Maybe it was the 90° heat in Moline, but Deere's new planter introduction in July had my head spinning with a lot more machines than I expected. Sure, I was sweating into my shoes out in the hot sun, but that didn't matter. I was psyched and ready to see the star player, the new high-volume Central Commodity System (CCS) that graced our cover last month. I figured I'd learn the full story on CCS, fill in some details and then hit the showers.

It turned out I got caught looking one way and was blind-sided by a completely new squad of machines. Those big yellow seed tanks were just part of the story.

1790 front-fold planter

Deere gave its venerable Max-Emerge planter a new frame, hydraulic system, markers, drives and the bulk-fill CCS. The 12-row machine uses a 30-ft. frame, and the 16-row unit has a 40-ft. frame.

Staggered row units plant corn, cotton, soybeans or milo. The 31-row unit with 100-bu. capacity can plant 2,000 acres of corn or soybeans in 83 hrs. Only 3.5 of those hours are needed for filling. The rest of the time is spent rolling across the field at 6.5 mph.

A hydraulically driven fan provides high-volume, low-pressure airflow to transfer seed from the CCS tanks to a 1/16-bu. mini-hopper on each row unit. An agitator over the air nozzles keeps seed moving.

For rotating the seed meters, a flexible Pro-Shaft drive system replaces the old chain drive. The shaft looks like a thick speedometer cable and is easier to engage and disengage than a chain. You can pull the unit apart, clean it out and put it back together in seconds. A special pan comes with the machine and attaches to the row unit under the meter. Open the seed meter housing, remove the seed disc, and the remaining seed falls into the pan.

The Tru-Vee disc openers, gauge wheels, closing system and seed-metering system are the same as those on the new Pro-Series Max-Emerge Plus row units. Both vacuum and mechanical drives are available. Pneumatic or heavy-duty adjustable spring down force are options on the row units.

For contours, the new three-section frame flexes 15° up and down relative to the center section. A staggered-row-unit design improves residue flow in 15- and 30-in. row widths. Configurations include 12-, 16-, 24-, 31- and 32-row units. The planter can carry liquid or granular insecticide. A heavy-duty option offers a 420-gal. fertilizer tank. Prices for the base machine range from $71,301 to $93,904.

1770NT is a 16-row planter with a narrow transport width of 12 ft. — 3 ft. less than the transport width of Deere's older-model 16-row planters. Two frame options are lightweight non-fertilizer and heavy-duty fertilizer configurations.

90 series drills (the 1895 and 1890 air drills are described below) have a new population rate control system that lets the operator change seed populations on the go from the tractor seat. The 1590 is an improved version of its predecessors — the 750 and 1560 no-till drills that excelled in no-till, heavy residue conditions.

DB series large-frame planters are the largest planters Deere has ever offered. Deere supplies the row units, seed drives, and vacuum and monitor systems. Bauer Built Manufacturing makes the frames. The widest planter is the DB80, with 32 rows and 30-in. spacing.

1895 no-till air drill is similar to the 1890 but also is equipped to accurately place fertilizer during planting in a separate band apart from the seed. It is a three-drill rank with single-disc fertilizer openers on the front rank at 20-in. spacing.

1910 air carts have a new telescoping spout that shortens fill time and makes topping off the tank easier. The design has extra lighting and has eliminated clean-out chutes by using a new, simple latch system. Capacities of the carts range from 195 to 430 bu.

1890 no-till air drill features improved single-disc openers. The relocated seed boot improves depth control, penetration and seed placement. A residue shield is now standard, and improved spring pressure between the boot and the blade helps reduce residue buildup. The 1890 is compatible with a tow-between or tow-behind 1910 air cart.

1690 soybean special drills soybeans or milo in 15-in. spacing. Less expensive than a split-row planter, the 1690 can plant at speeds up to 10 mph. Bulk-carrying capacity of 270 bu. allows planting up to 400 acres/day with the 42.5-ft. 34-opener machine.