Increased automation to help both experienced and inexperienced combine operators is the highlight of upgrades to the latest crop of machines destined for harvest 2019.
New sensor technology can now be had on Case IH, Claas, John Deere and New Holland machines that can monitor what’s going on inside the combine, analyse grain and sample quality, and either advise on set-up adjustments or take over the decision-making.
The smart monitoring is also offered on AGCO’s all-new MF and Fendt Ideal combines, which made their UK harvest debut this year.
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These high-capacity machines have either a single rotor (Ideal 7) or two rotors (Ideal 8 and 9) with distinct sections for threshing and separation, a novel grain pan design and, for the two largest models, the option of the biggest grain tank around.
Crop load sensing, a camera on the clean grain elevator for sample analysis, and a graphic display of the internal processes in the cab, are among features of the tech available.
The new models have resulted in the MF Centora/Fendt P Series straw walker combines and MF Delta/Fendt X Series rotor separation models being axed.
AFS Harvest Command Automation, available on the top three models in the Case IH Axial Flow range – now the 250 Series – encompasses several features either as a package or as individual features.
These include forward speed to regulate crop intake – a feature that can be used on its own; the angle of crop spiralling vanes on the threshing/separation rotor to regulate dwell time; fan speed for the chaff separation element of the cleaning process; and sieve settings.
Claas has performed some technology transfer from the Lexion 600 Series straw walker machines to the Tucano walker and rotary combines, in addition to adding Montana side-levelling versions for the first time.
The top-end tech is Auto Crop Flow, which constantly monitors the load on key elements of the combine, warns of an impending overload and, if necessary, will bring things to a halt to avoid a time-consuming blockage.
There are two additions to the line-up: the Tucano 460, which adds rotor separation to the narrower of the combines in this family, and the Tucano 580, a more powerful 381hp model at the top end.
New Holland IntelliSense for CR Revelation twin rotor combines adds a camera to the clean grain elevator and sensors in the cleaning shoe area to calculate the volume of material on the sieves.
Along with a set of existing sensors, it can then determine whether to adjust rotor speed, change the angle of the crop spiralling vanes on the rotor cages, adjust fan speed and re-set sieve openings.
A more advanced version of IntelliCruise ground speed control now offers the operator a choice of strategies to have the combine adjust to crop conditions according to output and grain loss priorities.