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John Deere New See and Spray Technology

John Deere is giving the competition a RUN for their money with their NEW See and Spray technology. John Deere...

John Deere is giving the competition a RUN for their money with their NEW See and Spray technology. John Deere acquired this technology in 2017 from Blue River Technologies, and from there, it has taken off to help farmers. Wondering what all this great talk is about? John Deere See and Spray technology is defined as

“See & Spray is a pioneering approach that uses computer vision and machine learning to precisely spray herbicides only where weeds are present. “From a functional as well as a value standpoint, See & Spray technology is a great building block in helping farmers reduce chemical use and spot on with where we wanted to invest,” says Julian Sanchez, director, emerging technology, John Deere.

Laurie Bedford interviewed Julian Sanchez in the article titled John Deere Launches See & Spray Select, released on March 2, 2021.

Blue River Technology:
Wondering who Blue River Technology is and why John Deere fused with them in 2017? Blue River is the company that originally came up with the idea for the See and Spray technology. When John Deere heard about their fascinating experiments they made a connection and soon a partnership.

Blue River’s mission is stated on their website as,

“To create intelligent machinery that solves monumental challenges for our customers.”

Lee Redden is the co-founder of Blue River Technology as well as the chief scientist. Helping to expand and brighten the future of agriculture. What makes Blue River work is how they are collaborative and connected to one another.

See and Spray technology is like the fairy Godmother of the agricultural industry. Granting wishes of only spraying the weeds with more complex tank mixes of herbicides while saving the farmer money and time. According to the John Deere website,

“See & Spray™ Select can help farmers reduce their non-residual, pre-emerge herbicide use by 77% on average by targeting and spraying only weeds on fallow ground.”

See and Spray technology is available on 400 and 600 series sprayers that farmers already use. If you get one straight off the manufacturing line or from your local dealer,

“A 400 or 600 Series Sprayer factory equipped with See & Spray Select is the only OEM solution available that enables farmers to have both a spot-spray and a broadcast machine in one integrated package.” states the John Deere official website.

Let’s break it down a little further, going over what the See part and Spray part mean in this technology and how they work together.

There are two sets of cameras that identify the difference between weeds and plants as well as calibrating. This is done about 20 times per second while the machine runs at an average speed of 12 mph. While traveling at those speeds, the technology recognizes the plant to know precisely what it is and how much it will need. The technology has a database of over 1,000,000 images of weeds.

After the sprayer identifies the weed, it will turn on the specific nozzle that correlates with the sprayer booms’ weed location. The nozzle will dispense a small amount of chemical directly onto the weed avoiding other plants that are not weeds.

Artificial Intelligence:
John Deere See and Spray is unique but what makes it so amazing is the artificial intelligence inside the machine. In an article titled Deere shows off smart weed control machine that relies on AI with Nvidia Chip by Matt Hamblen, he dives deeper into the machine to give us an inside look.

“The smart secret behind See and Spray is in an embedded Nvidia Jetson Xavier, a type of graphics processor that in this case has been trained to know a weed from a crop plant,” claims Hamblen.

Notes from an Expert:
4Rivers Equipment very own Integrated Solutions Specialist Zach Carpenter has some insight about See and Spray. According to Zach he states

“The reason that See and Spray is so important to Colorado and Wyoming agriculture is because this is the first technology designed specifically for the crop practice that we have here and it allows us to treat the weeds without a ton of herbicide.”

I continued to ask him about what he would recommend farmers to do? It was a broad question but he immediately jumped in with an answer.

“I think that it is important for farmers who are interested in this new technology to do their research. Learn as much as you can about the system while searching and analyzing to make sure that you will fully maximize this technology.” states Zach.

Last but not least, as an integrated solutions specialist he hopes to see this get out here this year and make a big difference in the fallow (off-season) fields where farmers have to be conscious of their herbicide use while setting themselves up better than in the past.


“Blue River Technology first unveiled See and Spray about 2016, and then the Illinois-based Deere bought Blue River in 2017 for $305 million,” states Hamblen.

John Deere and Blue River Technology are excited to release this new technology to farmers with dreams of it making life a little easier.

As the See and Spray technology come into the agricultural industry, there are still tests being done before it is fully released. Farmers will be able to get the See and Spray technology by June 1, 2021.

To read the articles mentioned in this article go to: