(USA)

Global farming giant Deere & Company has announced it is buying precision agriculture startup Blue River Technology in a deal worth $305 million.

The young California-based company uses machine learning and artificial technologies to pinpoint the amount of spray plants and crops need – reducing fertiliser use by up to 90%.

“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. As a leader in precision agriculture, John Deere recognises the importance of technology to our customers. Machine learning is an important capability for Deere’s future,” said John May, President, Agricultural Solutions, and Chief Information Officer at Deere.

By bringing the focus from the field down to the plants, Blue River enables farmers to target areas where weeds grow, which reduces the amount of herbicides used.

“Blue River is advancing precision agriculture by moving farm management decisions from the field level to the plant level. 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,” added Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology.