Bayer launches new digital farming brand Xarvio

“Our objective is to improve farming – for the farmers and for the environment,” said Tobias Menne, global head of digital farming at Bayer, in a company news release. “xarvio technololgies can support farmers all around our planet to optimize the amount of crop protection they need, thus to produce more efficiently and to increase profits while reducing the impact farming has on the environment.”

Bayer officials say xarvio solutions give farmers the opportunity to optimize the potential of their individual fields and field zones. Bayer’s Field Manager, for instance, will provide farmers with instant access to field-specific actionable strategies for the most efficient application of crop-protection products.

“With the Field Manager, which uses imaging and sensor technology from e.g. satellites, farmers always have the status of their fields at hand, receive field-specific crop- protection timing, and can download field-zone specific variable application maps,” said Andree-Georg Girg, head of commercialization digital farming and managing director of digital farming GmbH at Bayer. “As a result, the application of agricultural inputs can be optimized so that the perfect amount is used exactly when and where it is needed, and harvests will be produced more efficiently.”

The new xarvio Scouting App makes it easy to detect and identify crop diseases, insects, the nitrogen status, and other leaf damage, say Bayer officials. They say farmers will also profit from the data gathered by their neighbors. They see which diseases are emerging and see the insect pressure around them, add Bayer officials. The app is now available in an iOS as well as an Android version and is accessible through the app stores.

Sustainability through digital technologies

Bayer officials say digital farming paves the way for a new agricultural revolution that makes farming quicker, more precise, efficient, and sustainable. Already today, most new farm machinery is equipped with precision agriculture features. New tools help farmers optimize inputs such as fertilizer and crop-protection agents with corresponding improvements in yields and quality.

Digital farming solutions also help meet society’s rising requirements in terms of transparency and sustainability, say Bayer officials. Bayer is collaborating with highly competent partners such as Bosch and FaunaPhotonics, universities, start-up companies, and nonprofit organizations.

“By donating licenses to use proprietary data to organizations such as Quantified Planet, we are contributing to research into biodiversity for the benefit of both agriculture and society – and we are open for further partnerships,” Menne added in a Bayer news release.

Currently, Bayer provides digital solutions in more than 60 countries and is aiming to achieve rapid further expansion. The new technologies have huge potential not only in countries such as Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia, but also for small-holder farmers in developing countries, say Bayer officials. Enabling small farmers to reach their farming potential is key to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner and to improve the lives of their families and communities, say Bayer officials.

Enabling targeted and transparent data use

The exchange of data between farmers and technology providers like Bayer is of great importance. Farmers should be informed and agree to how the data they share is used and accessed. Particularly, the collection, use, and storage of data must be clear and transparent. “Data policies, practices, and engagements with farmers should be carried out in an open and transparent manner and consistent with agreed-upon terms,” Menne said in a Bayer news release. “We believe the best approach would be one in which partners agree on rules, such as through well-defined service agreements or a general code of conduct.”

Data security is key

The exchange of data must happen in a secure way, say Bayer officials. “Security is at the top of our mind, and we take all necessary steps in order to protect data,” Menne said in a Bayer press release. Bayer uses technical and organizational security precautions to protect data from manipulation, loss, destruction, or access by unauthorized persons. “Any personal data that is provided to us will be encrypted, when in transit between systems, in order to prevent possible misuse by third parties.”

“As a leading innovation company and technology provider in the agricultural space, we have lots to share but also much to learn from the farming community,” Menne pointed out in a Bayer news release. “We are eager to learn and engage in the ongoing discussion about the responsible use of data in modern agriculture.”

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