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Rotary Harvesting Unit

  • Small drum cutting
  • Small drum gathering
  • Advanced header-height control
  • Row scrapers and cleaners prevent crop buildup

View Product Brochure


Saw blades with changeable segmentsSaw blades with changeable segments

The saw blades of John Deere rotary crop headers cut quickly and thoroughly at a high speed of rotation. As the fast-turning blades cut the full width, crops can be harvested regardless of the row spacing. Thanks to this row-independent harvesting technology, the field can be worked from any side, which is particularly important for down crop.


The fast-turning saw blades allow crops with a lot of weeds to be harvested easily. Besides maize, a wide range of crops such as sorghum, whole crop silage, oilseed, canola, pampas grass, and miscanthus can be harvested.


Key features:

  • Fast turning saw blades can cut in difficult harvesting conditions to give the operator increased uptime.
  • Headers can be used in various stemmed crops and there is no need for extra headers, which saves on the cost of operation.
Intake fingers push every plant into the gatherer drumIntake fingers push every plant into the gatherer drum

After the fast rotating blades cut the crop, the intake fingers push the plants into the gatherer drums that rotate in the same direction at low speeds. Every plant is pushed into the teeth of the gatherer drum. The specially designed shape of the teeth ensures that both small and large plants are conveyed in a secure way.


In the machine, the plants are taken off the back of the gatherer drum by scrapers. Depending on the width of the header, they are forwarded to the cross-feed drums or immediately fed into the angled feed drums in the middle of the machine.


Key feature:

  • Every plant is individually and securely pushed into the gatherer drum (Performance).
Bundled, lengthwise feeding toward the feed rollsBundled, lengthwise feeding toward the feed rolls

Even feeding of the harvested crop bundled lengthwise to the chopper unit of the self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH) is crucial for an even cut. Only even, lengthwise feeding allows for the full use of the power installed on the SPFH.


Key feature:

  • Bundling of lengthwise stalks is the basis for perfect cutting (Performance).
6 and 8 row with three rings of teeth-feeding crops to the SPFH6 and 8 row with three rings of teeth-feeding crops to the SPFH
10 and 12 row with two rings of teeth-feeding crops to the SPFH10 and 12 row with two rings of teeth-feeding crops to the SPFH

Two angled feed drums push the crop toward the feed rolls of the SPFH. The size of the feed drums depends on the size of the header; the 6- and 8-row headers feature three rings that push the crop in the feed rolls of the SPFH. The 10- and 12-row headers feature a lower version with only two rings.


Key feature:

  • The feeding drum size, depending on the working width, provides the necessary space to use 10- and 12-row headers, which allows for the operator to feed larger crop bundles to the SPFH (Performance).

With the new generation of the small drum headers, leading performance is proven. Due to feed availability pressures, the variety of plants and harvesting conditions becomes more and more challenging. The investment into a special head is expensive. The John Deere small drum head is a good alternative to harvest a variety of crops.


The most challenging is the optimization of the crop flow in the header. An open construction was the solution. All drum scrapers or holders of divider points are positioned out of the crop flow. An accumulation or blocking of weeds and leaves will be avoided.

Still image from crop flow animationStill image from crop flow animation

Key features:

  • The open design ensures the header is self-cleaning for cleaner silage (Performance).
  • The open design is more reliable because dirt does not build up in the header (Uptime).


Key Specs 698-rotary-harvesting-unit
Current Model
Rotary harvesting unit
Length1.7 m
5.7 ft
Overall width6 m
19.7 ft
Height1.8 m
6 ft
Transport height
Operating width6 m
19.7 ft
Transport width3 m
9.8 ft
Weight2,420 kg
5,335 lb
Revolution rating calculated with forage harvester at a standstill without load
Engine rpm
Header drive shaft (shift rod pulled out for slow speed)
Gathering drum
Cutting blades for gathering drum
Feed drums
Cross feed drums

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