Revisiting Direct Drills: The Custom 9m John Deere 750A Experience

Revisiting Direct Drills: The Custom 9m John Deere 750A Experience

Leicestershire farmer Steve Heard spent several years adapting a 9m-wide John Deere 1890 drill for European conditions and UK roads before putting it up for sale in 2021. Danish grower Morten Mikkelsen, looking to replace his 2007 Horsch Sprinter ST, purchased the drill due to its consistent seeding depth performance. Morten appreciated that it had the same coulters as a 750A and offered a split hopper, enhancing its accuracy and capacity. Although it was larger than he needed, Morten found it beneficial for drilling in optimal conditions, achieving nearly perfect seed placement at speeds below 10kph and effective slot closure.

The 750A completed Morten's transition to a low-input farming system, yielding stable results across various crops like wheat, barley, oats, ryegrass, white clover, and spring beans. He had abandoned ploughing in 2012 and shifted to direct drilling in 2017. However, spring barley benefited from prior harrowing to maintain yields. Morten also encountered issues with the John Deere metering system, which deteriorated due to difficulties in cleaning after fertilizer use. To address this, he planned to upgrade to a stainless-steel metering house from Red E and consider blockage sensors.

Despite its North American design, sourcing spare parts through John Deere's European headquarters in Mannheim, Germany, was hassle-free. Morten's future plans include improving coulter servicing, especially the greasing of bearings on each of the 54 row units.


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