John Deer Expands Automated Farming Capabilities With Factory-installed Tractor and Planter Solution

April 09, 2021 by Damond Goodwin

The company aims to expand its automated farming portfolio with new systems, sprayers, and tractor/planter solutions.

John Deer, like many other farming companies, is expanding its automation capabilities with new farming equipment. 


Self-propelled Sprayers

John Deere recently developed a new lineup of self-propelled sprayers for fertilizing larger areas in less time. The sprayers come in three different models, the STS 12, STS 16, and STS 20. All three models are powered by the John Deere PowerTech 9L engines, capable of producing 300-400 horsepower. 


The STS 12, STS 16, and STS 20 sprayers from John Deere. Image used courtesy of John Deere


The sprayers are designed to help farmers with tight operating windows and complete spraying on time, even in traditionally difficult field conditions.

John Deere added AutoTrac, RowSense, and AutoTrac Vision to the system to keep the sprayer in the rows more accurately. There can be several advantages to accurate steering and tracking when spraying crops. 

John Deer claims this new technology allows products to be placed more accurately, reducing the overspray and eliminating missed spots. This may help create an efficient application of fertilizer or pesticide. Advanced tracking also helps to keep tire ruts in the same location, reducing crop damage during the process.  

The sprayer has a clearance of 72 inches from the ground making the sprayer minimally disruptive to the plants as it passes over them. 

The sprayers are available with 300 gallons per minute refill stations, helping to reduce downtime and keep the sprayer running in the field for longer durations. The larger STS20 comes with a 2,000-gallon spray tank allowing the sprayer to cover more ground before fill-ups.  


The John Deere sprayers in application on a field. Image used courtesy of John Deere


Even with larger tanks, farmers may experience that rutting is minimal due to the sprayer's advanced weight distribution. This keeps the load balanced no matter the level of fluid in the tank.  

All John Deere STS sprayers come standard with a JDLink connection, integrated StarFire 6000 GPS receiver, Generation 4 Command Center display, and AutoTrac guidance.  

JDlink will stream operation data, allowing owners to monitor job quality and machine hours easily. With JDlink technology, the sprayers may help make standard farming more autonomous in their operation. 


John Deere's Integrated Tractor and Planter Solution 

John Deere also created a factory-integrated planter-fertilizer system with the ExactRate Tractor Tanks for 8RX Tractors. The integrated planter tank has a capacity of 1000 gallons, and when paired with the MY22 planter, total tankage increases to 1600 gallons.

With the increased tankage, the system is capable of longer runs between fill-ups.

To keep up with longer spray times, the planter holding capacity has also been increased by 30% to contain 130 bushels of seed. The combination of a planter and sprayer may offer an advantage to customers looking to apply large quantities of fertilizer immediately after planting.  


The factory-integrated planter-fertilizer system with the ExactRate Tractor Tanks. Image used courtesy of John Deere


The tractor features new tires with tracks that reduce ground pressure to 13.3 PSI, reducing compaction during the planting process. 

JDlink is available with the package allowing for in-field monitoring from anywhere, allowing owners to monitor the planting process. JDlink also helps operators to keep an eye on planting and spraying in real-time with the onboard monitor.


Real-time Automation and Data in Farming 

John Deere has started to integrate automation technologies into farming processes with its new spraying and planting equipment. With JDlink and onboard monitoring systems, owners and operators alike can keep an eye on the planting and fertilization processes in real-time.  

With the equipped GPS systems, they can stay on track more effectively, aiming to reduce product waste while at the same time decreasing soil disruption when the machinery moves through the fields.  

Increased tankage helps keep the sprayers in the field for longer durations, making fill-ups less disruptive to field spray times.