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John Deere, GUSS Automation Unveil Electric Option, Smart Apply Upgrade

Wed February 28, 2024 - National Edition
John Deere


The all-new electric GUSS will provide farmers with reliable and powerful performance, with added benefits to help increase productivity and profitability, said Sean Sundberg, John Deere business integration manager.
Photo courtesy of John Deere
The all-new electric GUSS will provide farmers with reliable and powerful performance, with added benefits to help increase productivity and profitability, said Sean Sundberg, John Deere business integration manager.

John Deere and GUSS Automation debuted the world's first and only fully electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer, Electric GUSS, at the 2024 World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.

Building on the success of the autonomous GUSS herbicide sprayer launched in 2023, this fully electric and autonomous sprayer enables growers to control multiple sprayers from a remote source. The intelligent sprayer increases productivity, optimizes and upskills labor, and enables farming operations to meet their sustainability goals with lower emissions and enhanced application precision.

"This launch with GUSS Automation reaffirms our commitment to helping high-value crop growers meet their needs through innovative solutions like electrification and autonomy," said Sean Sundberg, John Deere business integration manager. "The all-new electric GUSS will provide farmers with reliable and powerful performance, with added benefits to help increase productivity and profitability."

The newly unveiled machine includes a spot spraying weed detection system that identifies chlorophyll in the weeds and only sprays where they are detected. This detection technology significantly reduces the overall application amount used, resulting in up to 90 percent savings in materials depending on weed pressure. It also leads to decreased operating costs, reduced material drift, increased sustainability, and contributes to enhanced employee safety.

"We have 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," said Gary Thompson, COO at GUSS Automation.

The Electric GUSS utilizes KREISEL batteries that 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 also includes multiple safety features to avoid hazards and automatically pauses the spray operation when individuals are in close proximity.

The sprayer measures 23 ft. 6 in. long, 6 ft. 4 in. tall and with an operational width of 8 ft. 4 in. to 19 ft. wide. The hydraulic-controlled height-adjustable spray booms accommodate 18 ft. to 22 ft. row spacing that can be tilted upward for berm spraying. The unique design also incorporates breakaway booms to help prevent damage to trees and crops during operator use.

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

In addition, the diesel-powered Orchard GUSS and mini GUSS autonomous blast sprayers now have an option to add the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System. Acquired by John Deere in 2023, Smart Apply delivers precision application, precision data and analytics, and can elevate the performance of blast sprayers. By sensing the presence of individual trees and vines and automatically adjusting spray volume based on tree size and foliage density, Smart Apply helps optimize protection and avoid over-spraying, resulting in up to 50 percent chemical and water savings on average. Smart Apply paired with GUSS brings farmers the efficiency of an automated blast sprayer and the accuracy and ease of an intelligent application system.

"It's the best of both worlds," said Greg Christensen, John Deere go-to-market manager. "The labor optimization benefits of GUSS, now combined with the input optimization 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."

Smart Apply, Orchard GUSS and mini GUSS are all available now through select John Deere dealer locations across North America and Australia.

For more information, visit www.JohnDeere.com.

This story also appears on Agricultural Equipment Guide.




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