'The OOWC is a unique opportunity to explore ways to make our farms more profitable and sustainable'

How important are olive groves for John Deere?

John Deere has been a very strong brand in olive growing for many years. The robust design of our tractors makes them perfectly adapted to the demanding conditions of the olive grove. This means that John Deere's results in Spain and Portugal are closely linked to those of the olive growers.

How can your company help in the future to further improve precision farming in the olive sector?

John Deere is a world leader in the manufacture and sale of precision farming technologies for field crops. Since the opening of the John Deere Parla Innovation Center, the company is focusing on adapting these technologies to the world of woody crops. Today we already have Rate Controler, a product that allows variable dosing with spraying and fertilizer equipment in woody crops. Soon we will see how advanced guidance or crop monitoring and documentation solutions will be adapted to olive cultivation.  

What are the latest innovations in machinery that the company offers its customers for this type of crop?

In terms of machinery, the main novelty is the 5ML series of tractors. A compact tractor with up to 130hp and a robustness and intelligence worthy of the largest tractors of the brand. In addition, the well-known 5M series has just been updated with a new 8-speed transmission under load and the possibility, like the 5ML, to equip it with technologies such as automatic guidance, ISOBUS or telemetry, which are the gateway to precision farming.

In terms of solutions, we have two products already available in the United States that will soon arrive in Spain. The first is Smart Apply, a system that can be installed on any sprayer and that allows the volume of spray liquid applied to be adjusted to the leaf density of each plant. This means that each zone of the canopy receives just the right amount of the phytosanitary needed to combat the pest or disease. With this technology it is possible to save up to 73% of the phytosanitary product and at the same time reduce the number of refills, thus increasing work efficiency.

The second innovation that we will soon be launching for sale in Spain is GUSS, an autonomous sprayer for woody crops. One operator can operate up to four GUSS sprayers from a Tablet, which means a significant increase in productivity and a better use of the limited manpower available.

John Deere has launched a world-leading innovation hub at its corporate headquarters in Spain. What innovative solutions are you implementing to help improve olive oil and olive grove production?

The John Deere Parla Innovation Center focuses its activity on the development and validation of technologies for woody crops, including olives. The main lines of work are better water management, reduction of inputs, better use of limited available labor and better farm management through digitization.

In addition to the two aforementioned solutions (Smart Apply and GUSS) we are focused on adapting to woody crops precision farming technologies already implemented in extensive crops.

How would you encourage professionals in the olive oil value chain to attend the Olive Oil World Congress?

The Olive Oil World Congress is a unique opportunity to explore ways to make our farms more profitable and sustainable. Now is the time to keep learning and innovating to be better prepared for future challenges.