John Deere acquires Smart Apply, a precision spraying equipment company, advancing sustainable agriculture with its Spray Control System.
Agriculture Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions Precision Ag

John Deere Acquires Smart Apply

In a move that highlights its commitment to innovation and sustainable agriculture, John Deere (NYSE: DE), a global leader in agricultural and forestry equipment, has announced the acquisition of Smart Apply, Inc., a precision spraying equipment company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. This strategic acquisition aims to revolutionize the way growers manage orchards, vineyards, and tree nurseries, helping them achieve higher crop yields while reducing environmental impact.

Founded in 2014, Smart Apply has quickly made a name for itself in the agricultural industry through its groundbreaking Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System. This upgrade kit is designed to enhance the precision and performance of air-blast sprayers used in various high-value crop spraying applications. By partnering with Smart Apply since 2020, John Deere has seen the potential for this technology to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by growers worldwide.

One of the significant advantages of the Smart Apply system lies in its ability to significantly reduce chemical use, airborne drift, and chemical runoff. Through sophisticated LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology, the system can detect individual trees and vines, adjusting the spray volume based on foliage density. This optimized protection leads to higher crop yields resulting in a 93% reduction in chemical runoff and an 87% reduction in airborne drift. Moreover, growers benefit from an average 50% reduction in chemical and water use, promoting more sustainable agricultural practices.

The proprietary GPS-enabled software incorporated into Smart Apply’s system is another key feature that sets it apart. This advanced software captures a wide range of data during the spraying process, including the date and time of spraying, overall spray volumes, chemical savings, tree counts, canopy volume, and individual tree or vine health. By utilizing this precision data, growers gain a deeper understanding of their orchard’s or vineyard’s productivity, profitability, health, and sustainability.

Furthermore, Smart Apply’s partnership with John Deere provides an additional layer of support and insight. Growers have the option to share their data with John Deere Operations Center™ farm management software, opening up new possibilities for informed decision-making and expert assistance. 

Mike Bailey, Director of Small Tractor & HVC Production System at John Deere, emphasized the importance of this acquisition for the company’s continued commitment to high-value crop customers. Bailey stated, “It’s a continuation of our commitment to high-value crop customers and dealers, further expanding a portfolio of solutions to help growers address their biggest challenges around labor, input costs, and regulatory requirements for achieving environmental goals.”

Jerry Johnson, President and CEO at Smart Apply, expressed excitement about joining forces with John Deere. He said, “Both John Deere and Smart Apply recognize the importance of high-value crops and are committed to investing in innovation and technology that best serves producers who raise high-value crops and helps solve their problems.”

For Smart Apply, this acquisition by John Deere represents a significant step forward in expanding its reach. The company’s products are sold through John Deere dealers in various countries, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and England. With Deere’s extensive dealer network in North America and Australia, Smart Apply’s technology expects to become even more accessible to growers in these regions, with potential opportunities to explore new markets. 

John Deere’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of sustainable agriculture and providing technology-enabled solutions aligns well with Smart Apply’s vision for precision spraying. As the company continues to deliver innovative products such as John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor, See & SprayTM, and E-Power Backhoe, this acquisition underscores its commitment to helping customers meet the world’s increasing demand for food, shelter, and infrastructure.

The acquisition of Smart Apply by John Deere marks a significant step towards a more sustainable and productive future in precision agriculture. By leveraging Smart Apply’s cutting-edge technology, growers can optimize their crop yields, reduce environmental impact, and achieve their sustainability objectives, making it a win-win for farmers and the planet. As John Deere continues to invest in innovation and technology, the agriculture industry can look forward to further advancements that will help address the challenges of tomorrow and support the ever-growing global population’s food needs.

Image provided by Smart Apply

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