NEWS RELEASE   October 21, 2023

High Value Showcase Unveils New 5ML and Semi-Autonomous Sprayer

Crestmead, Queensland (21 October, 2023) — John Deere has answered the call of high value crop (HVC) customers searching for additional technology and efficiency gains, staging the first field day in Australia for the new 5ML tractor, purpose-built for orchards and vineyards, and the Global Unmanned Spray System (GUSS).

Dozens of customers and dealers were invited to SuniTAFE's Smart Farm in Mildura, Victoria, as part of the HVC Showcase, allowing them to ride and drive the first 5ML on Australian shores and speak to John Deere and GUSS representatives.

John Deere Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said it was an opportunity to both demonstrate the productivity-enhancing features of the 5ML and reinforce the company's commitment to high value cropping.

"We understand customers in this sector have really been calling for additional technology and productivity gains to support their operations and the 5ML is the perfect example of how we're working to do that," Ms Gersekowski said.

"We've been able to integrate a lot of technology that traditionally hasn't been available in our smaller frame tractors, such as integrated AutoTrac™ within the dash display."

The 5ML also brings unprecedented power to John Deere's orchard tractor offering with 105, 120 and 130-horsepower models available. With two front-axle configurations for working widths from 155cm (61 inches) and up to 180cm (71 inches), the 5ML carries premium features at a size suited to exacting applications.

The 5ML comes equipped with programmable LED lighting, a front hitch to ensure operators can use heavier implements such as almond harvesters, and a front PTO for added versatility. There is also the choice of an easy-to-use PowrQuad™ PLUS or Powr8™ transmission. A new Limb Lifter kit can be added to gently move away low hanging branches, reducing the potential for damage to the tree and tractor.

Production begins in November with units available in Australia by Spring 2024.

"I would strongly encourage people interested in the 5ML to contact their local dealer as the first units are arriving soon for demonstration," Ms Gersekowski said.

GUSS on Show

The HVC Showcase also provided the ideal location for the first look at a GUSS operating in the field in Australia.

GUSS Automation Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Gary Thompson, was on hand to lead the demonstration and said the driverless spraying solution was borne out of a shortage of labour in the company's home US state of California.

"We come from an agricultural background," Mr Thompson said.

"Our CEO started a commercial spraying business in 1982 with two tractors and grew it to become the largest commercial application company in California, and we will spray over 2,000 hectares every single day in our peak season.

"He's brought in a lot of innovations over the years such as some of the industry's first three- and four-row vineyard sprayers but eventually finding tractor drivers became his number one challenge. So, he decided to do something about it."

GUSS units use a sophisticated combination of GPS and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology, vehicle sensors, and software to move and navigate through high value crops. In April last year, John Deere announced a joint venture with GUSS to accelerate the development and distribution of the technology and meet the needs of orchard and vineyard production.

"The whole concept was we wanted one employee to be able to supervise an entire fleet of these machines," Mr Thompson said.

"As of today, we have about 240 of these autonomous sprayers out in the world and run more autonomous acres than any other company."

Mr Thompson said the partnership with John Deere would allow GUSS Automation to continue to evolve and innovate and saw great potential in John Deere's acquisition of precision spraying company Smart Apply Inc.

"We're looking at what kind of technologies we can add to our base machine and one of them we're excited about is Smart Apply," he said.

"It's a product that uses LiDAR sensors to see the canopy of the tree or the vine and engage individual nozzles to spray where it sees foliage and turn off where it doesn't see foliage," Mr Thompson said.

"It saves a huge amount of chemical which is great for the grower and good for the environment."

Just Getting Started

Ms Gersekowski said the first HVC Showcase was just the beginning for John Deere and its determination to help growers with equipment tailored to HVC production.

"In terms of future development within the HVC portfolio, and our commitment to our high value customers, I can share that we will be continuing to bring solutions to market at a much more rapid pace," Ms Gersekowski said.

"The 5ML is just the beginning and we're excited to bring further products and technology solutions to the HVC segment over the next several years."

New Zealand grower and Woodhaven Gardens Director, Jay Clarke, was a guest speaker at the event and underscored the importance of efficiency gains in the pursuit of greater sustainability.

"Precision agriculture is one of the biggest tools in becoming more sustainable in food production systems," Mr Clarke said.

"Being able to put the right product in the right place at the right time is essential to lowering our input use and still being able to produce an abundance of healthy food with a lower environmental impact.

"Without the equipment that John Deere supplies we are not able to do that."

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 Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371

Grace Wickson
0432 748 837