John Deere and GUSS Launch First Fully Electric Autonomous Herbicide Sprayer

John Deere and GUSS Automation have unveiled the world’s first, and only, fully electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer at the 2024 World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, with orders soon to be opened to growers in Australia.

John Deere and GUSS automation have unveiled the world’s first, and only, fully electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer.

Electric GUSS takes the proven performance of GUSS automation and extends its environmental and productivity profile with battery power to further enhance the intelligent sprayer’s sustainability credentials.

“The all-new electric GUSS will provide farmers with reliable and powerful performance, with added benefits to help increase productivity and profitability.”

affirms John Deere Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski.

The machine includes a spot-spraying weed detection system that identifies chlorophyll in the weeds and only sprays where they are detected. The technology significantly reduces the overall application amount used, resulting in up to 90% savings in materials, depending on weed pressure.

“We’ve been asked countless times about making GUSS electric.

An electric herbicide sprayer made the most sense to us, given that the battery life can last an entire shift while performing this critical orchard task.

Combining the battery’s electric benefits of low operating costs and zero tailpipe emissions with spot spraying weed detection technology makes Electric GUSS a winner.”

states GUSS Automation Chief Operating Officer, Gary Thompson.

The Electric GUSS utilises Kriesel batteries that can run and spray for a full shift when fully charged.

Using a combination of GPS, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and proprietary technology for accurate coverage, a single employee can operate and monitor up to eight GUSS machines from the safety of their vehicle using a laptop computer, reducing the opportunity for operator exposure.

The autonomous capability includes multiple safety features to avoid hazards and automatically pauses the spray operation when individuals are nearby.

The sprayer is 7.16m long and 1.93m tall, with hydraulic-controlled, height-adjustable spray booms that have a range of 5.5m to 6.7m row spacing. The width ranges from 2.54m to 5.79m depending on boom extension. The booms can be tilted upward for berm spraying and also have breakaway features to prevent damage to trees and crops.

Electric GUSS will soon be available for ordering at select John Deere dealer locations across Australia.

Smart Apply technology is now available

The diesel-powered Orchard GUSS and mini GUSS autonomous blast sprayers now have the option to add the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control Systemä.

Growers can control multiple sprayers from a remote source increasing productivity, optimising and upskilling labour.

Smart Apply is an advanced technology that enhances the performance of blast sprayers by providing precise application, data analytics, and accuracy. With the ability to detect individual trees and vines and adjust spray volumes based on tree size and foliage density, Smart Apply helps to optimize protection and prevent over-spraying. This results in significant savings of up to 50% on chemical and water usage.

“It’s the best of both worlds.

The labour optimisation benefits of GUSS, now combined with the input optimisation benefits of Smart Apply, will be available both as a factory-installed option and as a Precision Upgrade for existing Orchard and mini GUSS machines.”

concludes Ms Gersekowski.

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