Builds on Bold Strategy to Deliver Autonomous Solutions for Agriculture
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Nov. 01, 2019) — Raven Industries, Inc. (the Company; NASDAQ:RAVN) announced today that it has acquired Smart Ag Inc., a technology company that develops autonomous farming solutions for agriculture. This acquisition is part of Raven Autonomy™, the Company’s strategic growth platform to become the industry leader in autonomous agriculture solutions, announced earlier this week. Complementing the Company’s Applied Technology division, a leading technology provider in the precision agriculture industry, this acquisition will be integrated into the division’s business and technology portfolio with the intent to create autonomous solutions for the precision ag market.
“The acquisition of Smart Ag is part of a bold, company-wide strategy for Raven,” commented Dan Rykhus, Raven Industries President and CEO. “It is a key investment in Raven Autonomy™, one of our two strategic growth platforms. Autonomy in agriculture is the future of farming, and this acquisition, coupled with our existing precision agriculture solutions, solidifies our position as a technology leader within this market.”
As part of Raven Autonomy™, the Company plans to deliver autonomous solutions for agriculture that will enable both its OEM partners and ag retailers to be successful. Now more than ever, OEMs need to deliver premier precision ag solutions in order to compete. Raven Autonomy™ will deliver on this great challenge; its technology will enable large-scale ag retailers to augment their operations, allocate resources smartly and reduce labor dependency. Along with the Company’s recent agreement to acquire majority ownership in DOT Technology Corp., the acquisition of Smart Ag brings perception and path planning capabilities to the Company’s leading technologies in precision ag operations.
Smart Ag, headquartered in Ames, Ia., was founded in 2015 to solve the growing labor crisis in production agriculture. Today, Smart Ag is offering aftermarket retrofit kits to automate farm equipment as well as a platform to connect, manage and safely operate autonomous agricultural machinery. Smart Ag’s technology stack is easy to use and modular for scalability. In addition to its proven, proprietary technology, Smart Ag brings an established dealer network and a skilled development team to Raven.
“Raven’s experience in machine and application control is a perfect complement to the autonomous machine control developed by Smart Ag,” said Brian Meyer, Division Vice President of Raven Applied Technology. “Together, the expertise of both companies will allow for more operations to be performed in-field — with a significant increase in both performance and outputs. By automating existing machine platforms and implements, driverless machines have great potential to complement the work of manned machine operations in the field.”
You have probably heard about autonomous vehicles. Maybe even witnessed a concept proto-type at a farm show. The future is now! Could you see this fitting into your operation? Do you have issues with finding reliable help? Operator wear and tear on equipment? Operator fatigue? Have you thought about providing better combine efficiency? Or taking that grain cart operator out of that position during harvest & reallocating that labor to more productive jobs?
AutoCart is the software system to monitor and control your autonomous grain cart. The app allows you to set staging and unloading locations in a field, adjust speed, monitor location, and command the grain cart to sync.