While global player John Deere and German manufacturer Horsch are believed to be well down the track with autonomous field robots, it looks like Dutch start-up company AgXeed will be the first to enter series production with the aptly named AgBot.
Chandler previously acted as chief economist for John Deere at its Illinois headquarters in the United States.
Chandler said he was excited to have the opportunity to apply his global knowledge and John Deere’s research and development capability to benefit Australian and New Zealand industries.
“My work looking at global agriculture trends for many years has reinforced how competitive our farmers have to be in export markets without the government support many of our competitors receive,” he said.
He said that competitiveness came from the fact that Australian and New Zealand farmers are world leaders in innovation.
He said that the best innovation flowed from John Deere’s investment in relationships.
“Technology only works well when it’s solving real problems,” Chandler said.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting customers and dealers around Australia and New Zealand to get a better understanding of the problems we need to solve.
“I’m also very keen to partner with industry bodies and policy makers as agriculture looks to be more collaborative and cooperative in the future to drive change that’s profitable, productive and sustainable,” he said.
Outgoing managing director Peter Wanckel said Chandler brought vast expertise to the role.
“Luke has worked in agriculture all over the world and his broad experience in the industry at global leadership levels will bring benefits to Australian and New Zealand farmers,” Wanckel said.
“I’m very proud and privileged to have worked for a company like John Deere that has a great culture focused on people and serving customers.”