John Deere Media Release – July 2023
In another step towards supporting Australian and New Zealand high-value crop producers to optimise their efficiency by doing more with less, John Deere has announced the acquisition of precision spraying equipment company Smart Apply Inc.
The company developed the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System™, an upgrade kit that can improve the precision and performance of virtually any air-blast sprayer used in orchard, vineyard, and tree nursery spraying applications. Smart Apply helps growers reduce chemical use, airborne drift, and run off, while maximising high-value crop yields and meeting sustainability objectives. John Deere has worked with Smart Apply, which is based in Indianapolis, since 2020.
John Deere Production System Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said the acquisition further underscored the company’s commitment to, and unprecedented investment in, the high-value crop sector.
“This is a continuation of our commitment to high-value crop customers, further expanding a portfolio of solutions to help growers across Australia and New Zealand address their biggest challenges around labour and input costs, while achieving sustainability goals,” Ms Gersekowski said.
“We know the rising cost of chemicals is having an impact on agricultural businesses and this technology has been purpose-developed to help producers make sure they’re only using what they need.”
Smart Apply’s precision spraying helps achieve up to 93% less chemical runoff and up to 87% reduction in airborne drift, while reducing chemical use an average of 50%. With less chemical use, growers also average a 50% reduction in water use.
Sophisticated LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology senses the presence of individual trees and vines and automatically adjusts spray volume based on foliage density to optimise protection. The system stops spraying between trees and rows, adjusting without human intervention.
Smart Apply’s proprietary, GPS-enabled software captures a broad spectrum of data while it sprays. The system documents date and time of spraying, overall spray volumes, chemical savings, tree counts, canopy volume, health of individual trees or vines, and hectares sprayed. The precision data leads to a deeper understanding of an orchard’s or vineyard’s productivity, profitability, health, and sustainability.
Growers can choose to share their Smart Apply data with John Deere Operations Center™ farm management software, unlocking another level of insights and expert support.
“Both John Deere and Smart Apply recognise 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,” President and CEO at Smart Apply, Jerry Johnson, said.
Smart Apply was founded in 2014 and has approximately 20 full-time employees.