John Deere has joined forces with the Sonoma County Winegrowers to propel the agricultural industry into a new era of automation and digital innovation through the Farm of the Future project. This pioneering initiative aims to pilot groundbreaking concepts in farming technology and sustainability practices, bridging the gap between traditional viticulture and futuristic agriculture.
Announced at the Sonoma County Winegrowers’ annual meeting this January, the partnership marks a significant step forward in the adoption of advanced technologies across the agricultural sector. The Farm of the Future project, described by Sonoma as a “living lab,” offers a unique platform for winegrowers and technology firms to experiment with and refine innovative solutions aimed at enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of farming operations.
Joining an esteemed group of collaborators, including Ford Pro and Wilbur Ellis, as well as rising tech enterprises like Agrology and Pellen, John Deere is set to contribute to the development of technologies designed to overcome the labor and operational challenges currently faced by farmers.
“This new collaboration will be one of the most significant developments for wine grapes and other high value crops,” expressed Karissa Kruse, CEO of Sonoma County Winegrowers. “Our living lab provides amazing real-world applications focused on achieving game-changing solutions. We want to be the model for the future of agriculture everywhere.”
“With John Deere, we will be learning together how our farmers can do more with less resources while moving towards more mechanization to increase the longevity of their vineyards.”
Sean Sundberg, John Deere’s business integration manager, echoed this sentiment, stating, “Our focus is working with a real purpose on real technology to bring about a real impact. We look forward to addressing some of the biggest challenges facing winegrowers and farmers of other high value crops by developing solutions that address our customers’ needs.”
The Farm of the Future was initially launched in 2022 in collaboration with Ford Pro, acknowledging the increasing frequency and severity of climate impacts on agriculture. In 2023, Wilbur Ellis joined the initiative, enhancing efforts to improve soil health and optimize water usage within the industry. The project currently involves seven pilot farmers dedicated to increasing organic soil matter, mapping soil variability, and implementing new technologies in practical trials, aiming to foster a sustainable and technologically advanced future for agriculture.