NEW RELEASE March 02, 2023
First Australian-ordered X9 Harvester helps SA farmer to work smarter, not harder
Crestmead, Queensland (2 March, 2023) – 'Work smarter, not harder' was the philosophy behind Michael Slater's decision to purchase a new John Deere X9 1000 Harvester sight unseen, for use on his family-owned farm at Cummins in South Australia.
And after shaving more than 50 separator hours off the time normally spent on the header during the recent harvest, he's had no cause to regret his decision – even if harvest did finish later than normal.
"We finished on 6 January, but that was because we had quite a wet start and a cool harvest. What we really wanted from the new header was a bit more productivity and to be able to get through harvest as quickly as possible, and the X9 Harvester certainly delivered," Mr Slater said.
It was a rewarding season for the Slaters, taking off 1750ha of crop including 900ha of wheat, 500ha of canola and the balance in faba beans, thanks to a wet start to the year. Their typical average rainfall is around 440mm but by the end of February 2022, they had received nearly half that. A wet period through winter meant they couldn't traffic any of the paddocks and relied on aircraft to treat crops with fungicides, and by the end of the year they'd measured 700mm of rain, providing perfect testing grounds for the new X9 Harvester.
Mr Slater was the first farmer in Australia to order an X9 Harvester, which was delivered by David Mooney from local Cummins John Deere dealership, Pringles Crouch.
The impressive new generation X Series Harvesters feature a wide feeder house, dual separator, and the industry's largest cleaning shoe, all of which work together to improve crop flow and increase harvesting capacity. The Cummins family brought in the X9 1000 this year to replace a John Deere S780, seeing an opportunity to elevate their harvest capacity and, ultimately, speed.
"Generally, in the S780 we were doing on average 350 separator hours, but in the X9 Harvester we did 293 hours, so the new header is actually running at around 30% more capacity than our old one," Mr Slater said.
"We're only eight kilometres away from the grain receival site in Cummins and it was quite a cool harvest, so we didn't have big 14-hour reaping days, more like eight hours, so the logistics ran smoothly."
The hinged draper front of the X9 1000 has wider Grain Saver Belts that have a raised 'cross hair' pattern to stop the loss of small grains like canola. The Slaters windrowed their canola so opted to use a John Deere BP15 Belt Pickup Platform on the X9 1000, capable of increasing feed auger speed by 20% for canola.
"There was also some wind damage and crop lodging at harvest, but the 12.2 metre (40 ft.) hinged draper front handled the conditions brilliantly," Mr Slater said.
"The losses were miniscule. We just set the header up for each crop and the front, using the finger tine reels, did a marvellous job of picking the grain up off the ground.
"I loved the way the hinged draper front followed the ground too. We have a bit of undulating country and it followed it beautifully, it was really a case of set and forget."
Mr Slater appreciated the ride quality of the dual tyres, and said he was unexpectedly impressed with the fuel economy.
"I suppose I went in with an open mind and no expectations because it's all relative to productivity – more horsepower means more fuel, so I wasn't worried about it. But I was very happy with the fuel economy," Mr Slater said.
"The harvester is also quite stable even with the hinged draper front and a full grain tank, and the StarFireTM guidance system is very simple, once you know what you're doing. I liked the dual side-by-side rotor system, it's simple and delivers an even distribution of material across the cleaning shoe.
"The new generation cab is very quiet and extremely comfortable. It's as good as sitting in a car."
There's no doubt the X9 1000 has met its brief to help the Slaters work smarter, not harder.
About John Deere:
Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at John Deere.com or in New Zealand at John Deere.co.nz.