OLATHE, Kan. — Upper Midwest farmers are used to changing and unpredictable weather, but 2019’s weather was more of a problem than even the most veteran farmers had gone through. Many farmers had only brief windows where harvesting was possible in the fall of 2019, and by the end of 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported less than half of North Dakota farmers had their corn combined.

John Deere thinks it has an answer for large-scale farmers dealing with those issues in a new line of combines that the company says will allow for faster, more fuel efficient harvesting, along with a corresponding line of headers, including a 50-feet draper.

“This machine is going to unlock greater performance, greater capacity and greater efficiency for getting those acres out faster than ever before,” says Elliot Reicks, product manager for combine harvesting equipment at John Deere Harvester Works.

The two new combines, the X9 1000 and X9 1100, will be available in 2021.

Reicks says price information will be available later this summer. The combines from the X Series predecessor, the S Series, can be found advertised on online equipment listings for more than $400,000 used. But even with agriculture facing several years of rough market conditions, Reicks believes the X Series will be long-term cost savers. For instance, the X Series combines will run 14 hours without refueling and takes 20% less fuel to run per bushel compared to the S series, Reicks says.

The X9 1100 will be able to harvest up to 30 acres of “tough, high-yielding wheat per hour” and up to 7,200 bushels of high-yielding corn, the company says. Getting crops harvested faster, especially ahead of inclement weather, will allow farmers to take on more acres, Reicks says, explaining that the target of the new products are “large-scale farmers that are wanting to get more done, more acres done, in less time.”

“We’ll be offering a 50-foot header for our customers that are just wanting to grow their operation or potentially getting the acres off before weather events come,” he says. “They’re looking to thresh, separate and clean more bushels or harvest more acres than ever before.”

Reicks says John Deere’s new HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers, RDF HydraFlex Drapers, CR and CF Corn Heads and BP15 Belt Pickup can be paired with the X Series combines or with John Deere’s S Series and T series combines.

The new combines will be able to make automatic adjustments for changing conditions and will feature a wide feeder house and dual separator, and a larger cleaning shoe. The “heart” of the new combine, Reicks explains, is the 75-square-foot dual separator, which features the largest threshing and separation areas John Deere has ever offered.

Three technology packages are available for the series, and the cabs include more USB ports, better connectivity than predecessors and optional automotive-like features that enable getting directions, making calls, listening to music or sending and receiving messages.

Reicks says field demonstrations will be held across North America this summer and fall. For more details visit your local dealer or JohnDeere.com.