Many people in the cotton-harvesting industry have definite preferences when it comes to which manufacturer makes the best harvester, and both John Deere and Case IH have legions of devoted followers. There’s no doubt that both machines have some tremendous benefits, and both offer great service to anyone purchasing either type of equipment.
As to which of the two is superior, there probably is no clear answer in concrete terms, because both will get the job done efficiently and smoothly, provided that the machine is in good working order. To help decide the debate, information about both types of harvesters is provided below, as well as some information about the specific preferences of many farmers.
This may help you make up your own mind about which cotton picker is the better machine, or it may just convince you that both types are excellent, and there’s no real need to pick a winner.
Strengths of John Deere CP690
The CP690 machine is incredibly productive, and it’s onboard module building system is so efficient that it completely eliminates boll buggy drivers, module-building workers, and all of the other equipment which traditionally supports a picker.
Because it has its own onboard component building apparatus, cotton can be harvested nonstop as it’s processed by a high-volume accumulator, the component builder itself, and the component handler.
The accumulator collects the material and a formed round component gets wrapped with a protective coating, and then gets forwarded to the machine’s handler. This handler places the completed round module at the end of the row, and since all this happens while the CP690 is still harvesting, it allows the operator to stay right in the row, rather than having to unload into boll buggies or other builders.
In a setup like this, all that’s necessary is to have a single operator for the machine and a tractor operator who is responsible for staging modules for transport. This allows for a much less labor-intensive harvesting process, which will streamline your operation and save you labor costs.
You also won’t need all the traditional support equipment required when your operation uses a basket-style picker, because you won’t need a boll buggy, a boll buggy tractor, a builder, or a builder tractor. The only support equipment you need for the CP690 is a row crop tractor and a material component handler.
Another great thing about the CP690 is that it’s only necessary to fill the machine up with diesel fuel one time each day because the huge 370-gallon fuel tank carries a sufficient reserve for all daily operations.
When you’re moving between fields, the machine can be put in transport mode in less than a minute, so that it can move along roads at an impressive 27 km/h.
The CP690 provides tremendous protection for the valuable material and seeds being harvested, by wicking away moisture which can interfere with crop quality.
Each module is wrapped three times by the onboard builder, and each wrap contains two segments of low-density polyethylene film, so as to maintain the round modules in a good uniform shape, while also providing superior protection against moisture.
The CP690 is equipped with a moisture sensor that provides real-time measurements of moisture as the round module is being formed. This is critical to the harvesting operation because it helps preserve material quality, and the sensor provides highly accurate readings that can be relied upon. Since moisture is tracked so accurately, it helps the ginning process achieve greater efficiency.
The CP690 also weighs each of the round modules as they’re formed, making it much easier to provide easier yield-monitored operation. This makes it easy during ginning to simply record the weights and load them into the system, and it also allows for gins without scales to be used during the ginning process.
Apart from the mechanical operation of the harvester, the CP690 also provides the ability to record all formation information, right as it’s happening in the field.
Each time a component is unloaded from the round chamber, all relevant data is sent to a controller where the data is compiled so producers can isolate each round component based on specific production areas.
All that data can then be used to review yield performance, to show you just how productive your CP690 harvester has been in the field.
Strengths of Case IH Module Express
At the heart of the Case Module Express 625 is its module-building chamber, which includes a whole array of sensors and augurs, which process the material and compress it into a rectangular component.
The modules produced in this process are able to withstand weather conditions very well, and they also make the ginning process much easier. Because they’re sized to allow for maximum gin-feeding rates without any alterations being necessary, they streamline the whole material processing operation considerably.
Modules are produced in 16-foot lengths, so they can be loaded onto a standard truck much more easily than the traditional 32-foot module. Since there is no plastic wrap or twine involved, finished bales are never contaminated, and there’s nothing to dispose of when they’re fed into the inner.
Another big advantage of the IH cotton harvester is the monitoring system included in the cab of the machine.
The AFS Pro 700 Monitor allows you to track bales per acre along with individual component weights, so that it’s easier to plan for drop-off points in the fields where your trucks can pick up finished bales. The monitor also provides operation status as well as the percent full.
A 7-inch flat screen color LCD monitor includes dual camera views, one of which displays the rear view from behind the machine, and the other displaying all action inside the chamber.
The Case IH harvester has been designed such that it has superior balance, weight distribution, and flotation. With powerful dual-drive tires upfront for maximum flotation, it has the perfect complement with the large steering tires situated on the rear axle.
The long chassis provides superior balance, and the all-wheel-drive allows you to harvest even in the most difficult conditions. When you have to get the harvest in before a big rain hits, this is the machine you want to be using.
The collector has a 200-gallon tank which allows you to fill it up once at the beginning of the day, and then stay in the field until the harvest has been brought in. It also has a standard automatic lube system which runs for 16 minutes each hour, so that you can save time from your daily servicing.
All components are automatically lubricated by a metering system which allocates appropriate lubrication to cam tracks, drum lift arms, rollers, drum gears, and fan bearings. This is a feature that many farmers love about Case’s machine, because it actually requires less maintenance than a traditional basket-style picker.
Where are Most Farmers Siding?
For many farmers, the choice between the two brands boils down to what has been used in their family for generations. Both of these companies have been around since the early 19th century, and both have provided outstanding products ever since.
It’s also fair to say that both of these machines are considered the Cadillac of harvesters, meaning that both are fairly pricey, and are for the most part outside the budget of a small farming operation.
Both machines retain their retail value very well, so that if you find yourself in a position where you need to sell somewhere down the road, you’ll get a good price for your picker.
Most farmers will agree that it’s fairly easy to get parts for both John Deere and Case’s cotton harvesters, because they’re so well known, and because many manufacturers produce parts for them.
In terms of capabilities, both companies produce superior harvesters, and if there’s a single point of difference, it might be that a Case IH harvester carries a lower price tag than its John Deere counterpart as a rule.
However, it’s also fair to say that any farmer who can afford Case’s machine will probably also be able to afford a John Deere harvester, so price is not as big a factor as it might seem.
To actually find a difference between the two machines, you might have to look outside the capabilities of the two harvesters or the pricing scheme associated with each. Many farmers are now saying that while John Deere dealers used to provide superior support for their products, over the last two decades or so, it seems that Case IH has caught up and surpassed the boys in green.
In terms of dealer support alone, Case IH appears to be winning the battle at the present time.
Quality Aftermarket Parts, Regardless of Your Choice
The truth is, you really can’t go wrong no matter which of these two outstanding cotton harvesters you purchase. Since both provide outstanding benefits and advantages, and both companies incorporate all the latest technology into their machines, either one would be a terrific choice as a cotton collector.
It very often boils down to a preference that specific families have had over generations, and has simply become a matter of ongoing loyalty to the brand.
For someone with no vested interest in one or the other company, there are good reasons to buy either one, and you should get the same kind of quality and reliability from both machines. At Certi-Pik, USA, we provide high quality aftermarket parts for both manufacturing brands, so whichever one you prefer, we’ll be sure to have all replacement parts you need for your operation.
Contact us whenever you’re in need of superior replacement parts for either your John Deere harvester or your Case IH harvester.