The S series combines are completely new with 45% new parts, says Katie Dierker, division marketing manager at John Deere Harvester Works.

Available for the 2012 harvest season, the S-series include five models: S550, S660, S670, S680 and S690, ranging from 271 to 543 hp. The S690 is an all-new class 9 machine.

The cleaning system has been redesigned with a new cleaning shoe which delivers 33% increased capacity. The S series comes with a new variable-stream rotor that improves straw quality in rice and high-yielding small grains with tough, dense straw.

The 400-bu. grain tank (standard on the S680 and S690) is the largest factory-available tank in the industry and can unload at 3.8 bu./second. The tanks come equipped with new extension covers that fold and unfold remotely.

The Active Tailings system, standard on the S680 and S690, increases threshing and separating capacity 8-10% for improved grain and straw quality. It also has an updated Harvest Doc yield- and moisture-monitoring system.

Combine cabs got a makeover, too. The newly designed cabs sport 30% more interior space and more visibility. They also feature a heated air-suspension seat and special training seat with a foldable back rest and working surface, plus a small refrigerator underneath.