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Digital tech set to pave the way to risk sharing

The Future of Farming Dialogue at Bayer Crop Science in Monheim welcomed 150 industry stakeholders from over 30 countries to discuss how a planet under pressure can feed a growing population.

Over the next decade, digital technology will change the world of agriculture as we know it, with completely different business models focussed around quality and quantity output, instead of paying a company for its inputs.

 

This is according to Frank Terhorst, who told Farmers Guardian: “Everything will change in a way we can only start to imagine. If you think about how digital has changed your private life in the last 10 years, it is really difficult to predict just how much it will change in the next 10 years.

 


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Monitor

 

“Using FieldView, we can already see every square meter of corn or soybeans in the US, monitoring the soil health, climate, weather and development of the crops; whether they are stressed and what the stress is. It is just mind blowing.

 

“This will allow us in 10 years, or maybe even earlier, to be very specific with regard to recommendations but also in season crop management not just by field, but by square meter.”

Predict

 

Liam Condon, president of Bayer’s Crop Science division said the digital platform opens entirely new possibilities to develop a new business model which is focussed on business outcomes.

 

He said: “Today we sell bags of seeds and crop protection products and give agronomic advice and we get paid for the inputs that we sell.

 

"Now imagine a world where we are making a recommendation to a grower, and for example, guaranteeing a certain amount of yield, and we get paid on whether or not that prediction comes true.

“It takes the risk from the grower and if there is an upside we share it. We are expecting to roll this out over the next few years. We are convinced this is something the industry will move towards.”

 

Bayer currently has 10 FieldView drives on farm in the UK, and it plans to expand the trials next year.

Under the conference theme ‘tomorrow belongs to all of us’, Bayer announced its sustainability commitments to help advance a carbon-zero and more inclusive future for agriculture by 2030.

These were:

  • Reduce field greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent from the most emitting crop systems in the regions Bayer serves
  • Reduce the environmental impact of crop protection by 30 per cent by developing new technologies that help farmers to scale down crop protection product volumes and enable a more precise application.
  • Empower 100 million smallholder farmers in developing countries around the world by providing more access to sustainable agricultural solutions.
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