NEWS RELEASE   February 15, 2024

John Deere and GUSS Automation unveil electric option and Smart Apply upgrade

GUSS vehicle under a tin roof


Crestmead, Queensland (15 February, 2024) — JOHN Deere and GUSS Automation have unveiled the world's first, and only, fully electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer at the 2024 World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, with orders soon to be opened to growers in Australia.

Electric GUSS takes the proven performance of GUSS automation and extends its environmental and productivity profile with battery power to further enhance the intelligent sprayer's sustainability credentials.

Growers can control multiple sprayers from a remote source increasing productivity, optimising and upskilling labour, and enabling farming operations to meet sustainability goals through lower emissions and enhanced application precision.

John Deere Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said the launch reaffirms the company's commitment to finding the best solutions for high-value crop growers.

"The all-new electric GUSS will provide farmers with reliable and powerful performance, with added benefits to help increase productivity and profitability," Ms Gersekowski said.

The machine includes a spot spraying weed detection system that identifies chlorophyll in the weeds and only sprays where they are detected. The technology significantly reduces the overall application amount used, resulting in up to 90% savings in materials, depending on weed pressure.

GUSS Automation Chief Operating Officer, Gary Thompson, said it also leads to lower operating costs, reduced material drift, and contributes to enhanced employee safety.

"We've been asked countless times about making GUSS electric," Mr Thompson said.

"An electric herbicide sprayer made the most sense to us, given that the battery life can last an entire shift while performing this critical orchard task. Combining the battery's electric benefits of low operating costs and zero tailpipe emissions with spot spraying weed detection technology makes Electric GUSS a winner."

The Electric GUSS utilises Kriesel batteries that can run and spray for a full shift when fully charged.

Using a combination of GPS, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and proprietary technology for accurate coverage, a single employee can operate and monitor up to eight GUSS machines from the safety of their vehicle using a laptop computer, reducing the opportunity for operator exposure.

The autonomous capability includes multiple safety features to avoid hazards and automatically pauses the spray operation when individuals are in close proximity.

The sprayer is 7.16m long, 1.93m tall and ranges from 2.54m to 5.79m wide depending on boom extension. The hydraulic-controlled, height-adjustable spray booms accommodate 5.5m to 6.7m row spacing that can be tilted upward for berm spraying. The unique design also incorporates breakaway booms to help prevent damage to trees and crops during operation.

Electric GUSS will soon be available for ordering at select John Deere dealer locations across Australia.

Smart Apply technology now available

In addition, the diesel-powered Orchard GUSS and mini GUSS autonomous blast sprayers now have an option to add the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System™.

Acquired by John Deere in 2023, Smart Apply delivers precision application, precision data and analytics, and can elevate the performance of blast sprayers. By sensing the presence of individual trees and vines and automatically adjusting spray volume based on tree size and foliage density, Smart Apply helps optimise protection and avoid over-spraying, resulting in up to 50% chemical and water savings, on average.

Ms Gersekowski said Smart Apply, paired with GUSS, brings farmers the efficiency of an automated blast sprayer and the accuracy and ease of an intelligent application system.

"It's the best of both worlds," she said.

"The labour optimisation benefits of GUSS, now combined with the input optimisation benefits of Smart Apply, will be available both as a factory-installed option and as a Precision Upgrade for existing Orchard and mini GUSS machines."

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

Media enquiries:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371