Concerns about market competitiveness have dogged the John Deere purchase of Precision Planting from Monsanto. This week John Deere announced it has reached an agreement to provide Ag Leader with the technologies and licenses needed to manufacture and sell Precision Planting Speedtube, and related tech, including vSet, VDrive and DeltaForce.
The deal is contingent on the proposed purchase of Precision Planting being approved by the Department of Justice. This week John Deere and Monsanto filed responses to the DOJ regarding the purchase. This latest news shows that some products are being spun out and will maintain a competitive environment.
Farm Industry News reached out to John Deere and at this time there is no further information regarding how this will work. For Deere, the purchase provides it with an innovative tech division in Precision Planting, spinning out some products maintains a competitive market. It's not clear at this time if third party buyers like Agco and Case IH - both with planters that use Precision Planting tech - will buy from Ag Leader.
The Precision Planting products will remain available through Deere dealers as well.
Ag Leader, in its announcement, notes it would also be able to further develop the Precision Planting products and continue delivering new solutions for precision ag. Ag Leader has already put on display its own electric meter design which offers some innovative features.
In the announcement, Deere says the move "further enhances competition and innovation in the market and expands customers' choices for planting equipment, whether they are buying new machinery or retrofitting older planting equipment made by various manufacturers."
Ag Leader will be selling the Precision Planting products with their names intact, which are familiar to farmers. And Ag Leader remains as a completely independent competitor to Deere and Precision Planting.
Ag Leader will integrate these Precision Planting products with existing SeedCommand planting technology and its InCommand displays. The company reports that it intends to build on this technology to deliver future planting equipment innovations that support faster planting speeds. Ag Leader issued its own release regarding the transaction, quoting Al Myers, president: "Ag Leader is continuously looking for opportunities to expand our already impressive line of precision farming technologies. When this prospect arose, we knew it was worth looking into for our customers and dealers, as high-speed planting is an emerging precision agriculture technology."
In November 2015, Deere signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Precision Planting, LLC equipment business. In August, the U.S. Department of Justice challenged the transaction, delaying its completion, and Deere has announced it would contest that decision.