Press Releases   February 04, 2021

John Deere Draper Series makes top 50 for outstanding innovation

HDR Draper harvesting in a field

With a new hinged frame, the HDR provides unmatched terrain-following capability and uniform cut height.

Crestmead, Queensland (4 February, 2021) — TECHNOLOGY used by farmers to maximise harvest capacity in difficult conditions has earned John Deere's HDR Cutterbar Draper Series a 2021 AE50 Award.

The HDR Rigid Cutterbar Draper Series is one of six John Deere products named by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), which each year, recognises the 50 most innovative product-engineering designs in the food and agriculture industry with its AE50 Awards. Chosen by international engineering experts, the winning products are selected for ingenuity in product development and for their ability to save farmers time, costs and labour while improving safety.

Australia and New Zealand Production System Manager – Production & Precision Ag, Ben Kelly, said the HDR Rigid Cutterbar Draper Series was recognised for its ability to maximise harvesting capacity for small grains, canola and pulse production across changing conditions and uneven or rolling terrain while capturing more grain.

"With the new hinged frame, The HDR provides unmatched terrain-following capability and uniform cut height when harvesting on curves or uneven terrain, reducing crop losses and increasing hectares harvested per hour," Mr Kelly said.

"This is another example of where John Deere is challenging the status quo to deliver cutting-edge design to help make our customers the most profitable and sustainable in the world."

The HDR will be available in New Zealand in time for harvest 2022.

John Deere Production and Precision Ag Manager, Joel Dawson said he was proud of the company's ability to provide customers with the tools to improve efficiency and profitability.

"Innovation is one of our core values and the AE50 Awards reaffirm the innovative spirit of John Deere employees," Mr Dawson said.

"No other company in agriculture invests more in research and development than John Deere.

"Our engineers take great pride in creating new technology and products to benefit our customers. We remain committed to helping them meet the world's growing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure in a productive and sustainable manner."

The following John Deere machines and innovations also received 2021 AE50 Awards:

X9 Combine Harvesters

The X Series Combine Harvesters have received yet another innovation accolade, with the X9 1000 and X9 1100 earning a 2021 AE50 Award. Global trials proved the X9 1100 can harvest up to 12 hectares (30 acres) of tough, high-yielding wheat per hour, and harvest up to 182 tonnes per hour in high-yielding corn. As conditions change, the harvester automatically adjusts itself to keep running at peak levels. The X Series will arrive in New Zealand in August 2021.

CF Folding Corn Heads

John Deere CF Folding Corn Heads feature an industry-leading fold cycle time of less than 40 seconds when connected to a John Deere X Series Combine Harvester or less than 60 seconds when connected to a S700 Series Combine Harvester. The folding corn head reduces a farmer's operating costs by eliminating the need to purchase a header trailer to transport between fields.

ExactRate™ Liquid Fertiliser System

Reducing fertiliser costs, ExactRate, is a liquid-fertiliser-application system farmers can use to automatically to shut off spray application in areas of overlap or non-application for row-by-row section control. The 2021 AE50 Award winner is currently only available on corn planters in the US, however, John Deere is looking to expand the technology to other equipment suited to the New Zealand market.

CH950 Sugar Cane Harvester

The CH950 Sugar Cane Harvester, is the industry's first two-row harvester. While it is not suited to the New Zealand market, trials in Brazil demonstrated the CH950 doubles productivity and decreases crop losses by 60%, while using 30% less fuel. And, since it's a two-row harvester, it enables sugarcane growers to reduce in-field transport equipment, the number of machine operators, and overall harvesting costs.

Harvest Monitor™ with SmartClean™

The John Deere Harvest Monitor with SmartClean System is an industry-first cleaning performance and documentation system for sugarcane harvesters. Again, while not suited to New Zealand industries, SmartClean enhances operator decision making and helps deliver a consistent product to the sugar mill. Coupled with integrated machine sensors, SmartClean minimises cane losses and manages residue ejection, and leaf trash sent to the mill by automatically adjusting primary cleaning fan speed settings. Agronomic information also can be documented and recorded to provide live feedback to the farmer about the machine via the John Deere JDLink™ dashboard and the John Deere Operations Center mobile app.

Not all awarded products are available in New Zealand. To stay up to date with the latest equipment available in New Zealand visit

About John Deere:
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at in New Zealand at

Media Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371

Hannah Hardy
0421 196 004