Two Application Technology Trends

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Our top story on in March was about John Deere’s acquisition of Spanish carbon fiber manufacturer King Agro. Carbon fiber has a higher strength to weight ratio compared to steel and aluminum, and carbon fiber spray booms are up to 30% lighter and can be extended to greater widths without increasing weight. John Deere has offered carbon fiber booms as an option on its sprayers since 2015 via a partnership with King Agro.

And another John Deere application acquisition is in the news. In September 2017, John Deere announced it will invest $305 million to fully acquire Blue River Technology

Known for its See & Spray Technology, Blue River is one ag tech startup brining machine learning into reality—and into the field.

Starting in Texas and spanning to Georgia and through the Mississippi Delta, Blue River will partner with John Deere dealers to identify local farmers as test cooperators for in-field demos in 2018. The previous prototype was an eight-row machine with a maximum speed of 4 mph. This year, the Series 1 test machines will be 12-row machines and have an operating speed of 6 mph.

Smart machines, such as See & Spray, have three core elements: sense and decide, act, and verify and learn. They are only applying herbicide to the identified weeds. The platform leads to a 90% reduction in herbicide use.

Just two of the many application technologies that are changing this segment of the industry.

You can hear more from this week’s AgPro Spotlight on AgriTalk