What green is John Deere green?


Is there a better day than St. Patrick’s day, when everyone is wearing green to start a new website for Green Magazine?


Since I have been working at painting a tractor I’ve been doing more thinking than usual about what is the real “John Deere green”.  I’ve been asked my thoughts on the differences between the current Ag and Classic greens available from Deere, when changes were made etcetera hundreds of times over the years.


Let’s start with this Ag and Classic green thing. The two varieties of green you can currently buy from you friendly local John Deere dealer. To my eye, Classic green is darker and bluer than Ag green, and looks more like what I saw back in the late 1970s when the 40 series New Iron Horse tractors were introduced. There is some evidence to support this, because I have been told by a Deere parts guy that the part number for Classic is the same one that Deere paint got when these tractors were introduced. Back in the 1990s, that shade of green kept the same part number but had its name changed to “Classic”. The new lighter, more yellow color that was introduced was called “Ag” and had a new part number.


So what color should I paint my spoker “D”, 70, 730, 4010, 4020? I have no idea. Personally if I were going to only use Deere paint I would  us Ag on everything but my 40 series Gen II tractors. Some say that the color changed between the 4010 and the 4020. This might be true, though I would day the color changed between the early and late style (console) 4020s. I have always noticed that on the few color photos I have seen of new tractors taken back in the 1940s or 50s, the tractors seem dark, really dark. Darker than even Classic green. You must also consider that in the century or so of Deere tractors that formulations and applications must have changed many times.


So if you think that I may confused you, consider this quote about Deere paint from Deere vice president C.C. Webber in 1905. “Our apple green color color even of the best quality is too delicate a color to carry a sufficient load of varnish. We suggest that the apple green be restored to its bright green and darkened as much as possible and yet remain the same to the eye of the trade.”

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