Trimble has signed an agreement to acquire Bilberry, a French technology company that specializes in selective spraying systems for sustainable agriculture.
“Our planned acquisition of Bilberry builds out Trimble’s crop protection portfolio by adding green-on-green selective spraying capabilities and supports our development of autonomous solutions,” says Jim Chambers, vice president of Trimble Agriculture. “The Bilberry solution is brand agnostic and compatible with a broad range of spraying equipment manufacturers, which is ideal for mixed fleet operations. This capability, together with existing Trimble competencies, will enable us to expand our role in the growing market for precision agriculture solutions that can reduce input costs, create efficiencies for our customers, and drive sustainability in farming.”
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Founded in Paris, France in 2016, Bilberry applies artificial intelligence (AI) technology that identifies a wide variety of weed species in real time for a broad range of crop types. Existing sprayers can be retrofitted with the technology to apply herbicide to only weeds (green-on-green) rather than spraying an entire crop or bare ground. Farmers can also visualize their crops on a weed density map, so they can track the evolution of problem areas. Studies have shown that the system can reduce the use of herbicides by more than 80%, while protecting the environment and significantly lowering input costs for farmers.
As part of its crop protection portfolio, Trimble’s WeedSeeker system can identify plants on bare soil (green-on-brown) and can only be used prior to the crop emerging from the soil. The addition of Bilberry’s AI technology and extensive worldwide weed database will extend Trimble’s crop protection portfolio by providing selective spraying to identify differences in plants (green-on-green) and can be used throughout the spraying season and before crops emerge.
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“Trimble is a leading provider of precision agriculture solutions, and we are excited about the opportunity to take our business to the next level. As customer demand continues to grow for selective spraying technology, we will be able to leverage relationships withTrimble’s worldwide distribution channel,” says Guillaume Jourdain, co-founder and CEO of Bilberry. “Our technology will offer farmers the ability to gain even more efficiencies out of their existing or new equipment with innovative spraying solutions that have a positive impact on the environment.”
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The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory approval. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.