Agritechnica 2023, more and more sensors (and data) in Bayer’s future

Agritechnica it is a large showcase where the major players in agricultural mechanization showcase their innovations. Among the tractors and technology, sensors and robots, the pavilion was also interesting Bayerthe only one of the large agrochemical companies that operates in Hannover.

The Bayer stand represents well the new direction the company has been taking for several years: it is no longer alone agrochemicals and seeds innovative but also a lot digital and last but not least, sensors and hardware tools.

From sensors to data to digital agriculture

Thanks to its platform Climate FieldViewBayer took a leading role in digital agricultureespecially on extensive crops such as maize and wheat.

However, in order to always offer new and increasingly reliable services, Bayer develops a number of services IoT devices to be offered to farmers. We already knew tools such as Nematool AND FieldView Drivebut at Agritechnica 2023, a complete line of field IoT devices was on display, as well as a spray arm.

MagicScout Air is a field monitoring service launched by Bayer that is based on the use of drones

MagicScout Air is a field monitoring service launched by Bayer that is based on the use of drones

(Photo source: Tommaso Cinquemani – AgroNotizie®)

But is Bayer turning into a device maker? “Let’s think about it Applewhich started by making computers but then revolutionized the telephone sector with smartphones and the music sector with iTunes and then worked in other areas such as the cloud”he answers Jeremy Williamsresponsible for the development of digital solutions at Bayer Crop Science, which we meet in Hannover.

“Bayer’s core business will continue to be agro-pharmaceuticals and seeds, but digital technology will play an increasingly important role, and the equipment we design serves to offer farmers around the world service more and more overalls.

Smart traps, drones and spray wands

In some northern European countries, Bayer already offers to farmers who grow rapeseed clever traps appointed MagicTrap. These are yellow chromotropic traps that attract and trap harmful insects. The camera takes pictures of the samples and sends the images to the cloud for processing artificial intelligence algorithms to identify the species and number of catches. And in the case of large populations, the farmer can receive a notice to be able to intervene quickly without having to go into the field to check traps.

MagicTrap for canola.  But Bayer is working on other traps, such as the one on Tuta absoluta, also interesting for the Italian context

MagicTrap for canola. But Bayer is working on other traps, such as the one on Tuta absoluta, also interesting for the Italian context

(Photo source: Tommaso Cinquemani – AgroNotizie®)

Another solution presented in Hannover is MagicScoutsmartphone app that enables recognition weeds in the field. By framing the weed with a cell phone camera, the system is able to recognize the species it belongs to, even if the sample is in its early stages of development.

The images, geolocated, can be stored in the cloud on FieldView and will allow you to have a history of tracking in the field. And above all, they allow you to plan containment strategy spontaneous flora.

MagicScout detects weeds in the field, in this case the Solanum nigrum plant

MagicScout detects weeds in the field, in this case the Solanum nigrum plant

(Photo source: Tommaso Cinquemani – AgroNotizie®)

We will complete the field monitoring tools MagicScout Airan application that allows you to schedule a flight drone (such as those of DJ) above the field and take photos at predetermined locations. The images are instantly sent to the farmer’s smartphone, which can do so oversee the fieldidentification of critical areas, double seeds and deficiencies, crop development status and so on.

If you then want to end with MagicSprayerbar for precise weeding. A device that is able to continuously record the soil and identify the presence of weeds. The identified samples are then hit and stream of herbicide solution with a resolution of 4×4 centimeters. In this way, the farmer saves the product and gets a clean field in a sustainable way.

“It’s a solution simpleto low costwhich farmers will be able to integrate easy to manage fields”Williams points out. “We are certainly not turning into a company that has both.” objective sell devices or sensors, but we do it when they are necessary to complete the offer value for the customer, from agro-pharmaceuticals to genetics, through nutrition to digital”.

MagicSprayer spray bar: on the left the nozzles, behind them LED panels for lighting the weeds and on the white panel a high-definition camera

MagicSprayer spray bar: on the left the nozzles, behind them LED panels for lighting the weeds and on the white panel a high-definition camera

(Photo source: Tommaso Cinquemani – AgroNotizie®)

Data, the wealth of the future

All these IoT sensors he likes her objective collecting data and making it available for analysis to provide valuable services to the farmer. Traps, drones and smartphones are nothing more than sources of data that generate more value the bigger they are integrated.

And that’s about itintegrationand therefore frominteroperability, which Bayer is working on. One of the hottest fronts concerns partnership with Microsoftthan with his Azure cloud platform made its computing power available to the Monheim Group.

Only Azure has the ability to do that data interoperable collected Bayer systems (such as FieldView) p third side, such as insurance companies, banks, large retail (large retail) and so on. Through the platform Azure Data Manager these entities may, depending on the farmer’s availability, have access to the data contained in FieldView, to data related to agricultural machinery, but also to weather data or satellite images. In addition to services developed by Bayer under the brand name AgPowered Services.

In short, in a single cloud ecosystem, it is possible to have different data sets that can be analyzed and offered new services to farmers.

Read also Digital agriculture, the next step? Integrate services and data

And he was also present at the Bayer stand Agricultural machinery decoderdeveloped by the company Leaf farminga Californian company specializing in interoperability in the agricultural sector that has developed equipment capable of producing i agricultural machinery any constructor with FieldView.

Farm Machinery Decoder connected to a touchpad that can be used in the cab

Farm Machinery Decoder connected to a touchpad that can be used in the cab

(Photo source: Tommaso Cinquemani – AgroNotizie®)

Keyword: regenerative agriculture

As he explained Frank Terhorstresponsible for Bayer’s sustainability strategy, all tools smart agriculture developed in recent years by Bayer have as objective that increase profitability farmers, but at the same time they enable larger sustainability staging.

Bayer's digital and hardware solutions complement each other and increase the sustainability and productivity of farmers

Bayer’s digital and hardware solutions complement each other and increase the sustainability and productivity of farmers

(Photo source: Tommaso Cinquemani – AgroNotizie®)

“L”regenerative agriculture it’s a new paradigm we need to look at”Terhorst explained to us during Agritechnica 2023.

“Today, society and the supply chain are asking us to produce with more respect environment he was born in ground floor. It is our duty to support farmers in this transition and tools like Climate FieldView they can be great Support, support. However, regenerative agriculture can be one of them opportunitywhereas today agri-food companies are willing to pay a premium to those who adopt these practices”.

Another business that digital can unlock is that carbon farmingthus, the possibility of carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. “We continue to work on this front as well, pobjective run system capable measure and certify carbon sequestered in soil to allow it to be emitted carbon creditwhich the farmer can then sell on the market”.

On the other hand, agriculture is growing more and more complex with a stratification of varying degrees of complexity related to climate change, new legislation, supply chain and wholesale requirements. In this context, for farmers who have a partner who knows how to secure answers to 360° it is an important added value.

Read also Global transition, cutting edge goes through regenerative agriculture

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