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Deere to Acquire Blue River Technology

Deere & Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sunnyvale, CA-based Blue River Technology, a leader in applying machine learning to agriculture, for $305 million.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with a Blue River Technology team that is highly skilled and intensely dedicated to rapidly advancing the implementation of machine learning in agriculture,” said John May, president, Agricultural Solutions, and chief information officer at Deere. “As a leader in precision agriculture, John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers. Machine learning is an important capability for Deere’s future.”

As an innovation leader, Blue River Technology has successfully applied machine learning to agricultural spraying equipment, including the See and Spray unit now being tested in cotton. Deere is confident that similar technology can be used in the future on a wider range of products, May said.

Blue River has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology that will enable growers to reduce herbicide use by spraying only where weeds are present to help optimize the use of inputs in farming – a key objective of precision agriculture.

“Blue River is advancing precision agriculture by moving farm management decisions from the field level to the plant level,” said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology. “We are using computer vision, robotics, and machine learning to help smart machines detect, identify and make management decisions about every single plant in the field.”

Related: Jorge Heraud to speak on “Automation, Robotics, and Machine Learning” at PrecisionAg Vision Conference

Already in 2017, Blue River Technology has been listed among Inc. Magazine’s 25 Most Disruptive Companies, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, CB Insights 100 Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies in the World, and the Top 50 Agricultural Innovations by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

May noted the investment in Blue River Technology is similar to Deere’s acquisition of NavCom Technology in 1999 that established Deere as a leader in the use of GPS technology for agriculture and accelerated machine connectivity and optimization.

Deere plans to leave Blue River’s 60-person staff in Sunnyvale, with an objective to continue its rapid growth and innovation with the same entrepreneurial spirit that has led to its success. The transaction is expected to close in September.

 

Source – Deere

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