Browse Category: John Deere Equipment

StarFire 3000 & 6000 Required Update

StarFire Receiver 20-2 Mandatory Update

In early August 2020, the StarFire™ 20-2 software update will be available. This software update, will be a “Mandatory Update” for both StarFire 6000 and StarFire 3000 receivers and includes software fixes plus a few new features. Changes coming with the 20-2 software update also prepare the StarFire network to support new satellite constellations and the next generation StarFire receiver.

Critical Update Timeline

  • August 2020 – Required 20-2 Software update for StarFire 3000 and 6000 receivers becomes available
  • October 15th, 2020 – Updates should be completed on StarFire 3000 and 6000 units
  • December 2020 – RTK Base stations will be updated to the 20-2 Software
  • February 1, 2021 – Deadline to complete 20-2 software update, receivers not updated to 20-2 by this time will not receive the StarFire signal and as such will only operate in WASS until updated to 20-2.

Additional Reminder on StarFire iTC Receivers

StarFire iTC receivers will no longer function beginning February 1st, 2021 and will no long receive the StarFire signal. StarFire iTC receivers will continue to operate in WAAS until approximately 2026 or when the US GPS satellite constellation P(Y) code is retired and may continue to be used for yield mapping. Guidance applications including AutoTrac™ will not be available.

StarFire 6000 New Features

StarFire software update 20-2 for StarFire 6000 receivers will also include the following new features:

  • Continuous Data Logging
  • New RTK Extend (RTK-X) and John Deere Mobile RTK (M-RTK) status added
  • Shared Signal and Machine Sync Compatibility

Updating & Assistance

Additional information regarding the update and instructions for updating receivers will be available in August when the 20-2 Software update becomes available. Contact our ISG team with questions, concerns, or assistance in updating your receivers directly.

Arthur Etheridgearet@shoppas.com

Matthew Zahnmzahn@shoppas.com

Jacob Wilkersonjwilkerson@shoppas.com

Ben Sharpbsharp@shoppas.com

James Jopling – jajo@shoppas.com

Or Call the El Campo location at 979-543-8363

What to Consider When Buying a Compact Tractor for the First Time

You have been thinking about it for so long, and it is finally time to purchase your first tractor. It must be something that can help you complete your task and make you proud of where you are and the lifestyle you have chosen. You know you want a John Deere tractor; you are not sure what size or how to purchase it. Let us take you through the buying process of buying a compact tractor from Shoppa’s.    

 

When buying a compact tractor, customers may ask the question, “what size tractor do I need?” Most first time buyers are not sure what size tractor they need or what would work best for them. That is why Shoppa’s salesmen ask our customers questions to help better understanding what they need. Questions can include:    

  • How many acres do you have? – Which can determine how big of a tractor you will need.    
  • Do you have any tractor experience? – This question can determine if you want a Power Reverse or Hydrostatic Transmission.    
  • What types of tasks do you want to be able to accomplish? – This question can determine how much horsepower and the variety of implements you need.    
  • What is your budget? – We want to be able to fit your budget.    
  • How much time do you want to spend on the tractor? – Knowing how much time you would like to spend on the tractor will determine which features are best for you.   
  • Would you like a cab? – An open station is a cheaper option, but a cabbed tractor has heating, a/c, and can protect you from the elements.    
  • Do you want 2wd/ 4wd? – All compacts come with a 4wd option, which is great for moving dirt or when using any ground-engaging implement.    
  • Do you need a trailer? – If you will be hauling your tractor often and do not have a trailer, we offer packages that include a Ranch King trailer.    

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Once your salesman has an idea of what you are needing, we can give you different compact tractor options within your budget. When you decide to purchase a tractor, we will walk you through the purchase process. We will first build the tractor “package” you are looking for to give you the exact cost. We will inform our customers about potential discount options such as military and Farm Bureau discounts, as well as consider Texas Ag Exemption and insurance.    

  

After building your package, adding discounts/ag exemptions, and insurance, you will have the option to pay cash or to finance. When financing, we will need a copy of your driver’s license and your social security number to send off a credit application. It is also important to know if you will be making a down payment of 10% with monthly payments or 20% down with annual payments. Credit applications usually come back within a few minutes.    

    

Great! You are now approved to purchase a John Deere compact tractor! You will have two papers to sign. One is a contract agreeing to a monthly/annual payment option. The second is a purchase order. A purchase order serves as a receipt or an invoice for the purchase. We will then get your tractor ready for pick up or delivery. We do offer delivery options in which the cost varies depending on the size of equipment and mileage. When your compact tractor is ready, it will come with an operator’s manual and two keys.    

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Now you are prepared to tackle your list of tasks and drive off into the sunset with your very own John Deere Compact Tractor. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about John Deere Compact Tractors and other John Deere products, contact your local Shoppa’s store. Store locations include:   

   

  • Beaumont – 409-842-1128   
  • Liberty – 936-336-7226    
  • East Bernard – 979-335-4887   
  • El Campo – 979-543-8363   
  • Bay City – 979-245-2711   
  • Victoria – 361-578-7072   
  • Shiner – 361-594-3312   
  • Giddings – 979-542-2259 

5 Winter Plants that will Plow the Stress Away

A winter garden can the perfect holiday escape. The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year; having to deal with tangled strands of Christmas lights, a tree that will not stand up and the light-up nativity scene that will not light. With all the stress, you may not have a good stress reliever. What about planting a winter garden? It’s great for stress relief and it brings some life to your yard. Here are 5 winter plants that will help plow your stress away. 

 

  1. Blueberries – Though blueberries are perennial, if planted now, will give you blueberries every year during the late winter, early spring. They are easy to take care of and cold tolerant. Use blueberries for jam, desserts, pancake and waffle toppings, and so much more. 
  2. Winter Lettuce – What is better to plant for winter than some winter lettuce? This plant loves the cold and looks great in a garden or in flower pots on your front porch. Just use the lettuce to make a healthy salad so you don’t feel bad about eating all that Holiday food. If you are not interested in staying healthy, slap some of that lettuce on a double cheese burger with extra mayo. R4E038256
  3. Carrots – Chop up these cold weather vegetables and toss it that healthy salad for a nice crunch. Carrots are great to start indoors during winter. Once large enough, transplant them outdoors so no one with a bottle of ranch dressing finds them. R4E038251
  4. Greens (mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens) – You need to act quickly and plant some greens! These bitter tasting, leafy plants love cold weather and if planted now, should be ready to pick for a New Year’s Dinner of pork chops, black eye peas, greens, and corn bread. If you need help getting your kids to behave this holiday season, just make them eat their greens before opening presents.  
  5. Herbs – Basil, oregano, thyme and parsley are easy to grow indoors if you don’t want to deal with the cold. Just plant in container near a window for some light and watch it grow. Herbs are great to use in the kitchen to add a fresh kick of flavors to any of your dishes. 

 

So, give yourself something to do this holiday season rather than stress over holiday meals, ugly sweater parties, and crazy family members. Place some seeds into some dirt and cozy up in your favorite fur boots and garden gloves. Happy Gardening! 

My First Teal Hunt

“Have you ever been on a Teal hunt?” That was a question I got asked last week, and I am pretty sure what came out of my moth was “What is Teal?”. Growing up in Florida, my family hunted hogs, turkey and whitetail, but never duck. So, when Ben Anderson and his wife Ashley invited me to go on a Teal hunt with them, I jumped at the opportunity; even though I didn’t have a TX hunting license. But I did have my camera and that was good enough for me!  

When 4:45 am hit on Saturday, I was up, dressed, and out the door with my camera bag and cup of coffee ready to me the Andersons at 6 am in Lissie, TX. Once I met up with Ben, Ashley and a few of their friends, we were off to one of Ben’s rice fields that he had scoped out the evening before. By the time we got unloaded, drove the Gator to our spot, and got the decoys set up it was just about 7am. Barely able to see with all the fog and the sun just starting to light the sky, I put on my rubber boots, someone’s extra pair of water pants, and sat down in the middle of a road that separated 2 rice fields.  

I think everyone kinda expected to meet our limit of 30 Teal within an hour. Due to the fog, that “hour” quickly turned into 3, only shooting singles and doubles. For those of you who do not know, singles and doubles mean one or two birds flying together, not in a group. The group ended up getting 18 Teal and I had an absolute blast! Now do I get my hunting license or do I buy a pair of waders? Thanks Ben and Ashley for allowing me to tag along! 

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National Farmer’s Market Week

National Farmer’s Market week is August 7-13th. This designated time is to celebrate and bring awareness to farmers, ranchers and businesses related to local agriculture. Why are farmer’s markets so popular when your local grocery stores offer a wide variety of similar products in one place? The attraction of going to a farmer’s markets goes beyond just an offering of produce. Most markets include items like baked goods, fresh eggs, soaps and canned goods such as jams and pickles. Farmer’s markets offer the consumer a wide variety of products that families, farms, ranches, and businesses bring. Farmers markets are a big part of the history of the United States. Your local farmer’s markets offer a glimpse into the past. Demonstrating just how rural commerce was done since trade began between the Puritans and the Indians.  

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So why not try one out? Here are 4 reasons why you should go to your local farmer’s market every chance you get! 

  1. Supports local economy and farming and ranching families: When you shop at farmer’s markets, you are supporting local families, farms, ranches and businesses, in addition to boosting your local economy. Shopping local is a great way to meet area producers who can provide products to your family all year long. 
  2. Fresh and seasonal: Fresh just taste better. So, while walking around a farmer’s market, you can see all the fresh, seasonal possibilities for snacks or dinner. 
  3. An affordable variety: At farmer’s markets, many booths offer the same types of products. If you like to bargain shop this allows you to find comparable fruits and vegetables for the best price.  
  4. Social: Local farmer’s markets can be fun and social. You can make it a fun trip for the family. Make it an educational trip for the kids by talking to the vendors about how they grow or produce their products. Most are happy and excited to share in the process. Once you purchase something, have your kids taste it! You can’t do that at the local store! The kids will remember that experience for a lifetime. 

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Though the reasons to shop at a farmer’s market are convincing, you may wonder where you will be able to find one near you. Here is a list of just a few of the local farmer’s markets.  

Local markets: 

If you live in or very close to the city of Houston, check out these:

 

So, get outside and go to your local farmer’s market this weekend! Not only will you be supporting your local economy, but it will also be fun!

4 Tips to Help Cure the Summer Time Weeds

Its summer time! That means hot days, afternoon showers, and WEEDS! Those darn weeds. They are annoying and a pain in the rear end! Now, almost everyone has their own concoction to gets rid of weeds. Here is the problem though, a majority of the time, weeds come back! So how do you get rid of them?

Alan Jackson has the answer: there ain’t no cure for the summer time weeds! Ok, he may have not sang it exactly that way, but it’s true, there ain’t no cure. You can try your hardest to get rid of them, but they will always win. However, here are some tips and tricks to try to keep them under control!

  • Walk your flower beds every other week – Hand pulling weeds every other week is the best way to find and get rid of weeds at a young age. R2C005321
  • Herbicides –  Herbicides are an option but many individuals have issues with chemicals, as kids and pets could get into them. However, herbicides like Roundup are the only way to control weeds without physically pulling weeds. Sure, there are more holistic, less abrasive herbicides. The negative of these holistic herbicides is that they don’t kill weeds for an extended period of time, like herbicides.
  • Mulch your beds – Mulching your beds is a great way to reduce the amount of weeds popping up in your flower beds. However, only use bark based mulches. Any mulches with color are a wood based mulch. Once wood fiber mulches degrade, they suck up all the nitrogen from the soil, which is necessary for plants. r2c005471_edited_RRD
  • Don’t use fabric – Gardening fabric is not the best thing for your flower beds. After laying weed fabric, a plant’s roots will not grow down through the fabric as intended, where weeds do the complete opposite. So if you are considering fabrics, just don’t do it!

I know these tips don’t cure your garden and flowerbeds of weeds, but they can limit your summer time blues!

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Stay Safe During Harvest

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As the pace of harvest season starts to pick up, farmers may start to get in a rush. Whether it is because of rain, limited amount of combines or too many fields ready all at once, harvest is fast pace and long hours. However, rushing through harvest can be dangerous. There are multiple types of hazards that could cause injury including:

  • Being entangled in with the leveling or discharge augers.
  • Falling from the combine
  • Hitting low powerlines, bridges, and other hazards
  • Being run over
  • Coming into contact with the knife, reel or stripper rotor
  • Coming into contact with the straw chopper or spreader
  • Being trapped under the header/injured by the header falling from its transport trailer
  • Being injured by driving mechanisms
  • Dust
  • Fires
  • Noise

The list goes on and on. With the number of hazards for potential injuries, you still have to get those crops harvested. So here are some of our tips to keep you safe during harvest.

  • Set aside time to properly prepare the combine for harvest. – Checking your combine before harvest can save you time and money. Check and repair anything that could be a hazard to you and others, including loose latter platforms, handrails, steps, missing safety covers and access panels. Don’t have time or the proper equipment to check your combine? Have Shoppa’s service do it for you!
  • Always clean and do a safety check of the combine before using.  – Check and see if tires need air, handrails and steps are secured properly and that safety covers are on.
  • Use hand signals when communicating to the driver of the combine. –  Using hand signals can let the driver of the combine know what is happening on the ground. If you are on the ground, keep your distance from combine when moving because the driver may not see you.
  • Wear clothes that fits snugly – Wearing fitted clothing can reduce the risk of your clothes catching in moving parts.
  • Try not to move your combines at night from field to field.  – Though there may be less traffic, it may cause potential hazards. If you have to move your combine at night, make sure that all your lights, flashers, and rotary beacon is on and working properly. That way other vehicle can see you and drive carefully near you.
  • Be careful when applying brakes – A combine may tip forward due to the header’s weight if the brakes are applied to quickly.
  • Watch for low objects – low power lines, bridges, buildings and any other obstacles can run the risk of the combine hitting them. Also, examine the field for hazards such as washouts and other potential surprises.

Though accidents happen, we want to make sure that you, your family and your employees are safety this harvest season. That is why we highly suggest proper instruction on safety for individuals who will be around during harvest. Not only having your employees, but your family being safe during harvest could prevent future injuries. Though these are just a few tips, we highly suggest checking out these resources for more safety tips.

Have a happy and safe harvest season!