SIOUX FALLS, S.D., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) isn’t wasting any time in getting its recently announced strategic plan to invest in autonomous farming technology off the ground. The company announced that is has acquired Smart Ag Inc., a technology company that develops autonomous farming solutions for agriculture.
On Oct. 28, Raven released details of its 5 year plan to significantly increase its investment in autonomous ag technologies. It then followed up two days later with the announcement that it had acquired a majority interest in Dot Technologies, a Canadian firm that has developed the Dot Power Platform and Dot Ready Implements.
Two days after that, Raven Autonomy said it had acquired Smart Ag. The company says this acquisition is part of its strategic growth platform to become the industry leader in autonomous agriculture solutions, announced earlier this week.
Complementing the company’s Applied Technology division, a provider of 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 company-wide strategy for Raven,” said 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 OEMs and ag retailers. 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 established technologies in precision ag operations.
Smart Ag, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, 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 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,” 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. By automating existing machine platforms and implements, driverless machines have great potential to complement the work of manned machine operations in the field.”