John Deere is to increase its machine learning capabilities with the announcement of the US$305m acquisition of Blue River Technology. A definitive agreement to take ownership of the Sunnyvale, California-based company was signed by Deere & Company.
Employing 60 staff, Blue River Technology has successfully applied machine learning to agricultural spraying equipment and John Deere expects that the technology can be similarly applied to a wide range of its products.
“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.”
Blue River has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology 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, 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.”
September 22, 2017