Deere - Blue River Technology

Deere & Co. is acquiring Blue River Technology, a Silicon Valley firm that has applied machine learning in precision agriculture. The implement pictured here, pulled by a John Deere tractor, shows the tech firm's technology on spraying equipment.

Contributed photo

Deere & Co. announced Tuesday it has completed its acquisition of Blue River Technology, an agriculture technology firm in Silicon Valley.

The Moline-based Deere announced last week it was acquiring the Sunnyvale, California, company to enhance John Deere’s leadership position in precision agriculture. Deere said it was investing $305 million to fully acquire the startup firm.

Deere plans to retain the 60-person firm in Sunnyvale.

Blue River Technology is a pioneer in combining computer vision and machine learning to all farmers to see and manage each plant in the field. The technology will help farmers reduce inputs, increase profitability and care for the land.

The company has successfully applied the technology to agricultural spraying equipment, which will enable growers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present. Deere is confident it can be used on a wider range of products in the future.

--Times staff