Farm equipment giant John Deere launched more than 20 products geared to a wide range of customer segments at its annual dealer meeting in August in Cincinnati, OH. The company invited dealers, market analysts and journalists to attend its two-day event, called Leadership By Design 2007, held in a packed Cincinnati Convention Center.

“I've been with Deere for 25 years, and I can tell you this is the largest launch I've ever experienced when you consider the diversity of products being introduced,” says John Lagemann, vice president of ag sales.

Products ranged from new utility tractors and mowers for small-property owners to high-horsepower 4-wd tractors, self-propelled combines and a revolutionary new cotton picker for commercial agricultural producers. The commercial products are designed to help producers maximize revenue and minimize cost.

“Farmers have had to acquire more acres to survive and need to get more done in less time,” Lagemann says. “The machinery you see here will help them do that.”

Cotton picker

The product creating the biggest buzz was the 7760 self-propelled cotton picker. “We think this is really going to revolutionize the cotton business and bring the field production of cotton to a new level, from both a productivity and quality perspective,” Lagemann says.

The picker features an on-board module builder that forms a round bale of cotton and wraps it in protective plastic, eliminating the need to stop and unload the crop into a boll buggy during harvest. The machine carries the module to the end of the field, where it can be transported later to the gin.

Case IH introduced an on-board module builder last year that produces a half-size module that can be loaded on a conventional module-hauling truck and put right into the gin.

“Case IH says its picker will be more accepted because it doesn't require any new equipment at the gin,” says Farm Press editor Forrest Laws. A machine will have to be installed at gins to raise the module formed by the John Deere picker and cut away the plastic. “But Deere says its system will offer a number of benefits that will save growers and ginners money. Time will tell who's right.”

Base list price of a 7760 cotton picker is $592,548. Circle 110.

Combines

The biggest news for corn producers was a new series of Single Tine Separation (STS) combines, positioned to take on the additional corn acres being planted. The new 70 series STS combines offer more horsepower and more cleaning and grain-handling capacity than the 60 series STS combines they replace. The largest of the four models, the 9870, tops out at 440 hp with a grain tank capacity of 300 bu.

“We look at the 9870 as one of the most productive corn-harvesting solutions available to our North American customers in the corn market,” says Grant Tice, division marketing manager at John Deere Harvesting Works. “Because we are bringing more corn into the combine, we needed the ability to clean it and also handle that grain. So we increased cleaning capacity by 15% and increased grain handling by 35% to help get the corn into the grain tank and be more efficient.”

Base list prices of the 70 series STS combines range from $226,856 to $304,137. Circle 111.

The combines can be paired with the new 600C series corn heads, which are engineered to manage today's higher yields and tougher stalks. The 600C series includes a chopping head option called StalkMaster that can chop stalks in 4- to 8-in. pieces before they enter the separator. John Deere has had this chopping head option for three years. But this year it is available in a full range of sizes along with efficiency improvements that take less horsepower and fuel.

The corn heads are available in six-, eight- or 12-row models. Base list prices range from $40,824 to $81,549. Circle 112.

High-horsepower tractors

The company also introduced high-horsepower, all-wheel-drive tractors called the 9030 series, which offer more power and performance than the 9020 series they replace. Eight new tire- and track-equipped models range from 325 to 530 hp.

“We're confident that these are the most productive high-horsepower tractors ever built by John Deere,” says Don Worner, division marketing manager for the 7000, 8000 and 9000 series tractors.

The track models feature a new AirCushion suspension system that allows for faster speeds and increased productivity than previous track versions by maintaining operator comfort. The suspension system features a scissor design that allows the track to pivot in both the front and rear so the track stays level to the ground. Air bags are used to isolate the track frame from the vehicle frame, reducing jolts and jars for the operator. In addition, a dampening cylinder, which acts like a huge shock absorber, takes out the inherent tendency of a track tractor to pinch and lope during travel, resulting in better terrain following, better ride and higher transport speeds.

“The 9030T puts John Deere back on the map as the leader in track technology in the marketplace,” Worner states.

All models — both tracked and wheeled — feature higher-horsepower, fuel-efficient Power-Tech Plus engines, more comfort in the cab and integrated technology for easy installation of AutoTrac and other precision guidance technology.

Base list prices range from $183,019 to $305,884. Circle 113.

Mid-Spec tractors

The company also launched new 6030 and 7030 series tractors to provide customers more size and spec options in a 75 to 140 PTO hp tractor range.

“Last year we introduced the 6030 series utility tractors, but they were offered in a premium version only,” explains Jason Daly, division marketing manager for John Deere Waterloo Works. “Now we are filling in the gap with more economical versions called Mid-Spec tractors.”

The 6030 Mid-Spec tractors come in three models from 75 to 95 PTO hp and feature economical PowerTech E engines in place of the higher performance PowerTech Plus. The same level of choice is also available in larger row-crop sizes with the new 7030 Premium and 7030 Mid-Spec tractors, ranging from 100 to 140 PTO hp.

Base list prices range from $42,207 to $58,969 for the 6030 Mid-Spec tractors; $56,642 to $79,728 for the 7030 Mid-Spec tractors; and $81,145 to $106,113 for the 7030 Premium tractors. Circle 114.

Tillage tools

John Deere also unveiled new tillage tools, including the 2310 mulch finisher and the five-section 637 disk. Both products are up-sized versions of existing models to match the additional horsepower of the new 4-wd tractors. The mulch finisher comes in sizes that range from 18 ft. 9 in. ($35,575) to 45 ft. 9 in. ($83,847). Base list prices of the 637 disk range from $83,611 to $85,209. Circle 115.

Finally, John Deere made its first entry in the strip-till market with its new 2510S strip-till residue master applicator. The new 12-row, 30-ft. unit works in a 30-in.-row configuration to help growers reduce tillage while maintaining or increasing yields. “It has plenty of clearance to manage large amounts of residue, consistently place nutrients and efficiently prepare the soil,” says product manager Dave Wendt. “And even in corn-on-corn situations it will be able to stand up to the challenge of heavier residue.”

Price of the applicator was not available at press time. Circle 116.

For more information, contact your local John Deere dealer or visit www.JohnDeere.com/Ag.