Making equipment wider or faster in the field are popular concepts with producers because it translates into acres per day.
John Deere took its biggest, Indian Head, Sask., born precision hoe drill up to 72 feet two years ago. Now its small grains and oilseeds disc drill has been increased to 60 feet from 43.
The Valley City, North Dakota, built model 1895 is designed to handle more than the seeding process but also to tow around its C850 seeder cart and a pair of anhydrous ammonia tanks, if that is the producer’s fertilizer of choice.
Single-pass seeding is a way of life in Western Canada and the northern U.S. Plains and the disc drill accomplishes this with a rank of mid-row disc units.
Like the individual row seeding openers, these are independent ground huggers, but they also include a specialized sealing wing tool that helps break up the ground so it can be sealed up better after the fertilizer is placed, which is especially important in anhydrous applications. The company calls these units ProSeries separate fertilizer placement openers, which are updated versions of the 90-series disc openers.
Emily Klemmer manages the seeding product lineup for John Deere and says the improvements to the precision drill, along with the enhanced capacity, should make it attractive to prairie and plains producers.
On the seeding units, the ProSeries openers have a new serrated closing wheel — the 90s had solid closers — and a flexible seed press-wheel, that is narrower and leaves a smaller slot in the soil.
Also reducing the scar in the field is a thinner seed boot and a new mounting strategy for the seed sleeve, which tucks it closer to the large disc. A new seed firmer is included in the design, preventing bounce and leaving seeds at the selected depth, which is especially important in shallow-seeded crops like canola.
Sealed bushings in place of greaseable positions mean that instead of 50-hour maintenance on three zerks, owner/operators have to only worry about annual greasing of one.
The company says the larger width model will get the new openers in the first year, but it will be replacing the 90-series on smaller versions in the coming seasons.
Spacings of the seeding units are on 10 inches, with the fertilizer openers being on 20-inch spacings.
A 400 pound, cab-set, variable down-force control keeps the disc on the ground. If the big drill isn’t heavy enough to cut through hard soils, the company has designed the frame’s wings to accept six tractor-suitcase weights to add additional force.
Klemmer said keeping track of material passing through the pipes and primary distributors has been made easier with the company’s RelativeFlow block monitoring. The system keeps track of flow rates, rather than flow failure, so producers can see problems occurring before a complete plug occurs.
Like other precision drills in the lineup, it is towed on a floating hitch and rolls around on high-flotation tires, shared on walking-beam mounts and swinging on casters.