John Deere’s SmartClean Triumphs at 2021 AE50 Awards

Technology used by sugarcane growers to minimise cane losses has earned John Deere’s Harvest Monitor with SmartClean a 2021 AE50 Award.

The John Deere CH950 Sugar Cane Harvester was introduced last March in Brazil. Source: John Deere

SmartClean is one of six John Deere products named by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), which each year, recognises the 50 most innovative product-engineering designs in the food and agriculture industry with its AE50 Awards. Chosen by international engineering experts, the winning products are selected for ingenuity in product development and for their ability to save farmers time, costs and labour while improving safety.

Australia and New Zealand Production System Manager – Production and Precision Ag, Ben Kelly, said SmartClean was an industry-first cleaning performance and documentation system which enhanced operator decision making and helped deliver a consistent product to the mill. Mr Kelly said:

“SmartClean allows sugarcane growers to produce cane more efficiently and profitably with the use of integrated machine sensors which automatically adjust primary cleaning fan speed settings to minimise cane losses and manage residue ejection and leaf trash sent to the mill.

Available in the CH570 Sugar Cane Harvester, agronomic information also can be documented and recorded to provide live feedback to the grower about the machine via the John Deere JDLink dashboard and the John Deere Operations Center mobile app. Mr Kelly said:

“This is just one example of where John Deere is challenging the status quo to deliver smart technology and assist with making our customers the most profitable and sustainable in the world.” 

John Deere Production and Precision Ag Manager, Joel Dawson said he was proud of the company’s ability to provide customers with the tools to improve efficiency and profitability. Mr Dawson said:

“Innovation is one of our core values and the AE50 Awards reaffirm the innovative spirit of John Deere employees.” 


“No other company in agriculture invests more in research and development than John Deere.”


 “Our engineers take great pride in creating new technology and products to benefit our customers. We remain committed to helping them meet the world’s growing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure in a productive and sustainable manner.” 

The following John Deere machines and innovations also received 2021 AE50 Awards:

X9 Combine Harvesters

The X Series Combine Harvesters have received yet another innovation accolade, with the X9 1000 and X9 1100 earning a 2021 AE50 Award. Global trials proved the X9 1100 can harvest up to 12 hectares (30 acres) of tough, high-yielding wheat per hour, and harvest up to 182 tonnes per hour in high-yielding corn. As conditions change, the harvester automatically adjusts itself to keep running at peak levels. The X Series will arrive in Australia in August 2021.

HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers

Available in time for the 2022 harvest in Australia, the HDR Rigid Cutterbar Draper was recognised for its ability to maximise harvesting capacity for small grains, canola and pulse production across changing conditions and uneven or rolling terrain while capturing more grain. With a new hinged frame, the HDR provides the terrain-following capability and uniform cut height when harvesting on curves or uneven terrain.

CF Folding Corn Heads

John Deere CF Folding Corn Heads feature an industry-leading fold cycle time of less than 40 seconds when connected to a John Deere X Series Combine Harvester or less than 60 seconds when connected to a S700 Series Combine Harvester. The folding corn head reduces a farmer’s operating costs by eliminating the need to purchase a header trailer to transport between fields.

ExactRate Liquid Fertiliser System

Reducing fertilizer costs, ExactRate, is a liquid-fertilizer-application system which farmers can use to automatically shut off spray application in areas of overlap or non-application for row-by-row section control. The 2021 AE50 Award winner is currently only available on select models of planters in the US, however, John Deere is looking to expand the technology to other equipment suited to the Australian market.

CH950 Sugar Cane Harvester

The CH950 Sugar Cane Harvester, is the industry’s first two-row harvester. Currently, the CH950 is only available in Brazil, where it was put through its paces and demonstrated the Harvester doubles productivity by decreasing crop losses by 60% while using 30% less fuel. And, since it’s a two-row harvester, it enables the owner to reduce in-field transport equipment, the number of machine operators, and overall harvesting costs.

The X9 Combine can automatically adjust itself to keep running at peak levels during harvest. Source: John Deere

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