One of the more interesting elements of John Deere’s planned acquisition of Precision Planting from parent company Monsanto involved the data collection capabilities provided by the hardware. The cancellation of the deal included a digital collaboration agreement between Deere and the Climate Corp., which would have allowed for sharing of agronomic data between Deere’s Operations Center and Climate’s FieldView platform.
While Deere would have acquired the hardware side of Precision Planting, the data collection aspect would have remained with Monsanto. Had the equipment sale gone through, several precision dealers suggested the outcome could have given Monsanto access to the majority of planting data being collected in the market.
Steve Cubbage, owner of Record Harvest, a Precision Planting dealer in Nevada, Mo., says he wasn’t surprised the acquisition fell apart, but he expects the data component will be a bargaining chip in negotiations with other potential buyers.
“Monsanto says they don’t want to be in the precision hardware business and in my opinion, they never did. They bought Precision (Planting) to gain access to the data and I think even with the Deere deal, that was a still a caveat as they said, ‘We’ll sell you the hardware business, but we retain the rights to whatever data flows through that technology.’ I think that is going to be the carrot and the stick in negotiations moving forward, because the last thing Monsanto will want to give up is access to that flow of data coming through that hardware.”
It remains to be seen how the termination of the sale will disrupt Monsanto’s long-term plans on the data collection side, but the company has stated it still intends to sell Precision Planting’s equipment business, valued at $190 million.