High-acreage farmers and drivers for hire continue to want equipment that can cut faster and wider through big fields. John Deere is happy to oblige by offering a new monster Class VIII combine, a 90-ft.-wide planter and a self-propelled sprayer with a 120-ft. boom.

These machines were the headliners at John Deere's recent new-product introduction in Moline, IL. Row-crop tractors, planters, center-pivot mower-conditioners and a new “moderately sized” Class V combine rounded out the lineup.

60 series combines

The 9560 STS is a 265-hp, mid-sized Class V machine. The 9860 — a 375-hp Class VIII combine — is the largest combine that John Deere has ever built.

New features include faster unloading rates, automatic adjustments, new single-point header hookups, and improved threshing and cleaning.

Electric and hydraulic connections, and the feeder house/header bottom latch pin engagement now can be made with one swift motion of a lever. Hookup time is reduced 75% from the previous system.

The capacity of the heavy-duty, variable-drive feeder house is greater than that of previous models. Upper-variable-drive and lower-reverser-gear-case sheaves are now 50 mm larger in diameter. They provide more drive belt surface contact, which increases drive capacity and reduces friction heat when running 8- or 12-row corn heads at higher ground speeds.

The new 60 series combines are powered by 6.8- 8.1- or 12.5-l John Deere PowerTech engines. A power bulge feature produces extra torque and power when harvesting through tough conditions.

A new high-capacity unloading system moves 3.3 bu./sec. via 10-in.-dia. grain-tank cross-augers. The 17-in.-dia. vertical auger has a wider flighting pitch to move more grain with less contact to steel.

Automatic combine adjustments are available at the touch of a button in the cab. The operator can adjust all required separator crop settings, including a new remote shoe adjustment, without getting out of the cab. Price: $158,709 to $233,517.

600 series platforms

Designed to complement the performance of the new 60 series combines, the new 600 series platforms include seven HydraFlex and five rigid models. All offer improved cutting capabilities, increased auger size, easy hookup to the feeder house and improved flotation in all field conditions. They also will fit John Deere 50, 10 and 00 series combines.

All 600 series flex platforms feature the new HydraFlex float system. The hydraulic system allows the cutterbar to maintain a consistent cutting height regardless of ground conditions. This allows ground speeds that are faster than those achieved with conventional, mechanical float systems. Price: $17,877 to $31,306.

4920 sprayer

The new 4920 self-propelled sprayer has a new 120-ft. spray boom, 300-hp engine, 1,200-gal. solution tank and 20-mph top spray speed. The 3-D boom features round tubing and laser-cut support pieces. The 120-ft. boom will be the only option for the 2004 spraying season. Future boom sizes will include 90- and 100-ft. models but will not be available until 2005.

The 120-ft. boom also is capable of spraying in a folded position of 70 and 90 ft. On-board, air-driven foam markers are available for 90- and 120-ft. spray widths. Price: $235,882.

DB90 planter

The DB90 is a 90-ft.-wide, 36-row, 30-in. planter built in a partnership between Deere and Bauer Built Manufacturing. The front-fold, five-section flexible frame comes equipped with Deere MaxEmerge Plus row units. It features a new Bauer Built frame design, new hydraulic system and new row markers.

Deere-designed vacuum seed meters are standard, providing ground speed 20% higher than that of mechanical metering systems. The vacuum meter can be used for a variety of crops, and an optional 3-bu. hopper increases productivity in the field. A SeedStar variable-rate drive allows the operator to change seed population rates on the go. Price is not yet available.

1770NT CCS front-fold planter

A new frame, hydraulics, drive system and markers come standard on Deere's newest Central Commodity System (CCS) vacuum seed meter planter.

The 24-row planter has been redesigned with a new, stronger, three-section flexible frame with a new vertical truss design. Transport width is 12 ft. A massive 16- × 8-in. telescoping hitch improves maneuverability and adds strength. A liquid fertilizer system consists of a piston pump, flow divider with hoses, and frame-mounted single disc openers. Price is not yet available.

7020 tractors

Three new tractor models will be rolling off the line at the John Deere Waterloo Works. The 7920, rated at 170 PTO hp, is the most powerful 7000 to date, yet has a tighter turning radius than that of older models.

The new tractors feature John Deere PowerTech emissions-certified engines: 6.8 l on the 7720, and 8.1 l on the 7820 and 7920. The 6.8-l, 6-cyl. engine is designed with a high-pressure common rail injection system and is Tier II compliant. The new 24-valve-head design has injectors located in the center of the cylinder bore to improve combustion and reduce emissions.

The 16-speed PowrQuad Plus Transmission with left-hand reverser is standard on the 7720 and 7820. A single range lever, with top-mounted, push-button electronic gear selector, allows for clutchless shifting within four ranges. The transmission also features speed matching. When making a range shift at speeds greater than 4.5 mph, the transmission automatically chooses the correct gear in the next range based on the ground speed of the tractor.

All tractors can be ordered with the deluxe Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). It is an option on the 7720 and 7820 tractors and is standard on the 7920 tractor. Price: $82,256 to $113,160.

730 and 735 mower-conditioners

These center-pivot mower-conditioners are available in two cutting widths: 9 ft. 9 in., and 11 ft. 6 in. Windrow widths can be adjusted from wide to narrow. The center-pivot design eliminates the need to divide fields before cutting. Operators can mow on the right- or left-hand side and make fast turns in the headlands for efficient passes through the field. These mower-conditioners are easy to transport because they line up directly behind the tractor. Transport widths are the same as the cutting widths for both machines. Price: $21,178 to $24,335.

For more information, contact John Deere Agricultural Marketing Center, Dept. FIN, 11145 Thompson Ave., Lenexa, KS 66219, visit www.deere.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin.