John Deere Acquires AI Startup Blue River Technology for $305 Million
MOLINE, IL - Agtech as an industry is quickly becoming a magnet for investments and innovation, as evidenced by John Deere’s acquisition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) company, Blue River Technology, on Wednesday. The acquisition, listed at $305 million, shines a light on the growth the agtech field has recently seen.
"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, according to a press release. "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 we previously reported, Blue River has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology, utilizing AI, that will enable growers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present, optimizing 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."
May added that the investment in Blue River Technology is similar to Deere's acquisition of NavCom Technology in 1999 that established Deere as one of the leaders in the use of GPS technology for agriculture and accelerated machine connectivity and optimization.
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