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John Deere acquires Smart Apply

By Stephen Elliott

July 23, 2023

John Deere acquires Smart ApplyJohn Deere, Moline, Ill., has acquired Smart Apply, Indianapolis, a precision spraying equipment company. 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 optimizing high-value crop yields and meeting sustainability objectives. 

John Deere has worked with Smart Apply since 2020.  

“This is a natural progression of the two companies’ working relationship,” said Mike Bailey, director, small tractor & HVC production system, John Deere. “It’s a continuation of our commitment to high-value crop customers and dealers, further expanding a portfolio of solutions to help growers address their biggest challenges around labor, input costs and regulatory requirements, and achieve environmental goals.” 

Smart Apply’s precision spraying helps achieve up to 93 percent less runoff and up to 87 percent reduction in airborne drift, while reducing chemical use an average of 50 percent, according to the company. With less chemical use, growers also average a 50 percent reduction in water use. 

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology senses the presence of individual trees and vines and automatically adjusts spray volume based on foliage density to optimize 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 acres/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 recognize 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,” said Jerry Johnson, president and CEO, Smart Apply.  

Smart Apply was founded in 2014 and has approximately 20 full-time employees. Smart Apply is primarily sold through John Deere dealers in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and England.