Brian: Waiting on Spring Wheat – when green means stop, not go.

Onida, South Dakota – Spring wheat progress has been slow in much of central South Dakota, hampered by unusually cool, cloudy days that just haven’t pushed the green spring wheat along nearly as fast as we hoped.  We find a field or two ready to harvest, and as soon as it is cut we play the waiting game again.  I guess this is the perfect example of when “green means stop, not go”.  Click on the video below and I’ll show you the problem first hand…

Since there hasn’t been much harvesting action to share with you I thought now might be a great time to share  some of the new technology that was introduced this year by John Deere.  I’ll admit it…I’m a technology geek, but I realize many of you are not.  However I still think you might find it quite fascinating just how rapidly agriculture is adopting cutting-edge technology to improve productivity.  I probably have more to information to share than you have patience to watch, so lets just quickly focus on two major tech upgrades today.

The operator’s station is an incredibly comfortable place to spend time, but a complete overhaul of the main armrest control center for 2018 really changes how operator interacts with the machine.  Watch the video below for a quick overview of what’s new, including the new touch screen app interface, real-time data sharing, and over-the-air software updates.  Sounds like I’m talking about your smart phone?  Yup, and that’s not an accident.  Take a look!

Another major enhancement is the new ActiveYield technology, a system that allows producers to accurately document the yield of each acre harvested.  In the video below I’ll explain what’s changed, how it works, and why this is a major step forward in data documentation for farmers.

For fear of providing you “technology overload” I’ll save perhaps the biggest technology enhancement for one of our get-togethers in the future. The new system of cameras inside the machine automatically make adjustments based off of what they “see”.  It’s really impressive, but best demonstrated live while harvesting. Since the green wheat has the machines parked for now, keep your eyes open for another video in the future demonstrating Interactive Combine Adjustment.

With warmer weather in the forecast it’s only a matter of time before spring wheat wraps up here in the Onida, South Dakota area.  With any little luck our next conversation will likely be from Strasburg, North Dakota, our final harvest stop for the summer.


All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Brian can be reached at


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