Will Raven’s Recent Moves Solidify Autonomy in Agriculture?

In mid-October, I had spent part of one week visiting companies in the Iowa/Minnesota/South Dakota geography. One of my stops was to see the folks at Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, SD. At that time, the company was busy digesting how the 2019 growing season had played out for the long-time agricultural technology suppler.

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“Overall, it was a good year for us, at least when you compare it to what kind of year we had in 2018,” said Nick Langerock, Raven Applied Technology U.S. Aftermarket Sales Manager & Marketing Manager. “And we spent some of our time growing, adding AgSync to our company and opening an office in Brazil to expand our Latin American operations.”

And since that visit took place, Raven has continued to go about growing its overall agricultural technology footprint. On October 31, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire majority ownership of DOT Technology Corp., a supplier of autonomous vehicles. Recently, DOT announced plans to work on an autonomous spreader with New Leader.

According to Brian Meyer, Division Vice President of Raven Applied Technology, Raven hopes to leverage the respective strengths of both companies to accelerate the development of precision agriculture technology from semi-autonomous to fully-autonomous solutions. “Our majority ownership investment in DOT is clear evidence of our commitment to deliver revolutionary autonomous technology to the market,” said Meyer.

Will Raven's recent moves quicken the introduction of autonomous vehicles?

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One day later, on November 1, Raven announced it had acquired Smart Ag Inc. as well. This technology company develops autonomous farming solutions for agriculture. “[This] is a key investment in Raven Autonomy, one of our strategic growth platforms,” said Dan Rykhus, Raven’s President and CEO, of the deal. “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.”

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