Indianapolis-based Smart Guided Systems LLC is making a name for itself in the precision agriculture sector and it expects continued growth following a recently announced partnership with Illinois-based farm equipment maker Deere and Co. (NYSE: DE).
Founder Steve Booher acquired and commercialized technology that increases the precision and accuracy of chemical spraying on permanent crops, such as fruit and tree nut orchards, blueberry farms and vineyards.
“Our main focus is using a LIDAR, which is basically a laser, to scan permanent crops,” said Booher during the latest Ag+Bio+Science podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana. “Instead of spraying with a custom rate sprayer, every nozzle becomes an independent, variable-rate sprayer.”
He says the technology, which can be added to most existing pull-behind spraying equipment, reduces the over spraying of trees, which lowers farmers’ cost of chemicals.
The technology was originally developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but they asked Booher if the company would like an exclusive, technology transfer agreement to commercialize the technology.
“When I saw what that system could do, I told my staff that was 100% of our focus,” Booher told Inside INdiana Business and podcast host Gerry Dick.
In December, Smart Guided Systems announced it had reached an agreement with Deere and Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of farm equipment. As part of the partnership, Deere will sell and support the technology through its dealer network in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
“Obviously, Deere has a super global brand,” said SDS Chief Executive Officer Jerry Johnson, who joined the company in January. “Being associated with Deere will bring a lot of equity and awareness to our brand.”
Each week, host Gerry Dick conducts conversations with leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Indiana’s agbioscience sector through the Ag+Bio+Science podcast.
The full podcast with Booher and Johnson will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.