Trimble has signed an agreement to purchase Bilberry, the France-based company that specializes in selective weed spraying systems.
Bilberry, which was founded in Paris in 2016, has developed an artificial intelligence platform and camera system that identifies weeds in real-time, allowing certain sprayers to be retrofitted with technology to target weeds in a growing crop — commonly referred to as “green-on-green” spraying technology.
While the company’s green-on-green system has been commercialized in Australia, Bilberry engineers have been working on bringing the system to the North American market. Testing and data collection took place this spring and summer in Western Canada, targeting broadleaf weeds in cereal crops, grassy weeds in canola, and both broadleaf and grassy weeds in corn (as Bilberry engineer Adrien Persuy discussed on this RealAgriculture Wheat School episode).
For Trimble, the acquisition of Bilberry will complement the large tech company’s existing WeedSeeker spraying system, which can identify plants on bare soil (green-on-brown) prior to a crop emerging.
“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,” said Jim Chambers, vice president of Trimble Agriculture, in a news release. “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.”
Financial terms of the deal were not made public. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.