How Blue River Technology Helps John Deere Feed the World While also Protecting it

Cameras and computers help reduce herbicides sprayed by 90%


Long ago, farmers imagined a future in which tractors drive themselves, technology automates laborious work, and crops grow stronger, taller, and more bountiful than ever before while using far less inputs.

That future is here thanks in part to innovators like Jorge Heraud and the employees of Blue River Technology — a John Deere Company. The Blue River team is redefining agriculture by building great products aligned to our higher purpose.

"I truly believe in Blue River because I believe our technology can turn rivers blue," Heraud, founder and CEO of Blue River. "Imagine a world where farmers don’t spray their fields. They just spray individual weeds."

The technology involves putting cameras on John Deere sprayers to allow computers to determine very quickly which plants are crops and which are weeds and spray only the weeds, Heraud said.

Using Blue River’s technology to pinpoint the herbicide applied to weeds reduces the amount that is sprayed by 90%.

"If you were sick, you wouldn’t give an antibiotic to everyone in the building, right? You would just give it to you," said Willy Pell, Vice President of Autonomy and New Ventures, at Blue River. "Same for plants, right? We should just give each plant what it needs."