Herbicide GUSS, the first and only autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer, will be available at select John Deere dealers, the company announced Tuesday. 

"The announcement of Herbicide GUSS underscores why we are so excited to have GUSS as part of our High Value Crop solutions lineup," said Greg Christensen, John Deere Marketing Manager for 5 Series Tractors and High Value Crops. "The GUSS team has years and depth of experience in the high value crop spraying business. They were their own first customers, so they are able to solve true customer needs very quickly. Orchard and vineyard customers in the high-value crop space face many labor, safety and sustainability challenges. GUSS, mini GUSS and now Herbicide GUSS can help producers overcome these challenges." 

Herbicide GUSS uses LIDAR technology to stay in the row. The sprayer's 9 sensors detect, target and spot spray weeds on the orchard floor. Operators can monitor any combination of up to 8 GUSS, mini Guss or Herbicide GUSS sprayers on a laptop computer. 

"Growers have been asking for an autonomous herbicide machine," said Gary Thompson, COO at GUSS Automation. "We took that concept to the next level by implementing weed detection technology to give the grower a machine that provides immense value. Lower chemical usage helps the grower reduce costs and is a benefit to the environment." 

The high-tech herbicide sprayer is 23.5 ft. long, 6.5 ft. tall and ranges from 8.3 to 19 ft. wide depending on the boom extension. The hydraulic-controlled, height-adjustable booms accommodate 18- to 22-foot row spacing and tilt for varying berm sizes. The breakaway booms prevent damage to trees and crops.