John Deere’s new mid-specification M-Series trailed sprayer range makes its working debut at Cereals 2014, in the Sprays & Sprayers demonstration arena.To help reduce spraying cost per hectare, the M700 Series sprayers have been specially designed for farms growing up to 750ha of cereals, oilseed rape or row crops. M700 Series sprayers are available as standard versions with 2400, 3200 or 4000-litre tanks, or as ‘i-specification’ machines with 3200 or 4000-litre tank capacities. Equipped with a triple folding 30m boom, these sprayers match 6m seeders or drills.The larger M900 Series sprayers have many of the same features as the top of the range R900i Series trailed machines, including high capacity filling performance using the PowrFill chemical inductor, the same choice of 5200 or 6200-litre tank capacities for maximum productivity, and durable steel booms from 24 to 40m.Both the M700i and M900i sprayers are ISOBUS ready, so the machines can communicate with the tractor and enable ‘intelligent’ John Deere solutions. These include the Tank Fill Calculator, which helps the operator to calculate the correct amount of refill volumes required for each application, BoomTrac automatic boom height and tilt control and FieldDoc documentation software. M900i sprayers also offer a new in-cab nozzle control, allowing the operator to switch between spray nozzles on the move (see separate release).To meet the increasing demand for satellite guidance systems, AutoTrac automatic tractor steering and GPS boom section control are available for use with both i and non-i versions of the M-Series sprayers. A new Implement Display 1100 has also been developed to control the sprayer in conjunction with the multi-function lever; on the non-ISOBUS machines, this can be replaced by a GreenStar 1800 display when using a StarFire receiver and for automatic boom section control.
Meldrum House Golf Club course manager Kenny Harper is a man on a mission – to make this top 100 course at Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire as environmentally friendly and efficient as possible, with benefits to both the golf course and the overall parkland estate.Kenny and his team of nine full-time and three or four part-time summer staff look after all the grounds and woodland on the estate, from the imposing entrance archway to the baronial manor house hotel. The course hosted Scotland’s second oldest tournament, the Northern Open, for the fourth year running in 2013, and has come through two tough winters with effective plans to improve productivity while also cutting operating costs.One aspect of this approach is the use of new John Deere 2500E hybrid electric mowers on all the greens, tees and approaches. The club is on its second five year fleet maintenance contract with John Deere dealer Double A Trading, who have a new regional base in Aberdeen, with the replacement machinery bought on finance for the first time through John Deere Financial.“We’ve certainly found over the last 15 years what works best for the golf course,” says Kenny Harper. “We run two John Deere fairway mowers, an older 3235C and a new 7700 PrecisionCut with conditioner heads, which gives a very clean and tidy finish with no clumping. In addition, I’m very interested now in getting oil off the golf course, so we decided to upgrade the greens mowers to John Deere’s E-Cut hybrid electric units.“Other machines in the fleet are still using hydraulics, but in time we will need to look at the other electric mowers available – if they do the job we want, we will definitely look at them, as we think it’s an important consideration.“It’s not just potential damage to the greens and fairways we are concerned about, but the environment generally. We try not to do or use anything that does any harm, so for example we catch all the water from the maintenance shed roofs and concrete standings, which is recycled and used for washing down the machines, and there are buffer zones round all the ponds on the golf course to prevent run-off. More recently we’ve started using wood pellets bought locally to heat both the hotel and the maintenance buildings.”Use is also made of fallen trees on the estate, with the wood dried for about a year and used in one of two boilers in the maintenance shed, with the second taking the bought-in pellets. “Eventually we will be able to run all our hot water and heating in the sheds for no cost, which will be a major plus,” says Kenny Harper. Pellet boilers in the hotel also feed pipework to outdoor marquees, which are used for 130 to 140 weddings a year at this popular venue.Other busy John Deere machines in the fleet include a 1600T Series II wide-area rotary mower plus XUV, TX Turf, CX and two Pro Gator utility vehicles. One of these is equipped with an HD200 turf sprayer, and is adaptable for use with top dresser, hydraulic brush and slitter attachments.“The new HD200 is a lot easier to attach and remove than its predecessor, which means we can get jobs done quicker and more efficiently,” Kenny Harper says. “It’s fair to say the John Deere machines and dealer service from Double A help us get all the necessary work done without any bother, and that’s one of the company’s strengths I think. The new finance programme also works to everyone’s benefit.”
A new John Deere 800 Series mower-conditioner plus three new 400 Series fixed chamber round balers, including a wrapping baler model, can be seen working for the first time in the UK and Ireland at this year’s national grassland demonstration events in May: RASE Grassland & Muck at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, and FTMTA Grass & Muck at Gurteen Agricultural College in Ireland.The 830 centre-pivot mower-conditioner is available in working widths of 3 or 3.5m, with a choice of impellers or adjustable rubber rollers for the conditioning process. As an exclusive feature, the modular cutterbar allows high-speed mowing, and has been engineered to duplicate the load conditions of a self-propelled machine. The mower’s balanced design and high ground clearance also increase field performance, while a new floating suspension system allows the machine to closely follow ground contours.The 830 is equipped with six discs and 58 preloaded tines, which significantly increase capacity and crop flow under varying harvesting conditions. Even in heavy and wet crops and at high working speeds, the parallelogram design of the conditioning hood maintains the optimum distance between the impeller tines or rollers and the hood at all times.The F440R round baler and C440R wrapping baler are suitable for large livestock farms and contractors who produce more than 3000 bales per season and focus on silage production. These are premium specification balers with long-life components, and have been specially designed to operate well in wet silage conditions.There is a choice of 2 or 2.2m pick-ups feeding a high capacity inline MaxiCut HC rotor with 13 or 25 knives. In addition to the rotor, these machines utilise a number of other components from the 900 Series variable chamber round baler, including a five tine bar pick-up with heavy-duty bearings, and a full width drop-floor system which enables the operator to remove blockages instantly, from the tractor cab. Cab monitoring and control systems include a GreenStar Display 1800 or new Implement Display 1100.The F440M round baler is a multi-purpose machine aimed at small to medium size farms. Designed to produce between 1000 and 3000 bales of hay, silage or straw per season, this model offers a choice of 2m RotoFlow HC or MaxiCut HC 13-knife rotors, and is available in MultiCrop or Silage Special versions. It also features the 900 Series baler’s high performance feeding system, new driveline and rotor, stronger shielding, wider and bigger tyres and other improved components.All three 400 Series machines offer a choice of CoverEdge or Edge to Edge netwrap or double twine wrapping systems.