AGCO has secured a 2.9% equity investment in Greeneye Technology, an Israeli company that has developed an AI-based precision spraying system to detect and spot spray individual weeds at speeds of up to 20km/hr. The system is claimed to reduce chemical use by up to 90%.

Designed for integration into any brand or size of sprayer, the system uses a combination of AI and deep machine learning for the real-time detection and spraying of crop weeds (green on green) with a claimed accuracy of 95.7%.

Founded in 2017 in Tel Aviv, Greeneye launched the technology in October this year. AGCO, the parent company of Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, is not the only investor in the recent US$22m round of funding, which also includes investments by Syngenta.

The cash will be used to support the commercial roll-out in the US in 2022 and its expansion across North America in 2023. It will also be used to advance the technology’s analytical capabilities and extend its usage to new inputs and crops. Also, the company plans to double the size of its R&D team in Israel and its US sales and operations team.

“This funding round marks a major milestone in our mission to dramatically reduce chemical usage in agriculture and increase profitability and productivity for farmers,” comments Nadav Bocher, CEO, Greeneye Technology. “Precision spraying has a crucial role to play in our essential transition to a sustainable food production system, and this investment signals the industry’s absolute confidence that Greeneye is the company to lead the charge.”

AGCO boss Eric Hansotia says there are a number of emerging technologies around precision spraying. “Greeneye has differentiated itself in multiple ways, including the approach to install its precision spraying system on farmers’ existing sprayers,” he comments “This aligns with our retrofit first approach and is just one of the reasons why we are excited to join Greeneye’s team of investors.”