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John Deere Brings Agricultural Startups to the Midwest

John Deere

John Deere is mentoring four agricultural startups. These fledgling companies are focused onbuying carbon credits directly from farmers, using aerial mapping to manage nitrogen, developing tele-operated equipment, and sensing pathogens in plants before they spread to whole crops

Julian Sanchez is the Director of Emerging Technology at Deere. He says this is the third year of the company’s Startup Collaboration program. 


“We’re all trying to solve similar problems. Startups aren’t bound by the same constraints in how you solve those problems. If we have a sensing problem, we might start by saying, ‘How would we add a new sensor to one of our vehicles?’ But already there, you’ve constrained your thinking, right? You’ve said, ‘Oh, it has to start by being a part of one of our vehicles.’ A startup might just say, ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s strapped onto a tractor or a combine, we can go sprinkle the sensor around the field.’”  


Sanchez says John Deere also brings these startups closer to the midwest, in order to connect them directly with farmers.


Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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