Machinery

News

John Deere launches No-Till Planter in South Africa

John Deere South Africa introduced the 2100 Series No-Till planter, with variable rate metering.

The John Deere 2117 planter comes from Brazil, the country that is probably the World’s leading exponent of No-Till cropping. The planter is claimed to be able to plant under any conditions and it was certainly put to the test on this farm in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Text continues underneath image

John Deere 2117 planter and 8260R tractor.  - Photos: Arthur Gray
John Deere 2117 planter and 8260R tractor. - Photos: Arthur Gray

Flat out to get the crop in

2018 has proved to be a difficult season with conditions going from too dry to too wet and back again. Lots of time was lost waiting for the right planting conditions and then it was flat out to get the crop in before the window closed.

Text continues underneath images


  • The John Deere display, showing seeding rate, forward speed and the performance of each row unit. The driver told me that the orange flag on row 5 indicated that a small amount of dust had infiltrated the sensor, it cleared almost immediately.

    The John Deere display, showing seeding rate, forward speed and the performance of each row unit. The driver told me that the orange flag on row 5 indicated that a small amount of dust had infiltrated the sensor, it cleared almost immediately.

  • View from the tractor cab: Planting was directly into the stubble of the previous crop. Steering was controlled by the John Deere AutoTrac guidance system. The cultivated area is where the spray lines have been ripped to reduce compaction.

    View from the tractor cab: Planting was directly into the stubble of the previous crop. Steering was controlled by the John Deere AutoTrac guidance system. The cultivated area is where the spray lines have been ripped to reduce compaction.

  • This panel shows the application rate of the fertiliser, operating speed and the total amount used.

    This panel shows the application rate of the fertiliser, operating speed and the total amount used.

  • This field has been cultivated; maize is following a potato crop. Germination is slow due to the moisture loss from the soil disturbance, rain this weekend should see it get away.

    This field has been cultivated; maize is following a potato crop. Germination is slow due to the moisture loss from the soil disturbance, rain this weekend should see it get away.

John Deere controller

The farm plants at 30” (762mm) row spacing and the 2117 plants 10 rows. Seed is supplied from a central hopper to individual VacuMeter units on each row. The planter is set up for precision planting with a John Deere controller for section control as well as variable rates. Two fertiliser hoppers can be separately switched on and off so that section control of fertiliser application is possible for each 5-row section.

Text continues underneath images


  • The germination in this field, planted No-Till into the previous crop residue is excellent.

    The germination in this field, planted No-Till into the previous crop residue is excellent.

  • This close-up shows the amount of residue that the planter can handle.

    This close-up shows the amount of residue that the planter can handle.

  • A crop of Soya beans, planted into the maize stubble, is also looking good.

    A crop of Soya beans, planted into the maize stubble, is also looking good.

  • Again, the close-up shows the amount of residue, conserving moisture and protecting the soil. Seeding rate for soya beans was 450 000 seeds/ha.

    Again, the close-up shows the amount of residue, conserving moisture and protecting the soil. Seeding rate for soya beans was 450 000 seeds/ha.

Variable fertiliser application

Fertiliser application rates are also variable, and these can be controlled by a prescription map. The unit is pulled by a John Deere 8260R, rated at 260hp and the combination can plant about 5ha/hr.

Also read: Using high-pressure water for no-till planting

Or register to be able to comment.