What’s new from John Deere at Grass & Muck 2018?

John Deere will launch its new V400 Series variable-chamber round baler and HarvestLab 3000 sensing system (for its forage harvesters) at FTMTA Grass & Muck 2018 (Co. Tipperary) on May 17.

Now available for the 2018 season, the new V400 Series variable-chamber round balers have apparently been designed to work better in all crop conditions – from wet grass to dry, brittle straw.

Key features include an “extra heavy duty” welded frame and a larger-diameter pick-up and a one-piece, in-line auger rotor – for “improved intake and crop flow”.

Heavier-duty components, such as bigger drive-chains, oversize roller bearings, a new bale density (tension) system and Hardox steel rotor tines, are now part of the package – or so claims John Deere.

Features include a full-width, drop-floor unplugging system (designed to allow operators to clear blockages from the tractor cab) and a range of BaleTrak monitors. There is a choice of net-only or net-and-twine wrapping options.

Meanwhile, John Deere’s 8000 Series self-propelled forage harvesters for 2018 are available with the new HarvestLab 3000 sensing system.

Image source: Shane Casey

According to John Deere, HarvestLab was 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.

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

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

Image source: Shane Casey

The Connectivity Ultimate package additionally includes a StarFire 6000 satellite receiver and HarvestLab 3000 with constituent sensing calibration.

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.

John Deere offered Dura Line crop-flow components on its foragers for the first time back in 2010. The company is now guaranteeing some Dura Line wearing parts for 3,000 engine hours or a maximum of five years on all new 2018 forager sales.