- Climate Change
- Reducing Crop Protection’s Environmental Impact
- Empowering Smallholder Farmers
- Food System Resilience
- Education & Outreach
- Sustainable Agriculture in practice: Bayer Forward Farms
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Advancing tomorrow‘s innovations today: Solutions for a sustainable future.
Sustainable agriculture starts with innovation. Our R&D priorities are driven by farmers’ needs for integrated, effective and sustainable solutions to help them combat crop threats and maximize productivity – all while reducing their environmental footprint and protecting the earth and its inhabitants.
Through ongoing innovation – powered by the industry's largest and most dynamic R&D engine – we're working to shape the future of agriculture for a better, more sustainable world.
It’s a bold and ambitious strategy, and we are committed to driving it forward with this year's pipeline advancements.
Creating Disruptive Corn Technologies
We are at the beginning of a new era of growing corn, where less is more.
We’re developing an entirely new growing system for our short stature corn hybrids, harnessing modern technologies to enable precise, productive and sustainable growth.
It’s a system with a truly holistic approach to corn growing that can be tailored to every region and farmer based on unique challenges to their environment and goals. It's grower-centric, data-driven, digitally enabled and partner-supported, developed to achieve a more sustainable and effective end result.
Our short stature corn hybrids are a key enabler of the Smart Corn System, offering greater resistance against climate threats and greater ability to harness soil-based resources.
- The target plant height of short stature corn hybrids will be around 30–40% less than a traditional corn hybrid
- Higher-density planting enables greater sunlight capture efficiency
- Short corn has improved stalk strength under increased planting density and stress
- Shorter stature results in less leverage in periods of high wind
- Shorter corn enables longer in-season access for ground-based application of crop protection and fertility products
- Deeper rooting profile enables more efficient access to water and nutrients
Building short stature corn into our Smart Corn System ensures these benefits are easier to access. The Smart Corn System gives growers the power to reduce in-field losses, manage crops more precisely and produce more corn.
Optimal planting density
A way for growers to potentially produce more on the same amount of land.
Targeted, ground-based management
The shorter crop height is easy to walk into and allows wheeled machinery to operate in the fields, at every stage of the season. This means farmers can assess and manage crop health quickly and effectively.
More efficient use of resources
We will build customized seed and crop protection prescriptions into the system, optimizing it to get the most from short stature corn at individual field level.
Digital tools to optimize yields
Solutions such as Climate FieldView™ can record critical information about the growing process to help farmers understand cause and effect of practices, and the impact of the growing conditions.
New plant type enabling a new growing system
Our Short Stature Corn hybrids are a key enabler of the Smart Corn System, offering greater resistance against climate threats and greater ability to harness soil-based resources.
We believe the Smart Corn System has huge potential to transform how corn is produced worldwide. Farmers of the future will be able take a holistic approach to the whole set of decisions that go into producing a crop, allowing them to grow efficiently and sustainably.
Designing Seeds and Traits for Better Harvests
We are pioneers in advanced genetics, using data science to create game-changing plant varieties that improve yields and reduce waste.
Last year our advanced breeding program and precision breeding resulted in around 500 new hybrids and varieties. That’s how we improve the seed itself. But how do we help farmers to enhance and protect that potential?
Cells use RNA interference (RNAi) to ensure that just the right amount of a particular protein is made. As an example, RNAi is the reason most soybeans are yellow. RNAi is so specific that it can stop the production of a pigment gene, so soybeans are yellow instead of black.
Our researchers and others in the field have learned how to use biological signals to trigger RNAi for specific genes, which can result in better disease and pest resistance, increased yields, or improved quality. And we are now launching our game-changing RNAi technology trait in corn.
Corn rootworm is perhaps one of the most devastating invasive species for the crop, and we can now use RNAi technology to suppress gene expression in the pest, resulting in death.
Biotechnology is a method of transferring beneficial genes directly into a plant, which allows for greater efficiency and new opportunities for improving crops.
Our pioneering research and development capabilities in biotechnology are creating ground-breaking innovations that have the potential to solve real challenges for farmers and the planet.
Using natural resources more efficiently
We're developing traits that help protect harvests in water-limited conditions and drought-stricken areas. Other traits can also help promote conservation or no-till farming practices, which helps improve soil health and keep more carbon in the ground.
Fighting pests and disease
Several crops have been designed to be resistant to insects and plant-specific diseases that can devastate a field. Plants modified with traits that protect roots from insect damage use water more efficiently than those with damaged roots.
With precision breeding, we can double the rate of product improvement and match those products to specific growing environments, further improving our customer experience.
Here's how we use precision breeding to select and design the best seeds:
- Using customer data and insights at scale to generate data-driven ideas based on grower needs
- Our vast germplasm library is the foundation of our innovation. We use cutting-edge genomic selection models and artificial intelligence – supervised by scientists – to design germplasm to meet concepts.
- New methods and automation double the rate of product improvement and accelerate trait design
- Prescriptive field evaluation improves customer recommendations and matches products to specific environments
- Millions of simulated field environments and a globally connected data ecosystem enrich product and system knowledge prior to launch
- Next generation of customer design product solutions enable new business models, improve customer experience and are tuneable to global environmental changes
Advancing a Carbon Smart Future for Agriculture
As the world’s population grows, farmers need to get the most out of their fields while using less land and fewer inputs – all amid ever-changing climate conditions. Digital tools and data will help us deploy our resources efficiently and sustainably. Like the smart tools that help us make decisions about our daily lives, digital farming is enabling individual solutions tailored to each farm’s needs: the right product, in the right place, at the right time and in the right amount.
We’re pioneering digital farming to optimize performance, improve farming practices, reduce carbon footprints and increase sustainability.
- Our partnership with Microsoft will open the door to a new wave of innovation in digital agriculture. It will accelerate solutions for growers using a cloud-based set of digital tools and data science solutions for agriculture and adjacent industries.
- Our R&D teams use emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to predict genetic outcomes
- Our proprietary technology improves harvests and allows farmers to use resources like water and CO2 more efficiently by collecting and analyzing billions of datapoints
- In the US and South America, farmers can use Climate FieldView™ to earn cash for carbon sequestration efforts they have already—or are about to—implement on their acres
The 570 million farms around the world represent millions of highly effective partners in fighting climate change. We want to leverage this huge potential – so we’ve developed the Bayer Carbon Initiative, helping growers gain value from adopting climate-smart practices. The Initiative rewards farmers who adopt practices that help sequester carbon, with the goal of enabling a robust carbon credit market for agriculture.
Bayer has partnered with growers and companies to further advance the Initiative. Initially launched for American and Brazilian growers, it has expanded to Europe and Argentina, and has launched key partnerships with other industry leaders.
Since the launch, over 2,600 growers have been enrolled from 10 different countries.
Transforming Crop Protection
We are transforming our small molecule discovery engine directly for grower needs.
Innovation will cut the ecological footprint of Bayer’s crop protection portfolio fundamentally by 2030, without sacrificing yield and the health of the harvest.
The global crop protection landscape is changing and there is a real need for innovation in crop protection. At Bayer, we believe that chemistry will continue to play a central role in crop protection, but it must continue to evolve to help farmers be productive while also allowing them to minimize their environmental impact.
We are going beyond incremental innovation, leveraging data science and digital technologies, and taking a completely new approach to discovery.
All these innovations are grounded in one thing: the farmer need for integrated, effective and sustainable tools. Tools to help them combat an onslaught of crop threats and maximize productivity – all while reducing their environmental footprint and protecting the earth and its inhabitants.
Some of the most exciting projects coming through our pipeline are:
- A resistance-breaking grass control herbicide – the first new mode of action (MoA) for broad acre weed control in three decades
- New & novel insecticides with distinct safety profiles addressing important pests, including sucking pests and mites
- New resistance-breaking MoA fungicides addressing one of the most significant global threats to soy production – Asian soybean rust
Agricultural biologicals (or biologics) are beneficial crop production and protection tools that are largely created from living organisms.
At Bayer, we develop biological products that have unique plant protection properties, improve plant health and promote crop yields. These biological products are an additional vital tool in sustainable agriculture, providing many benefits to growers and the entire food chain.
Agriculture biologicals are an important part of our commitment to encourage diversity in modern agricultural practices by providing a broad range of solutions to support farmers. Our collection of more than 125,000 microbial strains allows us to use genetic diversity to develop new and beneficial products for farmers all over the world.
As an industry, we must continue to do more; progress can only be truly achieved when we use our collective ingenuity to look for answers. Bayer is committed to driving innovation forward and delivering tailored solutions to both large- and small-scale customers that will help them sustainably and productively manage their farms.
Together, we aim to shape the future of agriculture for the better and do our part to enable Health for All, Hunger for None.