A technology makeover has transformed John Deere’s new S700 combines into smart harvesting mach­ines that will provide improved grain quality, operator comfort and data collection, according to Randy Sergesketter, John Deere senior vice president for global harvesting.

The new combines, which include four models for 2018, don’t look much different from earlier models from the outside, but a wave of technology updates makes it easier for operators to optimize and automate adjustments on the go.

"Our 2018 harvesting solution is all about our customers harvesting smarter," Sergesketter said this month at a product launch at John Deere Harvester Works in Moline, calling it the most exciting launch in his nearly four decades with the company. "There is no doubt the S700 is the easiest combine to operate and the easiest combine to automate to maximize grain quality."

The automation of many calibration settings "allows every combine...