New Deere S700: Can this combine do the thinking for you?

AgriLand brought you preliminary details of John Deere’s new S700 Series combine harvesters on August 2.

At that stage, the new machines had been unveiled to dealers in North America. This week (on Monday, August 14), the machines were unveiled to the press in the UK and Ireland – at an event in England.

Also Read: Video: John Deere to launch new flagship combine across Europe

The new S700 combine harvester line-up highlights the company’s continued emphasis on the use of technology to help farmers and contractors increase efficiency.

John Deere S700

Four new S700 Series combine models will be available for 2018 – the S770, S780, S785 and S790 – featuring a new console and control terminal, camera-based grain quality management system and the option of an updated ‘draper’ header.

S700 Series combines feature the new CommandPRO joystick, which has a design shared with the new 6230R and 6250R tractors, and the GSD 4600 touch-screen display.

John Deere S700

The 25cm display is accompanied by a shortcut bar replicating many of the actions on the screen such as residue management and harvest or header settings. They can also be managed via customisable buttons on the joystick, according to operator preference.

Simplified page layouts make for easier navigation, points out Combine Product Specialist Charles Grey.

“It’s a reconfigurable display so you can set up the ‘run pages‘ for your priorities, or use default pages which have shortcuts to the main information needed such as farm records, work set-up and summaries.”

Harvest management technology is also monitored via this screen including Deere’s established Interactive Combine Adjustment (ICA), which advises the operator on suitable settings for the crop and conditions. Harvest Smart matches forward speed to the load on the machine. Active Terrain Management adjusts sieve angle to maintain throughput on slopes.

New to the armoury is ICA2 – or Combine Advisor as it will be known here. It allows the operator to set parameters for specific quality priorities such as the percentage of broken grains and performance targets. It then suggests settings to optimise that performance.

John Deere S700

Using camera images captured every two seconds in the clean grain elevator and tailings elevator – and displayed on the monitor – the system then makes adjustments to maintain these parameters.

John Deere S700

John Deere suggests that research has shown that ICA and ICA2 can improve capacity by an average of 20%.

John Deere UK & Ireland Managing Director Jonathan Henry commented: “One of the major issues surrounding harvesting is the lack of skilled operators, so supporting decisions with technology is going to become increasingly important.

We have been testing these systems for five years to ensure that the software worked as we wanted it to, and it is now coming to the market for the first time.

The new 700D Series draper header has received several modifications to adapt it for European conditions, including 45cm-diameter augers, stronger slip clutches and improved seals. A flip-over reel minimises wrapping, and the hydraulic drive allows ground pressure to be regulated and the header tilted to tackle flat crops.

John Deere S700

“The even, heads-first feed means that draper headers need less power and outputs are increased by 10-15%,” said Grey.

John Deere S700

Meanwhile, the 700PF Series ‘Premium Flow’ headers – with cutting widths from 6.7 to 9.1m – have been adapted for European conditions with 760mm intake augers to handle larger amounts of material.

John Deere S700

The official list prices (which may be significantly higher than actual, on-the-ground purchase prices) are not cheap; the S790 lists at €441,279. A 10.66m-wide 735D draper header (European-spec) lists at €77,582. Combine Advisor (ICA2) adds a further €13,990.

John Deere S700