JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Prospective asteroid miner Planetary Resources is collaborating with multinational chemical and pharmaceuticals company Bayer to provide a new level of crop intelligence for the global agricultural industry.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday that would enable Bayer to develop applications and products based on satellite images as part of Bayer’s Digital Farming initiative. Bayer intended to buy data from the aerospace technology company, based in Redmond, Washington, US, to create new agricultural products and improve existing ones.
Using the combined technologies from the two companies, farmers could time their irrigation systems more effectively to save water, receive planting date recommendations and replanting advice, as well as assess their soil’s water-holding capacity.
Another project included a canopy temperature scout that would provide 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,” said Bayer crop science division head and board member Liam Condon.
“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.”
Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki said the company expected the collaboration to accelerate technology deployment, product development and market acceptance, adding that Planetary had identified Bayer as an agriculture partner based on its expertise in several fields.
“We are currently conducting airborne research and development campaigns over a variety of agricultural targets. Bayer is interested in supporting these activities with scientific and agronomic expertise to accelerate research and development, product validation and creation,” said Lewicki.
Bayer intended to provide farmers worldwide with practical decision-making aids based on the precise evaluation and combination of diverse data, such as weather data or topographic maps. Using these individualised recommendations, farmers could optimise their business management and lower costs, which would not only lead to higher yields, and therefore an improved income, but also more efficient and environmentally compatible deployment of resources.
Bayer was strengthening its activities in the market of digital farming through strategic investments and remained committed to forging more long-term research and development collaborations.