Barry Nelson, media relations manager for John Deere, provided Farm Equipment with some additional background information on Deere's announcement earlier this week of its acquisition of Precision Planting. Below Nelson answers some questions that have come up since the announcement. 

What did Deere announce concerning acquisition of Precision Planting?

There are three key elements:

  1. John Deere has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Precision Planting, LLC, from Monsanto Company and a digital ag collaboration agreement with The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto Company.
  2. John Deere will provide an enhanced in-cab connection for Climate Corp’s FieldView customers.
  3. Climate Corp. will use John Deere’s software connection, known as an API, to allow customers to send agronomic prescriptions from FieldView through John Deere Operations Center to their equipment in the field.

Extended Coverage

On Nov. 4, 2015, John Deere announced its acquisition of Precision Planting. Case IH responded to the news with a statement you can find here.

Why is John Deere acquiring Precision Planting?

  • This is a strategic acquisition to expand John Deere’s precision agriculture business.
  • Precision Planting’s portfolio complements John Deere’s planting products with solutions that can be retrofitted to other brands and to earlier models of planters.
  • The acquisition allows John Deere to extend the range of retrofit options for customers to many more equipment brands and geographies. This will help customers update equipment with precision ag and job optimization solutions.
  • The acquisition of Precision Planting supports John Deere’s ability to offer technology and innovation that enhances the productivity of our customers around the world.

Deere has recently announced a joint venture and two acquisitions, how are they related?

  • John Deere continues to enhance its position as the world leader in agricultural equipment and solutions.
  • Precision agriculture – a core business at John Deere – is enhanced with each of the transactions we have announced recently as they provide solutions to strengthen our position in several key markets.
  • The creation of the SageInsights joint venture will focus on further development of DN2K’s existing cloud software platform for agricultural retailers and others who provide consulting services to growers.
  • Our definitive agreement to acquire Monosem will help accelerate John Deere’s market reach in precision planting equipment and adds engineering expertise to further develop planting technology with a focus on helping customers increase their productivity.
  • Our definitive agreement to purchase Precision Planting will extend the range of retrofit options available for planting equipment to many more products and into new geographies.

In this most recent action, what exactly is John Deere acquiring?

  • Under the terms of the definitive agreement, John Deere will acquire the majority of the assets of the Precision Planting equipment business including their facilities, brand, the majority of Precision Planting’s product portfolio, including all of its hardware, sensors, actuators and display systems along with retaining the Precision Planting leadership, the majority of employees, relationships with dealers and OEM customers, etc.
  • Climate Corp. will maintain ownership of the FieldView app and cloud platform.

Can you explain the in-cab access provided to Climate Corp. customers?

  • Adoption of advanced agronomic practices is expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years.
  • Customers will elect to partner with a variety of advisors and software solutions and John Deere will enable the industry’s agronomic input decision tools. This includes providing the advanced connection between John Deere equipment and the FieldView app from Climate Corp.
  • This agreement strengthens John Deere’s position as an open platform in the industry both in our equipment and the cloud-based insight management solution known as John Deere Operations Center.

Why is John Deere enabling Climate Corp. customers to connect with John Deere Operations Center?

  • John Deere Operations Center is built to be the most open and compatible platform for customers to choose how they share insights with their trusted advisors and optimize their operations.
  • The software connection with Climate Corp. is yet another step in John Deere’s ongoing efforts to serve customers.

Are there plans to integrate Precision Planting into Deere’s operations?

  • Precision Planting will operate independently, but will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of John Deere.
  • Precision Planting and John Deere will continue to innovate in ways unique to their respective brands, serving different customers with different needs. This arrangement allows Precision Planting to focus on its core strengths and track record of innovation.
  • Meanwhile, John Deere will continue to manufacture and deliver world-class products and services through the John Deere dealer channel.
  • We intend to provide Precision Planting products to other OEMs, advancing John Deere’s strategy to create more choices for customers and expand the industry’s use of precision ag technologies.
  • Our main focus continues to be helping producers become more efficient and productive.    

Can you share details of the transaction?

  • We do plan to close the deal within 60-90 days.
  • We do not plan to make further public comment on the transaction details.

What is the background on Precision Planting?

  • Precision Planting was founded in 1993 and acquired by Monsanto in 2012.
  • Its primary manufacturing facility is in Tremont, Illinois and it has some operations in South America.