John Deere matches cart size to quarter section seeding strategy

MOLINE, Ill. — In designing its new C850 air cart, John Deere declined the temptation to join the “now I’m the biggest” competition.

Instead, it has designed an 850 bushel cart with four tanks that ensures the operator can seed a full quarter section without stopping to fill.

The extra 100 or 200 bushels often leaves the operator in a quandary because it allows him to only get a start on the next quarter.

The other possibility is that the extra capacity is not used because it doesn’t fit the logistics of field operations, John Deere rep Bruce Frank said at the Deere factory in Moline in early June.

“We talked to a lot of farmers, and they told us they didn’t care who had the biggest cart. They just wanted enough volume so they were sure they could finish up a quarter section without stopping,” he said.

“An 850 bushel cart is more about strategy than bragging rights.”

Frank said tank scales under each compartment allow accurate readings on how much product is in each tank. Ultrasonic bin level sensors and a camera in each tank provide a high degree of accuracy.

ActiveCal allows the operator to calibrate in the morning and then re-calibrate throughout the day from the tractor as conditions change, he said. The technology can be used in variable rate seeding and fertilizer application.

With wet western Canada seeding conditions in mind, the engineers decided the new cart should ride on specially designed Fire-stone tires. Standard size is 800 series, but the buyer can order IF900 series on the front and IF850 series for the rear duals. Dual rear tires are standard on all C850 carts. Tracks are not available.

The cart has one fan for seed and another for fertilizer. Together, they can deliver up to 550 pounds of product per minute at a ground speed of 5.5 m.p.h. The conveyor moves 100 bushels per minute for a fill time of less than 10 minutes.

The C850 is compatible with the 76-foot 1870 hoe drill and the 60-foot 1890 no-till drill. Frank said the cart can be used with another brand tractor as long as it’s pulling a John Deere drill.

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