696 Rotary Harvesting Unit

696 Rotary Harvesting Unit


  • Small drum cutting
  • Small drum gathering
  • Advanced header-height control
  • Row scrapers and cleaners prevent crop building
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Open design keeps the header going

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 animation Still 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).

Intake fingers and gatherer drums for secure crop guidance

After the fast-rotating blades cut the plant, the intake fingers push the plant 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 special-designed shape of the teeth ensures that both small and big plants are conveyed in a secure way.

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

Intake fingers push every plant into the gatherer drum Intake fingers push every plant into the gatherer drum

Key feature:

  • Every plant is individually and securely pushed into the gatherer drum (Performance).

Fast-turning saw blades cut all kinds of crop

Saw blades with changeable segments Saw 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 corn, 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.

Lengthwise feeding for optimal chopping quality

Bundled, lengthwise feeding toward the feed rolls Bundled, 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 SPFH 6 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 SPFH 10 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).


Rotary harvesting unit

Length 2.1 m
6.8 ft
Overall width 4.6 m
14.8 ft
Height 1.4 m
4.4 ft
Transport height 1.5 m
4.8 ft
Operating width 4.5 m
14.7 ft
Transport width 3 m
9.7 ft
Weight 2,259 kg
4,980 lb

Revolution rating calculated with forage harvester at a standstill without load

Engine rpm 2,100 rpm
Header drive shaft (shift rod pulled out for slow speed) Slow head speed: 401 rpm
Fast head speed: 530 rpm
Gathering drum Slow head speed: 41 rpm
Fast head speed: 54 rpm
Cutting blades for gathering drum Small
Slow head speed: 1,323 rpm
Fast head speed: 1,748 rpm
Feed drums Slow head speed: 73 rpm
Fast head speed: 96 rpm
Cross feed drums Slow head speed: 88 rpm
Fast head speed: 116 rpm

Additional information

Date collected