September 6, 2017 / 10:38 PM / a year ago

Deere to buy agtech company Blue River for $305 million

People look at Deere equipment as they attend National Farm Machinery show in Louisville, Kentucky, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Meredith Davis

(Reuters) - Deere & Co (DE.N), known for its trademark green tractors, said on Wednesday it would acquire privately-held Blue River Technology for $305 million to increase the machine-learning capabilities of its farm equipment.

California-based Blue River has designed technology that helps farmers reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present, optimizing the use of inputs in farming, Deere said in a statement.

Agriculture technology, which includes the use of drones, robotics and bioengineering to efficiently grow crops, has become a buzzword in the farming industry in the past few years.

Recently Monsanto MON.N struck a deal with biotech company ToolGen Inc to develop farm products, while DuPont DD.N bought agriculture analytics firm Granular Inc.

Reporting by Roopal Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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