According to industry sources some Midwest John Deere dealers are currently testing new John Deere branded strip-till rigs. The new unit is reportedly designed by shortline toolbar manufacturer Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS), as detailed in the latest episode of On the Record

One industry official told Ag Equipment Intelligence (AEI) that he was surprised the agreement involved ETS instead of Orthman, which has a decade’s worth of production and licensing agreements with John Deere. Another industry official tells AEI that perhaps a newer machine may signal a legitimization of the strip-till practice but may also indicate that John Deere is becoming more responsive to trends, even when machine volumes are not as high as corn markets.

One John Deere dealer confirmed with AEI that they would receive a John Deere strip-till rig for 3 weeks sometime in mid-October to test on a farm. John Deere has a media event scheduled for October 28th in Davenport, Iowa, where the company says it will showcase the latest tillage tools and precision ag tillage technology with a focus on conservation tillage tools and techniques, and reveal a new product.

This new unit would replace John Deere’s previous strip-till rig, the 2510S Strip-Till Residue Master Applicator, which was introduced in the late 2000’s. John Deere did confirm in a statement to AEI that the 2510S had been discontinued in 2021.

John Deere’s growing presence in the strip-till market could serve to legitimize the practice for growers who might be skeptical of its benefits. A similar phenomenon occurred in 1985 when John Deere launched its 750 No-Till Drill. According to a report from No-Till Farmer the innovation of the 750 is said to have done more for no-till than any other no-till equipment development in history and confirmed that John Deere accepted that no-till is here to stay.

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