John Deere has signed an agreement to acquire Precision Planting LLC from Monsanto company, and the company is entering into a digital ag collaboration agreement with The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto.
The deal gives farmers “enhanced in-cab connection” for Climate Corp’s FieldView customers. In a Q&A issued on the heels of the announcement, John Deere spokesman Barry Nelson notes that this is a “strategic acquisition to expand John Deere’s precision agriculture business.” The purchase also gives John Deere more planting products with solutions that can be retrofitted to other brands and to earlier models of planters.
Monsanto purchased Precision Planting for $210 million in 2012. Later Monsanto acquired Climate Corporation for nearly $1 billion and rolled the two divisions into one. Climate Corporation has been managing the Precision Planting hardware business while at the same time developing the Field View data-based crop management system.
Today’s announcement deals with both the hardware and software side, as Monsanto sells the Precision Planting side to John Deere, but gains access to the John Deere system for its Field View product. That would include the full range of planter enhancements sold by the company from the Speedtube system to the vSet series of planter add-ons. Precision Planting built its business on planter row unit innovations often to upgrade John Deere planters, but branched out well beyond that as the company grew.
In the press announcement, Mike Stern, president and chief operating officer, Climate Corporation says “to maximize the value of digital agriculture, farmers need solutions for simple and seamless collection of in-field agronomic data. As a result of these milestone agreements, farmers will experience the fastest, most frequent and highest resolution third-party connectivity between John Deere’s equipment and the Climate FieldView platform”
John May, president, agricultural solutions and chief information officer at Deere adds: “The agreements we are announcing allow John Deere to extend the range of retrofit options available from Precision Planting to many more products and into new geographies. John Deere strengthens its position as the most open platform in the industry both in our equipment and the cloud-based data management solution known as the John Deere Operations Center.”
Under the terms of the agreements, Deere will purchase Precision Planting while Climate will retain the digital agriculture portfolio that has been integrated into the Climate FieldView platform. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities to the extent required.
The companies said customers will have the option to share their current and historical agronomic data between the John Deere Operations Center and the Climate FieldView platform and seamlessly execute agronomic prescriptions with John Deere equipment.
John Deere recently acquired Monosem to help “accelerate John Deere’s market reach in precision planting equipment.” Rolling Precision Planting will provide John Deere with a significant footprint in the precision planting business.
The company also created Sageinsights, which is a joint venture with DN2K, which will enhance John Deere’s links to agricultural retailers an dothers who provide consulting services to growers. DN2K developed MyAgCentral, which retailers use.
For another look at the move, check Willie Vogt's Farmer Iron blog: Jockeying for position.