NewsBusinessIntroducing the John Deere 8 Series Tractor, One of this Year’s Spud...

Introducing the John Deere 8 Series Tractor, One of this Year’s Spud Smart Top Innovations


The potato industry is at an all-time high for innovation. Incredible new technologies and products are being launched across the potato value chain, including this entry from John Deere.

We requested nominations for innovative products leading the Canadian potato industry forward and received excellent submissions from across the industry. With the help of our Editorial Board, we selected winners based on their industry impact, market potential, and scalability. Stay tuned as we highlight these innovations alphabetically over the next few weeks.

John Deere 8 Series Tractor Electric Power Generation with Spudnik AirSep harvester

John Deere

Launched in Canada: February 2024 (limited launch in spring 2024 through dealers with more systems available in 2025)

This product is the result of a collaboration between John Deere and Spudnik Equipment. The 8-Series tractor with an Electric Variable Transmission (EVT) uses a power offboarding system providing up to 100 kW of electric power for implement functions. This can be paired with a Spudnik AirSep harvester equipped with a John Deere eDrive system on the AirSep separator.

With the ability to precisely adjust the fan independently from the PTO speed of the tractor, this technology allows much easier finetuning the performance of the harvester when harvesting in different soil types or varying soil moisture conditions. This technology means efficient harvesting while keeping more dirt, clods and vines in the field.

“There are indeed other manufacturers that have electric drives on pull-type harvesters. We have approached this differently since the technology is fully integrated and easily operated from the tractor, which means that there is no need for an independent electric power generator,” says Martin Legault, production system specialist with John Deere Canada.
Any 8R wheeled, 8RT 2-track or 8RX 4-track tractor equipped with an EVT transmission can have the Power Offboarding technology added. It would then need be paired to a Spudnik potato harvester equipped with an electric AirSep fan drive.

“Currently we are the only agricultural equipment manufacturer with an Electric Variable Transmission (EVT),” says Legault. “This is the first time we see electric power coming from our tractor going to an implement using the Electric Power Generation feature in North America. The fact that this has been done on an implement manufactured by a different company required a tight relationship with Spudnik throughout this rapid development of the technology on their implement as well as testing. To put things in perspective, the EVT technology only became available in 2023 8R tractors and even we don’t currently offer any John Deere implements leveraging this Electric Power Generation feature from the tractor.”

This year’s line-up of Top Innovations is a great list! We will be introducing one Winner each week. So far, we’ve introduced:

AL-Bio 7- A&L Biological Inc. – subsidiary of A&L Canada Laboratories Inc.

Vive Crop Protection – AZteroid FC

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