According to Luke Gatstatter, vice president, sales & marketing of the Agriculture & Turf Divisions, U.S. and Canada for John Deere, product innovation has been driving the ag equipment market forward for many years now. And this is likely to continue to be the case. “Think about the role innovation will play in ag in the future,” said Gatstatter, speaking at the company’s 2013 new product showcase in Columbus, OH. “Here at John Deere, we are going to be a part of this. And we are doing it with hard iron solutions and data integration.”
On the hard iron side, John Deere is launching a pair of new self-propelled sprayers for 2013-14 that are designed to accomplish this goal, he added. “These are sprayers that are significantly more productive and faster than our previous models,” said Gatstatter. “They have been redesigned from the ground up.”
The first of these sprayers is the 800-gallon R4030 sprayer, which replaces the 4730 model. It features a 280-hp 6.8-L PowerTech Plus PSS Final Tier 4 engine with a four-wheel hydrostatic drive that can operate up to 20 mph in the field and 30 mph in transport. The second is the 1,000-gallon R4038 sprayer. Replacing the 4830 sprayer, it features a 310-hp 9-L PowerTech Plus PSS Final Tier 4 engine with a four-wheel hydrostatic drive that can operate up to 25 mph in the field and 35 mph in transport.
Both sprayers have redesigned flat-fold booms in widths up to 120 feet, improved weight distribution, the CommandView II cab with the fully integrated GreenStar 3 2630 display and the latest in tire technologies, including Michelin SprayBIBs. Cruise control allows the system to automatically control the vehicle to the operator’s target speed when the operator sets the engine speed and hydro handle at maximum positions. These new sprayers can also be converted to dry nutrient applicators by installing the 200-cubic foot New Leader dry spinner spreader.
“We’ve added the Solution Command System for push-button automated loading and a new front-fill option that makes loading easier and faster with 3-inch Quick Fill couplings at the front of the machine,” said Brea Harms, product line manager for John Deere application equipment. “On the redesigned flat-fold booms, we’ve incorporated the swing link suspension to improve in-field stability for more precise application. The new tri-directional breakaway design and full-boom breakaway features help protect the booms and we’ve increased the number of boom sections to improve spray resolution by up to 33%.”
Addressing Weed Resistance
In addition to these features, Harms said the R4030 and R4038 sprayers also are designed to help users deal with one of the major issues facing agriculture today — weed resistance.
“Glyphosate resistance is not going away,” she said. “Over the past 10 years, there have been more weeds out there that can’t be controlled by spraying just one thing. The industry has to come up with more complex tank mixes to accomplish this.”
As a result, both sprayers feature John Deere’s Integrated Direct Injection system. Designed in partnership with Raven Industries, this option allows users to change products between crops and manage chemical risk by allowing them to carry up to 135 gallons of up to two raw chemicals outside of the primary solution tank.
“This way, additional products such as an insecticide can be applied without having to perform a second application,” said Harms. “This will help reduce some of the higher costs associated with combating weed resistance.”
On the data integration side, John Deere is introducing wireless data transfer technology. As Chris Batdorf, product marketing manager, pointed out, the seeds to this innovation were planted several years ago when automatic steering systems became available.
“In my mind, autosteer was the gateway drug for precision agriculture use,” said Batdorf. “It allowed customers to get some real value out of their precision ag business, but it was very simple to use.”
With John Deere’s wireless data transfer, users will be able to move data between the GreenStar 3 2630 display, MyJohnDeere.com and the producer’s farm management information system. This will eliminate the need for manual transfer of data and will be available as a subscription upgrade to JDLink Ultimate with Remote Display Access.
“More of our customers are collecting data from machinery operating in the field,” said Kathy Michael, product manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. “They analyze the data to improve overall operations and share the data with trusted advisors to help make better decisions. With the introduction of Wireless Data Transfer and data sharing on MyJohnDeere.com, overall data collection, transfer and management will be much easier.”
Wireless data transfer will allow data to flow wirelessly to the customer’s personalized portal on MyJohnDeere.com. Customers will then able to access this data from their smartphones, tablets, computers or any Internet-enabled device, she said. They can then share that data with trusted advisers and easily transfer value-added information to 2630 Displays they are using in the field.
“Producers want a user-friendly system to take advantage of the new data technology,” said Michael. “They want their data wherever they are and with more portability. Wireless data transfer and MyJohnDeere.com will allow them to receive and analyze data on-the-go. If data is easier to collect and manage, they will be more likely to use the information to improve overall operational efficiency, thus adding more productivity and profitability to their bottom line.”
Wireless data transfer should be ready for retail availability in the spring of 2014, she added.