​John Deere and GUSS Automation unveil electric option

20-02 | |
The electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer, Electric GUSS. - Photo: Marc Pasveer
The electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer, Electric GUSS. - Photo: Marc Pasveer

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, California (February 13-15).

Building on 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 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, according to John Deere and Guss. This is resulting in up to 90% 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.

The Electric GUSS utilizes Kriesel 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‘6” long, 6‘4” tall and with an operational width of 8‘4“-19’ wide. The hydraulic-controlled height-adjustable spray booms accommodate 18‘-22’ 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.

Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System

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% 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.

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

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Ed Asscheman Online editor Future Farming