Editor's Note: John Deere provided video of the X9 in action, so we put it together into a montage, with music, at the end. Enjoy.
It was a surprise to American journalists visiting the John Deere stand at Agritechnica in November 2019. There was the future-farming exhibit with its giant drone, and super future cab. But where the big machines were sitting there was a tease for the North American market – the new X9 combine. The new machine was promised for rollout for June 2020, and the company made it official on June 15.
And U.S. farmers can get an up-close-and-personal look at the machine at the 2020 Farm Progress Show both in the Deere exhibit, but also in the field demonstrations at the Boone, Iowa event Sept.1-3; or at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Neb., Sept. 15-17.
The "class" for a combine is not a well-defined engineering term that makes it easy to figure out exact capacity for a machine. But the need for bigger machines to cover more ground with a single operator continues to drive investment and these new X Series machines bring added capacity.
There are two machines in the X9 class of new-generation combines – the X9 1000 and the X9 1100. It's a whole new numbering system for this John Deere machine. To give you an idea of capacity, the X9 1100 which can harvest up to 30 acres of tough, high-yielding wheat per hour, and harvest 7,200 bushels of corn per hour in a high-yield field, according to Deere.
In a release announcing the new machines for the U.S. market, Matt Badding, harvest product manager, says that as conditions change the new machine can make automatic adjustments. "For example, in the morning, straw can be damp and make threshing and separating tough. By midday, the moisture evaporates and harvesting conditions improve. In the past, these changes required operators to adjust combine settings to help the machine compensate. Now, the adjustments are made automatically."
Features of the machines
The new X Series Combines feature a wider feeder house, dual separator and a large cleaning shoe, which Deere claims is the largest in the industry. They work together to improve crop flow and increase capacity. The key is the X Series dual Separator, or XDS, Badding says. This is the largest threshing and separation area Deere has offered in a combine. "Crop in the XDS is threshed and separated during nine revolutions, resulting in less grain loss and increased harvesting capacity," he says.
The 75 square-foot Dyna-Flow XL Cleaning Show has 36% more cleaning area than the S790. And the machines are easy on fuel. The company claims the machines can run up to 14 hours without refueling. Power comes from an all-new John Deere PowerTech 13.6-liter engine that works with a belt-drive system and updated ProDrive XL transmission to improve efficiency. The X9 1100 uses up to 20% less fuel per bushel harvested, Badding says.
The X9 1000 grain tank holds up to 420 bushels and the X9 1100 holds up to 460 bushels of grain. Folding unloading augers with Adjustable Spout are available for the X-Series in 26-, 28.6- or 31-foot lengths.
The machines come with integrated precision ag technologies like an integrated StarFire 6000 Receiver, which requires no calibration of the Terrain Compensation Module and is more accurate than previous models. JDLink is standard on both models and comes with five years of service. This provides machine-to-machine communication and makes it easy for the owner to share agronomic and machine-performance information.
AUTO INTERIOR: The new X Series Combine interior may be more like driving your pickup with added USB ports and other ways to connect. Check out the level of trim in this new cab, and there are more storage areas too.
John Deere connected Support provides enhanced dealer support thorugh Expert Alerts and remote support capabilities.
There are three technology packages available for the X Series including Select, Premium and Ultimate. Select includes the StarFire 6000 Integrated Receiver, Gen 4 4600 Display, Harvest Smart and Interactive Combine Adjustment and is Connect Mobile ready.
Premium builds on the Select package and includes Active Terrain Adjustment and the Premium 3.0 Activation with AutoTrac RowSense, Section Control and In-Field Data Sharing.
Ultimate includes everything in the first two levels and adds Automation 3.0 Activation with Generation 4 Machine Sync and the Combine Advisor Technology Package with ActiveVision Camera technology and Auto Maintain.
All X Series Combines can connect to the John Deere Operations Center.
The machines also feature an all-new X Series Cab with more storage space, USB ports and better connectivity. It's more like an automotive experience.
New drapers, corn heads, belt pickup
To go along with the expanded combine lineup, John Deere has updated its entire header lineup for combines to include the HDR Rigid Cutter Bar Drapers, RDF HydraFlex Drapers, CR and CF Corn heads and a BP15 Belt Pickup. All are compatible with the new X Series and most S and T Series combines.
The HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers are designed for small grains, oilseed and soybean growers. The work across various crops, changing conditions, and uneven or rolling terrain. Badding says the HDR has hinged frame that follows the terrain with twice the wing range of competitive models.
HDR Drapers are available in cutting widths from 35 to 50 feet. Badding notes an upgrade from a 45- to a 50-foot header can boost harvest by 33 acres per day.
The RDF HydraFlex Drapers are build on technology of the existing 700FD while providing new features to reduce grain loss. The new drapers are compatible with the X Series, S Series and T Series combines, and work with S and T models dating back to 2012. All RDF HydraFlex drapers feature a new Two-Speed Center Feed Section that lets operators slow down the feed drum and center feed belt by 20% compared to the 700FD. This can reduce free grain loss. An optional cleated center belt is available to feed higher-volume crops like canola into the feed drum.
BELT PICKUP: The new BP15 belt pickup brings along added capacity to match the new X Series machines, but it will work on S and T series machines too.
The CR Rigid Corn Heads feature a 19-inch cross auger and rolled auger floor to improve handling. "The higher torque of the large auger ensures the corn head is not the limiting factor so farmers can realize the true bushels per hour potential of the combine," Badding says.
CR Rigid Corn Heads can be equipped from the factory with Active End Fenders that pull more stalks into the head as the combine moves through the field. Another new feature of these heads is the factory-installed Stalk Deflectors that press standing corn stalks to the ground and fracture them at the base as the head passes over them. These deflectors reduce tire or track wear caused by standing corn stalks and help preserve the trade-in value of the combine and other equipment moving in and out of fields.
CF Folding Corn Heads include all the features of CR Rigid Corn Heads but feature a low-profile folding frame. There 12-, 16- and 18-row CF Folding Corn Heads available for X Series combines and 12-row heads for S Series machines.
John Deere is also offering the BP15 Belt Pickup for small grains and oilseed growers who need to harvest more acres per hour with an X Series, S Series or T Series Combine. Badding says that compared to the 615P, the new pickup has a wider feederhouse opening with adjustable feed auger flighting and tines that allow the belt pickup to harvest more acres per hour.
Each of the new drapers, corn heads and the belt pickup come with a header control unit (HCU) that communicates seamlessly with the combine. The HCU saves head-specific factory calibration settings and collects and sends header-width information to the combine for accurate yield mapping.
You can learn more at johndeere.com.