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Raven Acquires Iowa Start-Up Smart Ag
In another step toward achieving its goal of building an autonomous solution for agriculture, Raven Industries has acquired Smart Ag LLC, which adds perception and path-planning capabilities to the company's precision ag operations.
“The acquisition of Smart Ag is part of a bold, company-wide strategy for Raven,” says 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 its Raven Autonomy platform, the company believes delivering autonomous solutions to its OEM partners and ag retailers is a necessary step in helping them achieve success. Not only will this enable OEMs to deliver premier precision ag solutions, but also it will equip large-scale ag retailers with the tools to augment their operations, allocate sources smartly, and reduce dependence on labor.
Founded by Colin Hurd in 2015, Smart Ag offers aftermarket retrofit kits to automate farm equipment as well as a platform to connect, manage, and safely operate agricultural machinery autonomously. The Ames, Iowa, company’s technology is easy to use and modular for scalability. It also includes an established dealer network and a skilled development team.
“Raven’s experience in machine and application control is a perfect complement to the autonomous machine control developed by Smart Ag,” says 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.”