DTN/Progressive Farmer had the opportunity this week to visit a 6,000-acre Mississippi cotton operation for an owner's walkaround of John Deere's new CP770 cotton picker. The CP770 is one of two cotton machines Deere introduced this summer. The other is the CS770 cotton stripper.
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Coley Bailey, Bailey and Sons, outside Coffeeville, Mississippi, is running four Deere cotton harvesters this year. Three are Deere's outgoing CP690 cotton pickers -- factory-new machines, still. The fourth is the CP770, one of very few operating during the 2021 harvest. Bailey has four CP770s on order for harvest 2022.
Baily has been well-pleased with the performance of the 690s. "I thought when the 690 came out there could be no better cotton picker," he said. He believes the CP770 is even better. "You can pick your crop faster with this machine, burn less fuel and put more cotton up under each wrap," Bailey said.
Bailey had a bird's eye view of the 770 as it was being developed. He was seated as a member of a John Deere farmer advisory team helping the manufacturer work out the details of its new machine.
"We spent a lot of time in the field working with our customers understanding their needs, whether it was sitting in the cab of their machine, traveling with them in the pickup truck, getting to hear what their needs are," Christopher Murray, John Deere cotton product manager, said in an interview with DTN/Progressive Farmer. "We want to make sure that we're not only meeting but exceeding their needs."
Deere has been developing the picker and stripper for four years. Produced at its Des Moines, Iowa, works, it will be sold into all major cotton markets -- U.S., Australia, Brazil, China and South Africa.
The new CP770 picker and CS770 stripper are about 75% brand new, built on a new mainframe. "These are not upgraded (690s)," Murray said.
Here are features of the CP770 Bailey highlighted during the walkaround:
-- Harvesting. "It's got high-speed heads on it, so I'm covering more ground," Bailey said. The CP770 picks about 2/10 of a mile per hour faster, or about 5% faster than the CP690 -- 4.4 acres more productive per 10-hour day. The 770 also packs 8% more seed cotton into each module. With tighter bales, wrap consumption is reduced. One head improvement to note: The head on the 770 lifts 6 inches higher than on the CP690. It may not seem like a lot, but those inches greatly improve Bailey's ability to move across terrain structures, such as washes.
-- Engine. Deere's new 13.6 L PowerTech engine and hydraulic power module improve fuel efficiency by up to 20% in the CP770 (555 hp) and up to 15% for the CS770 (515 hp) compared to their predecessors, Deere said. Bailey is finding 4 gallons per hour in improved fuel efficiency. His pickers run about 200 hours per season. With this CP770 and four more on order, he expects to save about 800 gallons of fuel per picker, per season. Road speed is improved -- 20 mph in the 770, 3 miles per hour faster than the 690.
-- Technology. Technology in the cab allows the operator to document and capture harvesting data and for traceability purposes. For example, moisture detection. "I can look at each individual (bale). Any bale picked over 12% moisture, I can flag those for my ginner, so he knows which he wants to come and gin first." Deere is making tracing possible with its Harvest Identification Cotton Pro technology. Although the industry does not yet mandate this level of traceability, it's likely to become common in the future.
-- Cab. At 30% larger, it is the same cab found on Deere's X9 combine. Bailey noticed the space right away -- and the extra storage that keeps clutter out of the way. There is a new refrigerator under the instructional seat for dinner. The cab is quiet. "(The 770) is vastly quieter than the 690 in the field," Bailey said. A leather seat option is climate controlled (heat and cool) and has a massage function. The CommandARM controls are consistent with other Deere machinery. Deere calls it 'walk-up easy.' Operators moving from one machine type to another will find many of the controls familiar.
-- Visibility. Operator visibility is pretty vast, helped by one small detail. Support structures at the corners of the glass enclosure are narrower than those in the 690, improving the view of the cotton field. It is a small design feature, but Bailey said his front view, to the left and right, is improved.
-- Platform. For the first time, Deere has installed a right-side platform on the picker in addition to the one on the left. The platforms make maintenance and function control more efficient. The operator makes fewer trips all the way to the ground. "We asked for a platform on the right side to be able to grease things, to observe (picker functions), for the clean-up every day," Bailey said.
-- Keypad. From the left-side platform, operators have access to a keypad that controls functions of the CP770. "I can do everything from the platform, step out of the cab, and there's a keypad," Bailey said. "Touch the keypad and go straight to wrap mode. Then, I walked to the back of machine and change the wrap ... then I'm right back into the picker (without having touched the ground)."
For more information about the CP770 or CS770, go to: www.johndeere.com.
Dan Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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