Should I Add a Performance Upgrade Kit to My John Deere Planter?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/04/2023 - 8:00am

Timing, input costs, efficiency, and maximizing yields are all top of mind for farmers during the planting season. When you need to improve equipment performance, but a new planter is not in the budget, performance upgrade kits offer a cost-effective solution to filling the gap between new and aged equipment.

By upgrading a planter instead of purchasing a new one, farmers can increase their productivity and profitability while saving up to 50% in some cases. Performance upgrade kits can improve a planter’s seed placement consistency and allow for planting at higher speeds, saving time and money.

New technology isn't just for new equipment. Hear firsthand from Zach Johnson about the benefits of upgrading your existing planter with John Deere performance upgrade kits in John Deere's video below.



What is a Performance Upgrade Kit?

A performance upgrade kit from John Deere is a set of components and parts that can be installed on a John Deere planter to improve productivity and performance. These kits are designed to retrofit existing John Deere planters to experience some of the newest technologies without buying a new machine.


How can a John Deere planter performance upgrade kit benefit my operation?

By investing in a performance upgrade kit, your operation will benefit from increased planting accuracy with the improved seed delivery systems that provide more uniform seed placement to help optimize yields.

Upgraded electronic control systems improve efficiency with reduced downtime for maintenance and repairs, speeding up planting. Increased accuracy and efficiency provide the opportunity to lower input costs, helping your operations’ bottom line.


Are there different John Deere planter performance upgrade kits available?

John Deere offers three planter performance upgrade kits, MaxEmerge™ 5, MaxEmerge™ 5E, and the ExactEmerge™.

With three options, you have the luxury of choice. You can choose your preferred seed delivery, monitoring, or power generation system. In addition, there are also a few options that include row cleaners, pneumatic closing wheels, curve compensation, and vacuum automation. View the chart below to see what is included with each performance upgrade kit.



What is included in the John Deere MaxEmerge™ 5 performance upgrade kit?

The MaxEmerge™ 5 performance upgrade kit is the baseline option for planter upgrades. Utilize the upgraded seed meter from the MaxEmerge™ 5 kit to experience improved accuracy and better accessibility from your planter. If you are looking for electric drive options, the MaxEmerge™ 5 does not include an electric drive, only the upgraded seed meter.

For monitors, the MaxEmerge™ 5 is compatible with SeedStar™ 2 and SeedStar™ XP. The only options available on this performance upgrade kit are active pneumatic downforce and liquid fertilizer. If you need more options from your upgrade, check out the additional features of the MaxEmerge™ 5E or ExactEmerge™ kits.


What is included in the John Deere MaxEmerge™ 5E performance upgrade kit?

MaxEmerge™ 5E kits offer the same upgraded seed meter as the MaxEmerge™ 5 but with the addition of an electric drive and a few other features. Enjoy all the benefits of the MaxEmerge™ 5E with options like easy-adjust row cleaners, active pneumatic downforce, curve compensation, vacuum automation, individual row hydraulic downforce, pneumatic closing wheels, and liquid fertilizer. This upgrade option utilizes a seed tube delivery system and works with SeedStar™ 3HP, SeedStar™ Mobile, and JDLink™.


What is included in the John Deere ExactEmerge™ performance upgrade kit?

If you are after increased speed and accuracy, the ExactEmerge™ kit is the one for you. While this comes with all the options in the MaxEmerge™ 5E kit, unlike the seed tube delivery system, you will experience the industry-exclusive BrushBelt™ seed delivery system and two electric meter drives. Like the MaxEmerge™ 5E, the ExactEmerge™ option is also compatible with SeedStar™ 3HP, SeedStar™ Mobile, and JDLink™ monitor systems.


Should I purchase a planter performance upgrade kit or a new planter?

Many factors go into choosing between a planter performance upgrade kit or purchasing a new one, including budget, farming goals, and the age and condition of your current planter. The final decision will depend on your specific situation, but some key factors to consider include the following:

  • Budget: If you're working with a tight budget, and your current planter is compatible with a performance upgrade kit, an upgrade kit might be more cost-effective.
  • Condition and age of your planter: If your current planter is older or experiencing significant wear and tear, additional work will likely be required before installing a performance upgrade kit, making it more costly. Planters that are still in good condition and relatively new generally see improved performance with the addition of a performance upgrade kit, without additional repairs needed first.
  • Farming needs and goals: What are your farming goals? Do they require advanced technology and features? If advanced technology is necessary and your current planter isn’t compatible with a performance upgrade kit, a new planter might be the better choice.


Where can I go to upgrade my John Deere planter?

At Koenig Equipment, our team of Optimization Specialists can help you decide which John Deere planter upgrade kit will work best with your current planter while still meeting the needs of your operations, all without having to purchase a brand-new planter.

Contact your local Koenig Equipment today or visit one of our 15 store locations to find the right equipment and technology solutions for your farm.


Additional Resources

Why Should I Upgrade to a John Deere ExactEmerge™ Planter?

What’s New for John Deere Planting Technology?

How Does John Deere Precision Agriculture Technology Support Planting Season?