NEWS RELEASE   November 13, 2023

Meeting of Smart Minds on SuniTAFE's SMART Farm

Crestmead, Queensland (10 November, 2023) — SuniTAFE's SMART Farm provided the ideal working conditions for John Deere trainers to spend a month teaching 76 personnel and dealership staff from across the country about innovative technology designed for High Value Crops (HVC).

The SMART Farm was used to demonstrate John Deere tech for horticulture such as data management, Universal Yield mapping, Machine Sync, and spray rate controllers on various sprayer configurations, including the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System™.

The training, delivered in four waves over one month, involved 10 John Deere representatives and 66 dealer representatives from four states.

John Deere Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said with horticulture production forecast to double over the next decade in Sunraysia alone, SuniTAFE's facilities proved to be the perfect venue to demonstrate John Deere's innovative precision farming technologies.

"SuniTAFE provided us with a wide range of crops from citrus to nut trees, as well as various vine configurations and open areas, to demonstrate and teach these technologies, and our training team really appreciated the facilities, interaction with staff, support and knowledge shared by the SuniTAFE team," Ms Gersekowski said.

"We demonstrated the Global Unmanned Spray System (GUSS) autonomous sprayer distributed through a partnership between John Deere and the California-based GUSS tech company, on citrus crops, and our personnel and dealer reps learned more about the benefits of the new 5ML Series tractors.

"The 5ML is a compact, intelligent and powerful tractor John Deere has designed for high value vine and tree crops, which can be equipped from factory with precision technologies previously only seen on broadacre agricultural equipment, such as GreenStar™, AutoTrac™ and ISOBUS compatibility."

SuniTAFE's Chief Executive Officer, Brett Millington said the organisation aims to be the leading training provider in SMART Horticulture farming, combining best practice with cutting-edge technology to develop the workforce of tomorrow.

"Industry partnerships, like hosting John Deere staff and trainers, are pivotal in contributing to course content, so that our students receive the most up-to-date and relevant training and businesses are able to plan ahead with the confidence that they have the workforce to realise their goals," Mr Millington said.

"We are at a crossroads between industrial-era farming and SMART Farming, and precision ag and tech stacks like John Deere's will make horticulture farming more efficient and productive. To remain relevant to constantly evolving industries, SuniTAFE knows it must develop effective industry partnerships, be innovative and welcome change."

About John Deere:

Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in Australia at

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Stacey Wordsworth
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Grace Wickson
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