If you are a weed, we have some somber news.
John Deere, the farm equipment company that’s been chasing autonomous technology for more than 20 years, has agreed to buy Blue River Technology, a startup that uses AI to automatically identify and spray herbicide on weeds. The price of a 60-person farming AI startup? $305 million.
Blue River Technology makes a number of farm tools: an automatic precision weed-sprayer, a device that trims lettuce at scale, and software for drones to analyze crops. The company once considered using a Tesla coil to zap weeds, according to Willy Pell, Blue River’s director of new technology, which is objectively a cool idea.