and nutrient quality.

The new 8000 Series models also provide value to forage producers in three distinct areas:

  • Channel width is tailored to the horsepower level, to ensure the best forage quality and efficiency.
  • The new spout design and rotation mechanism is maintenance-free and designed for extra heavy loads.
  • John Deere Active Fill Control (AFC) increases productivity and accuracy in the field. This new feature allows automated filling of trailers and provides more operator comfort.

Further features include a 2.15m tyre option for industry leading ground clearance, reduced soil compaction and better traction in wet conditions, extended service intervals, reduced daily maintenance and cleaning requirements, and a new, innovative stone detection system.

Also new for 2016 are LED light packages and a convenient ProTouch function for increasing road or harvest speed during field changes, further improving operator comfort and convenience.