Perhaps the engineers charged with designing a new air cart system were told to go bigger, or perhaps the instructions were more precise: Go big, or go home. Whatever the reason, they stepped up with the new C850 Air Cart, the largest ever built by the company. This is a high capacity machine that can plant up to 46 acres per hour and cover 170 acres in a fill.
Tyson Harris, noting its size, commented that this is not the biggest air cart on the market, though it's the largest produced by the company. Harris, product manager, John Deere air seeding, noted that this machine is sized right to deliver performance but help keep compaction under control.
A key feature of this new-design machine is that the air split for distribution to the drill is upstream. "We have as few distribution points as possible," he said. This approach helps with accurate metering and seed flow through the machine. The single tower design for the metered airstream also provides high-accuracy placement, he added.
The machine has up to four tanks, Harris explains, and it can be used to pull an anhydrous tank as well for a total one-pass seeding and fertilizer system. Two of the tanks can be used for dry fertilizer, the others for seed.
The C850 is compatible with a 76-foot John Deere 1870 Air Hoe Drill; and 50- and 60-foot No-till Air Drills. A 50-bushel mini hopper and dual rear and single front tires are included. Additional features available include AirPower 2; ActiveCal, Acres Remaining, Section Command and Hydraulic Wireless Conveyance.
The machine is suited for any broadacre small-grain production system - usually in the High Plains, Western Canada and Australia. It works well with wheat, canola, barley, chickpeas and more. The machine will be produced in John Deere's Valley City plant. "This is a reaffirmation in our small grain facility there," he said. "We've made a $20 million investment in that facility. We're determined to be a success."
The new air cart's carrying capacity is 55% greater than previous models. Calibration is faster with the help of a display mounted to the cart. If you want to calibrate from the cab, the ActiveCal option allows in-field calibration while seeding. Air-tank pressure can also be monitored in cab.
The C850 has a single-lid tank design for easy access and filling. Lid are flush across the top and when opened slide out of the way along the contour of the tank. This design keeps lids from blowing closed in the wind, or blocking conveyor access.
The air cart also has an integrated camera wiring harness so standard C850 models come from the factory camera ready. Mounts and connections are located at the rear of the cart and inside each tank for easy installation. That harness is compatible with CabCam and Voyager cameras.
Top platform railings fold down to a height of 13.5-feet by simply pulling a pin. The lower platform railings can also be unpinned and removed when transferring seed from the back of a truck, or when loading from a pallet and loader.
You can learn more by visiting johndeere.com/ag. Harris said the new machine will be available May 2018.