Chemical giant Bayer's crop science division has launched a new digital farming business to beef up the company's digital information gathering and analysis to help farmers better understand their operations.
The company says it wants to help farmers work smarter by combining their own expertise with modern, digitally-enabled tools.
Digital farming head Chris Staff said Bayer's commitment to enhanced digital capabilities would help Australian farmers collect and store billions of data points to monitor field variability, optimise inputs and stop problems before they start.
"Digital farming integrates detailed information on factors such as weather conditions, soil moisture, soil nutrient levels and crop health to improve on-farm decision-making, leveraging application technology and data science to maximise efficiency and productivity," he said.
Bayer's digital platform, FieldView, delivers seamless data collection, visualisation and analysis to help farmers make more informed decisions.
A pilot FieldView program is currently underway in Australia prior to commercial release.
On-farm users will own their data and can choose to combine it with public and private information sources to deliver powerful insights that help with making key decisions throughout the year.
"While FieldView as a standalone product will improve on-farm decision making and data collection, it is also globally the most connected digital ag platform with over 60 platform partners," Mr Staff said.
"This global partner network offers Australian growers' industry leading support."
He said Bayer was proud to be helping farmers make data-driven decisions in real-time while using resources more precisely.
Digital tools would be essential in conserving water, energy, fertiliser and crop protection inputs.
"By planting the right varieties and applying fertilisers or crop protection products at the right time and rates, farmers reach their maximum yield potential from every crop on every field, reducing the need to use more land," Mr Staff said.
"We are committed to setting new standards for sustainable agriculture and excited by the possibilities that FieldView can bring to Australian farmers and, indeed, to the Australian agriculture industry."
Additionally, Bayer was committed to working with the ag-tech community to deliver new technologies to farmers.
"Collaboration will be the key to realising the full value digital farming can provide to farmers and society," Mr Staff said.
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Bayer employs almost 900 people in Australia in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition, with a core focus on the needs of rural communities.
Bayer managing director Joerg Ellmanns said the digital transformation of the sector continued to have a fundamentally positive effect on modern, sustainable agriculture.
Bayer had committed to reducing the environmental impact of crop protection by 30 per cent by 2030 as part of its drive to "shape a more sustainable future for agriculture".
"As the world's population grows and factors such as urbanisation, climate change and soil degradation limit broadacre farmland, agriculture's productivity needs to continue its rise to safeguard our food supply in the long term," he said.
"Digital farming helps farmers produce the maximum amount of food from every crop in every paddock, reducing the need to use more land. "More efficient use of raw materials and other inputs will also contribute to Bayer's sustainability goals."
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