John Deere Active Fill Control

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Improves harvest efficiency

 Active Fill Control increases efficiency

John Deere Active Fill Control is the next step for higher productivity and efficiency during forage harvest. For operators it is impossible to monitor the spout position every second while operating a self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH). Field conditions can vary including hilly terrain, wet soil and soft ground, down crop, obstacles, etc. Also, SPFH operators are challenged with a significant amount of communication and coordination. All this constantly requires the operator to multitask and react quickly to changing conditions. If the spout is improperly aimed for only a few seconds the result can be hundreds of kilos of lost forage.

The operator can experience all the benefits of an automated filling system, including spout steering, flap automation, and fill strategy execution. The camera automatically detects trailers and the current fill level once alongside the forage harvester, ensuring consistent filling of trailers and allowing the operator to fully focus on machine behavior and optimization in order to maintain peak performance at all times.

Set up with ease

John Deere Active Fill Control is a fully integrated solution from John Deere. Once installed, it can be fully utilized in three easy steps:

Step 1: Set up desired fill level and fill strategy in the SPFH CommandCenter™ console
Step 2: Engage Active Fill Control on the hydro handle
Step 3: Begin experiencing all the benefits of Active Fill Control


As soon as Active Fill Control is engaged by the operator the system will continuously look for a trailer in the camera field of view and fill it automatically, once detected. Never has forage harvesting been easier.

Monitor the fill progress on a video screen

The forage harvester operator has the option to simultaneously monitor the filling progress on any video screen mounted in the cab. No need to turn the head anymore and lose view of the crop flow.

The operator will see the following information on the video screen:

  • Video picture of camera view
  • Overlay of targeted trailer edges
  • Overlay of filling status
  • Icon for Active Fill Control status
  • Icon for current fill strategy
  • Icon for current offset adjustment
  • Icon of current camera quality

Focus on what matters

Operating a self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH) is a challenging task that requires an operator to multitask throughout the entire day. Filling the transport truck, coordinating machine logistics, monitoring machine performance, and maximizing throughput are all part of the job. SPFH operators benefit from Active Fill Control, which makes the process easier by reducing the amount of time the operator spends monitoring the truck filling process. Advanced eye-tracking technology was able to track where an operator’s attention is focused at any given time. An operator harvesting corn without Active Fill Control spends about 32 percent of time watching the loading process. When Active Fill Control is used the operator only spends 23 percent of time monitoring the loading process.

During an 8-hour day, an operator with Active Fill Control will have an extra 40 minutes of time to focus on something else. Through a 20-day harvest season this would amount to more than five hours extra time. This time can be used to maximize throughput, coordinate a truck fleet, or monitor forage quality through HarvestLab™ sensor.

Harvest day and night

 Active Fill Control makes harvesting at night easier
 Additional lights improve visibility to the transport vehicle

Working days during harvest are long and often go through the night.

Active Fill Control includes an additional light-emitting diode (LED) spout light package that ensures a steady fill, even in darkness. The design has also been optimized to ensure functionality under varying light, dust, shading or rain conditions.

Reduces operator stress and fatigue


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