Friday, 13 May 2022 10:25

JD establishes new hort JV

Written by  Staff Reporters
John Deere has announced a joint venture with orchard and vineyard spraying technology company GUSS. John Deere has announced a joint venture with orchard and vineyard spraying technology company GUSS.

John Deere claims a joint venture between it and California-based technology company GUSS will assist horticulture producers achieve greater on-farm efficiency.

As part of the collaboration, John Deere will provide access to its global sales channels to support market growth, while GUSS will continue its horticultural industry innovation and product development.

Chris Davison, JD’s director of small tractor & HVC production systems, says the collaboration will accelerate the development and distribution of semi-autonomous orchard and vineyard spraying technology.

“As demand for high-value crops grows, we see significant opportunities to help producers be more productive while addressing the challenges such as limited access to skilled labour to operate equipment,” Davison says.

“The GUSS team has a deep understanding of high-value crop production systems, as well as strong relationships with customers and a proven track record of deploying innovative technology.”

He says both companies are committed to developing pathways to grow more food using fewer resources. By using GUSS technology, multiple machines can be remotely controlled by a single operator. This is done via the use of a combination of GPS and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology, vehicle sensors, and software, to move and navigate through orchards and vineyards.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand production systems manager, Stephanie Gersekowski says GUSS has found a way to apply GPS technology in challenging conditions. She says this means horticulture cropping enterprises can now utilise the same level of exciting innovation now available to broadacre operations. 

“Traditionally, using GPS guidance under orchards and vineyards canopies has been challenging,” Gersekowski explains. “However, GUSS has overcome this issue by developing several additional technologies, including vehicle sensors and software to supplement GPS and guide GUSS safely and efficiently through crops.” 

She adds that with operators able to control up to eight sprayers at once, GUSS equipment provides enormous productivity gains to growers by reducing pressure to find skilled operators. The technology is also said to use fewer resources and reduce costs by eliminating operator error and downtime.

Founded in 2018 and with a staff of approximately 35, GUSS will retain its employees, brand name and trademark, and continue to operate from its current location. GUSS technology is not currently sold through John Deere dealers in Australia and New Zealand.

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