February 1, 2023

New HarvestLab™ 3000 Grain Sensing offers farmers a complete picture of profitability

Crestmead, Queensland (1 February, 2023) — NEW ZEALAND broadacre farmers now have access to a complete picture of profitability with the launch of John Deere's HarvestLab™ 3000 Grain Sensing on John Deere S700 Series Combines.

Introduced to the forage industry in 2007 as HarvestLab, and upgraded to HarvestLab 3000 in 2017, the sensor's capabilities have been extended for use in the grains sector and is able to continuously measure and monitor protein, starch, oil, and moisture values in wheat, barley or canola in real time as the combine is harvesting. This site-specific data can then be viewed in the cab, or in John Deere Operations Center™, allowing farmers to make critical marketing and management decisions before the grain has left the field.

John Deere Precision Ag Manager, Benji Blevin, said HarvestLab 3000, available as a field kit, offered customers new-level insights into the quality of their crop and input effectiveness.

"John Deere has been working with Australian farmers for the past two years to develop the HarvestLab 3000 Grain Sensing technology which will transform how they market their grain and manage their nutrient inputs," Mr Blevin said.   

"Currently, most farmers only have the ability to assess samples of their grains with a stationary protein analyser once back in the shed. Now, with HarvestLab 3000, farmers will have a complete map of grain quality, which can be overlaid with a yield map, and can see exactly what parts of their paddocks are producing the highest quality grain."

"Farmers will also be able to utilise HarvestLab 3000 to plan future fertiliser programs based on how successfully nutrients were converted into yield, protein, starch, or oil."

HavestLab 3000 is available to order from April for easy integration into 2018 or later S700 Series Combines before the 2023 harvest season. The technology works as the combine moves through the field, and a motor-driven auger pushes grain past the HarvestLab 3000's near-infrared sensor. Then, together with the StarFire™ receiver, site-specific data is generated on the Generation 4 Display and sent to Operations Center via JDLink™.

Maximising profits through improved grain marketing

For the past two years, the Rethus Family, including Geoff, and sons Luke and Tim, have been involved in local John Deere trials of the technology at their family's 5500 ha cropping enterprise, in Australia's Wimmera region.

"HarvestLab 3000 Grain Sensing has been a game-changer for our grain marketing," Luke Rethus said.

"With HarvestLab, we understand the protein in our crop, on the go, as we harvest, which helps us to decide how we segregate the crop."

"This gives us the opportunity to make a decision to blend the grain later, depending on the state of the market. This would have been useful in the past when we had some crops that finished with very high protein. When that grain was delivered to the traders, there was a limit on the amount of protein that we could be paid for, so we didn't receive any benefit for the premium quality."

"If we had HarvestLab insights at that time, we would have been able to mix our grains to maximise profits."

"At the end of the year, everything comes down to the analysis of your maps, and deciding which crop or paddock is more profitable. Adding that protein layer helps us better understand whether an area was actually just the highest yielding, or whether it was the most profitable."

Optimising Nutrients

Farmers can also analyse HarvestLab 3000 information against yield maps in Operations Center to gain additional insights or to create application maps for fertiliser or other inputs.

"HarvestLab helps down the track for nutrition management. If you've got a field that's got high protein areas or low protein areas, why was that?" Geoff Rethus said.

"The high protein may have been because you've over applied nitrogen to your crop. This can result in an extra expense for which you are not paid for, reduced yield because too much biomass has been produced, or you may have low protein, because you didn't put on enough nitrogen to optimise your yield. With HarvestLab you can make a decision almost to the plant-level."

For more information speak with your local John Deere dealer.

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.

Media Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371

Hannah Hardy
0421 196 004