Less spillage and smarter sensing: Deere’s latest foragers get the gadgets

John Deere’s stand (G19) at the upcoming LAMMA ’18 show in the UK will feature the company’s latest 8000 Series self-propelled forage harvester, equipped with a new-generation HarvestLab sensing system.

Several new features have been introduced on the 8000 Series foragers for 2018. Chief among these is the HarvestLab 3000 crop constituent sensing system.

Introduced in 2007, HarvestLab was claimed to be the first NIR (near infra-red) sensing system in the industry to measure silage dry matter and enable automatic length-of-cut adjustments.

The system was subsequently developed to analyse crude protein, starch, NDF, ADF, sugar and other silage constituents. It can now be used for maize, grass and manure sensing.

John Deere HarvestLab

John Deere says that HarvestLab 3000 requires less maintenance, can operate in a wider range of temperatures and features a much bigger data storage capacity of 2GB (compared to the previous 32MB).

It also has a more operator-friendly web interface, when used for stationary measurements away from the forager.

Basic JDLink telematics are fitted as standard on all 8000 Series foragers. John Deere says that contractors can specify a choice of ‘connected farming’ packages to make the most of this technology.

For example, ‘Connectivity Premium‘ includes guidance-ready functionality – JDLink Connect – the work-order management app MyJobConnect and a GreenStar 2630 display.

The ‘Connectivity Ultimate‘ package additionally includes a StarFire 6000 satellite receiver and HarvestLab 3000 with constituent-sensing calibration. Both packages can be optionally upgraded with John Deere’s Ag Navigation system and the logistics app MyJobConnect Premium.

Other new features include the optional Active Fill Control rear unloading system, which allows the spout to automatically fill a trailer when the tractor follows behind the forager – for example when opening a field of maize.

This uses the forager’s StarFire satellite receiver to ensure a “quick response”. John Deere says that the system reduces operator fatigue and helps avoid crop spillages.

New forager customers can also choose between the optional 10in GS3 2630 display (directly mounted on the seat armrest) or the standard 7in Command Centre display. Use of the GS3 2630 reduces the number of displays in the cab and can save up to around €2,000 on the forager’s list price.

John Deere is also introducing the new ‘490Plus’ 12-row, rotary-drum maize header for 2018. This double-folding header provides “better visibility during transport”.