Bayer and Rothamsted Research have announced that they have entered into a strategic framework agreement to improve collaborations in scientific areas that will support the development of more customised agronomic solutions for farmers.
The partners are forming a strategic alliance to support a digital revolution for detecting and managing biotic threats such as pests, pathogens and weeds more sustainably.
Co-ordinated activities, in the laboratory and in the field, will generate the data, know-how, tools and technologies that help to support a transition to smarter crop protection, the groups said.
The partners will work together in a number of research areas: from real-time detection of pests in the environment to understanding the evolution of resistance; and from the identification of new modes of action of insecticides to novel approaches to controlling pests.
"The strategic alliance with Rothamsted will help us find further sustainable solutions for the challenges that we face in modern agriculture," said Dr Adrian Percy, global head of research and development at Crop Science, a division of Bayer. "Bundling the expertise, know-how and exchange of ideas will lead to further innovation in our company.
"Crops are exposed to a wide range of both biotic and abiotic stresses, and we expect our enhanced collaboration with Rothamsted to help us develop a better understanding of how these factors can be more sustainably managed to reduce crop losses worldwide and manage resistance more effectively," he added.
"At the heart of our research lies the need to feed a growing world population in a more sustainable manner," said Achim Dobermann, director and CEO of Rothamsted. "Although research institutions such as ours can contribute much in addressing that challenge, we need to partner with others, including industry, to achieve real breakthroughs and have bigger impacts. This alliance will provide us with a whole new opportunity to work together on complex challenges, towards making farming more precise, more productive … and more sustainable."
"We are absolutely convinced that Digital Farming will revolutionise agriculture," Tobias Menne, head of digital farming at Bayer pointed out. "New technologies that detect stress factors long before they become visible to the human eye can help farmers to make better informed decisions earlier and more precisely. Fertiliser and crop protection can be applied at the best possible time and at the optimal dosage, using no more or less than needed by the plant."
Menne added: "Innovative digital solutions, which combine data, agricultural knowledge and farming experience, help farmers to increase their profitability and take further steps towards a more sustainable way of farming."