Beyond the Tractor: John Deere Provides Tech Solutions in Agriculture

Overview At the cross section of the agriculture and technology industries, John Deere is showcasing the way cutting-edge technology, from automation and connectivity to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, is fundamental to the business of farming.

Since its inception, John Deere has viewed itself as a technology company. “Our namesake, John Deere, was an innovator himself and developed the world’s first polished steel self-scouring plow that was able to open up the West to agricultural advancement,” said John Teeple, director of advanced technology at John Deere.

Throughout the years, John Deere has closed the gap between the farming ecosystem and the digital world through its equipment. Starting with the transition from horse-drawn equipment to engine and tractor, John Deere has evolved to installing GPS and exploring self-driving technology in its equipment, and it’s making headway on machines understanding the farm on an individual plant level.

With the advances in farming operations, farmers are now looking at arable lands, weather patterns and more, and they need new solutions. John Deere stepped in as a technology solutions provider.

“Deere made a strategic investment to ensure its role in the technology revolution on the farm,” says John Stone, senior vice president at Deere and Company’s Intelligent Solutions Group, in an interview with i3 magazine. “We strive to bring leading-edge technologies to solve problems and capture opportunities that will make Deere customers the most profitable and sustainable farmers in the world.”

With the increasing need for food globally as the world population changes, the integration between agriculture and technology proves to be vital.

Beyond the vehicle technology in their tractors, John Deere’s equipment allows farmers to take advantage of other technology to optimize farming operations and address concerns that were not prevalent — or even existent — before.

These technologies allow the farmer to operate smarter, more efficiently, more productively, more precisely, and ultimately, more sustainably now as well.

John Teeple
Director of Advanced Technology, John Deere

The company has continued to enhance their machines and increase their influence on farming with new technological capabilities:

  • GPS technology allows machines to steer themselves through the field on precise guidance lines, saving a farmer 10 percent of total input costs.

  • John Deere machines connected to a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can transmit field data to mobile devices and the cloud as well as to each other.

  • With its acquisition of the Silicon Valley startup Blue River Technology, John Deere offers a smart sprayer system that distinguishes weeds from plants in a field.

“These technologies allow the farmer to operate smarter, more efficiently, more productively, more precisely, and ultimately, more sustainably now as well,” said Teeple on the CES Tech Talk podcast.

John Deere has paved its way as a powerhouse in the ag tech sector and pushed the boundaries between farm and tech.

Their presence at CES 2019 featured their iconic green John Deere tractor and highlighted the intricate technologies — sensors, AI, connectivity and more — that farmers are using today, allowing attendees to embrace how every company is a tech company.



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