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Deere Legal Battle Highlights Race for $240 Billion Farm Tech Market

  • High-speed planting is a ‘game changer’ for crop growers
  • Precision farming also includes drones, autonomous tractors

An obscure-sounding legal battle between two of the biggest farm-machinery makers is highlighting a race to automate farm work.

Deere & Co., the world’s biggest tractor maker, is suing rival AGCO Corp. over gadgets like seed meters and hoppers that attach to planting machines. Such devices are integral to a projected $240 billion market for so-called precision agriculture, which harnesses big data to automate operations and boost productivity.