According to a Sept. 11 article from the Wall Street Journal, John Deere CEO John May said the company will generate 10% of its annual income from software fees by 2030.
The report states sales from software, such as retrofitted programs like Bear Flag Robotics' that equips older tractors with autonomy, are expected to come with higher profit margins than wholegoods salese, quoting a 2021 report from Bernstein analysts estimating the average gross margin for farming software at 85%, compared with 25% for equipment sales.
"By 2026, Deere wants to connect 1.5 million machines in service and a half billion acres in use to its cloud-based John Deere Operations Center, which will collect and store crop data, including millions of images of weeds that can be targeted by herbicide," the report says.
John Deere revealed a fully autonomous tractor at CES 2022 in early January and says the machine will be available to farmers in time for fall 2022 tillage operations.
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