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John Deere launches all-electric mower

Hi-Tech Farming: Major equipment player moves into the electric lawn mower market.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

March 13, 2023

3 Min Read
John Deere all-electric zero-turn lawn mower
LOOKS CONVENTIONAL: Some early entries in the all-electric riding lawn mower market didn’t look quite as natural as this familiar green-and-yellow machine.Courtesy of John Deere

There are several all-electric zero-turn lawn mowers on the market. However, most don’t carry a recognizable name brand. That’s all changed now that John Deere has introduced its Z370R ZTrak Electric Zero Turn Mower, a first for the ag equipment giant.

Spokespersons say it’s positioned to be the residential lawn mower of the future, providing cleaner, simplified mowing compared to traditional gas mowers. They contend this new mower maintains the quality and upholds the tradition of John Deere. Charge it without removing batteries with a standard outdoor extension cord and 110-volt grounded outlet. Large front and side frame rails increase durability, and it comes with a 42-inch Accel Deep mower deck to deliver superior cut quality at faster ground speeds.

Why are you reading about an electric lawnmower here? Because Deere appears to be making a statement. The company intends to be a player in new innovations, including electric machines. Visit

Biofungicide launched

Biological products are coming at you at a fast and furious pace. DPH Biologicals launches BellaTrove Companion Maxx ST biological fungicide for corn, soybeans and other crops. This multiple-action product derives from a proprietary strain of plant-stimulating rhizobacterium. Spokespersons say it stimulates natural defenses against pathogens. At the same time, it improves nutrient uptake and root health.

Mick Messman, president and CEO of DPH Biologicals, formerly director of global seed treatment for DuPont, says growers get a biological seed treatment in a formulation that wraps crop fertility, stress reduction and disease suppression into one easy-to-use package. Visit

Bayer moves behind the scenes

Bayer announced three separate moves designed to position the company to better supply growers with crop protection and biological-based products in the future:

Bayer and Kimitec. These two companies entered into a strategic partnership, aligning Bayer’s global field-testing resources with Kimitec’s capabilities to make unique biological discoveries. Kimitec operates the Maavi Innovation Center, Europe’s largest biotechnological innovation hub. The goal is to accelerate Bayer’s pipeline of biological product candidates.

Bayer and M2i Group. Fruit and vegetable growers will be the first to benefit from the partnership between Bayer and the French company M2i Group. Bayer becomes the exclusive distributor for M2i products targeting lepidoptera pests. M2i specializes in pheromone production, and Bayer will integrate these products into digitally enabled solutions that include pest monitoring to better advise growers.

Bayer and Oerth Bio. A new collaboration between Bayer and Oerth Bio, a company Bayer helped start in 2019, is geared at developing the next generation of more sustainable crop protection products. Oerth Bio is the only company researching PROTAC, protein degradation technologies. Leaders of both companies believe this technology will result in precisely targeted, low application-rate products that can help overcome biological resistance.

Autonomy kit for Kubota M5 tractor

You can contact Sabanto Inc. and order an autonomy kit that retrofits onto your Kubota M5 tractor, turning it into an autonomous machine. This is the first offering of an autonomous system to customers by Sabanto in North America. Kits for other makes and models are expected to follow.

The company claims the secret is its software. It allows anyone to operate 60- to 90-hp tractors without drivers for multiple days of non-stop operation. Visit

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About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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