Bayer and the aerospace technology company Planetary Resources, based in Redmond, Washington, USA, have signed a memorandum of understanding about the development of applications and products based on satellite images. Bayer intends to purchase these data from Planetary Resources to create new agricultural products and improve existing ones. The collaboration will be part of the Digital Farming Initiative at Bayer. Financial details were not disclosed.
Using the combined technologies from the two companies, farmers can time their irrigation systems much better to save water, receive planting date recommendations and re-planting advice, and assess their soil’s water-holding capacity. Another project is a canopy temperature scout that provides weekly practical insights and scouting support from emergence to harvest by identifying problem areas in the field.
“The sensors from Planetary Resources can become a powerful tool that can provide a new level of information on crops anywhere in the world,” says Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division. “The combination of Bayer’s scientific and agronomy expertise and Planetary Resources’ unique sensor capability will greatly improve our ability to deliver truly practical intelligence to growers anywhere on the planet.”
Chris Lewicki, CEO of Planetary Resources, added: “We have identified Bayer as a prime partner in the agriculture industry based on their expertise in several fields and anticipate that this collaboration will accelerate technology deployment, product development, and market acceptance. We are currently conducting airborne Research and Development (R&D) campaigns over a variety of agricultural targets. Bayer is interested in supporting these activities with scientific and agronomic expertise in order to accelerate R&D, product validation and creation.”
Bayer intends to provide farmers all over the world with practical decision-making aids based on the precise evaluation and combination of diverse data such as weather data or topographic maps. Using these individualized recommendations, farmers can optimize their business management and lower costs. This would not only lead to higher yields and therefore an improved income but also more efficient and environmentally compatible deployment of resources. Bayer is now strengthening its activities in the market of digital farming through strategic investments, and is committed to long-term research and development collaborations with leading technology providers such as Planetary Resources.