How Can John Deere AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance Improve Accuracy During the Planting Season?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/05/2023 - 8:00am

John Deere AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance takes your use of AutoTrac™ to the next level. Continue reading to see how AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance can fit into your operation and improve your accuracy during planting season.



What is John Deere AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance, and how can it benefit my farm?

AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance uses an additional receiver on the implement to keep it on the guidance line and improve your accuracy across the field. With the addition of John Deere AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance, your farm can experience some key benefits, including:

  • Improved input placement accuracy
  • Increased productivity in subsequent cropping passes
  • Reduced crop damage in subsequent cropping practices
  • Improved crop potential with higher placement accuracy


How does AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance improve planting accuracy and repeatability?

With the addition of the second receiver, the tractor can guide the implement through the field with improved accuracy. With the guidance system, the tractor keeps the implement on the correct guidance line to ensure seeds are consistently placed where nutrients were pre-applied.


Active Implement Guidance vs. AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance and when each should be used

John Deere Active Implement Guidance (AIG) is ideal for applications in standing row crops, as well as first-passes such as planting or seeding. Active Implement Guidance works by pairing with an implement steering mechanism to allow the implement and tractor to stay on the same guidance line.

The AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance system does not have an implement steering mechanism like the Active Implement Guidance. AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance (passive) is used on first-pass applications only. First-pass applications include nutrient applications, tillage, planting, or seeding. AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance does not work in applications where the tractor needs to remain on the guidance line.


How can AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance save me money?

Farming input costs, such as fertilizers and seeds, continue to rise. By improving your placement accuracy during nutrient application and seeding, you reduce overlap and ensure the seeds are placed in the optimum spot to access the pre-applied nutrients or fertilizer easily. By reducing overlap and correctly placing seeds, you will save on your input costs and maximize your yield potential.


How can AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance benefit my farm beyond planting season?

AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance may only be used on first passes, but operators continue to receive the benefits past planting season. AutoTrac™ will follow the guidelines from the planting AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance data during subsequent passes, such as post-emergence spraying. These guidance lines in post-emergence passes help limit driving over the rows and potential crop damage, in turn maximizing your yield potential.


What additional benefits does AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance offer for corn and/or soybean farmers?

While AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance cannot be used in standing row crops, it still provides excellent benefits to corn and/or soybean farmers. When fertilizer and nutrient applications happen before planting, farmers can use the same guidance lines when they go back and plant the field. Utilizing AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance and following the fertilizer or nutrient application guidance lines, operators ensure they are planting more consistently with the pre-applied nutrients.


How does AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance fit into my precision agriculture set-up?

If you already have a current John Deere precision agriculture set-up, you can easily incorporate AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance into your operation.


What products are needed to use AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance for planting season?

To use AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance, you must have either the Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter™ v2.0 with CommandCenter™ Automation Activation 4.0 or the 4640 Universal Display with Automation Subscription 4.0 and 20-1 software update.

After having a proper display, you will need two John Deere StarFire™ Receivers. The StarFire™ 7000 is the most recent model with improved accuracy, faster pull-in times, and repeatability season-to-season.


Required Implement Components


Implement Masts


* StarFire™ 6000 or 3000 Receiver

* SF1, SF2, SF3, or RTK

(SF1 ad SF2 require shared signal)

* John Deere Central Commodity System (CCS™) planter mast with Refuge Plus Tank (MY 2006 and newer)

* John Deere CCS™ planter mast without Refuge Plus Tank (MY 2004 and newer)

* Universal mst for use on 7.6-cm, 10.2-cm, 12.7-cm, or 15.2-cm frame tubes

* Universal mast for use on 17.8-cm or 20.3-cm frame tubes  

* Additional harnessing is needed to connect StarFire™ receiver to controller area network on the tractor. Refer to the machine’s configuration guide for model specific configurations. 


What tractors does AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance work with?

Your display is key to adding AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance to your precision agriculture set-up. Any tractor with the Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter™ or 4640 Universal Display will be compatible with AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance. A full list of Gen 4 compatible tractors can be found under the ‘Machine Compatibility - John Deere Large Ag Tractors’ Gen 4 compatibility table.


Required Tractor Components

ReceiverDisplaySteering System

* StarFire™ 6000 or 3000 Receiver

* SF2, SF3, or RTK

(SF2 requires shared signal)

* Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter™ v2.0 (requires CommandCenter™ Automation Activation)

* Gen 4 4640 Universal Display

(requires Automation Subscription)

* 19-2 software update or newer 

* Integrated AutoTrac™ or

* AutoTrac™ Controller or

* AutoTrac™ Universal


How do I contact an Optimization Specialist to learn more about AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance?


Koenig Equipment’s team of Optimization Specialists is ready to assist you with your precision agriculture needs, including AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance. Call or visit your local Koenig Equipment to speak with one of our Specialists to learn more about AutoTrac™ Implement Guidance and the other John Deere precision agriculture solutions we have to offer you and your operation.


Additional Resources:

What is Precision Agriculture?

Why Choose a John Deere StarFire™ Receiver as a Precision Agriculture Solution?

More Than Straight Lines with AutoTrac™