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New predictive seed placement technology delivers strong results in 2018

The Climate Corporation (Climate), a subsidiary of Bayer, announced strong harvest results for farmers using Seed Advisor, its new predictive seed selection and placement technology for corn


January 28, 2019
By Top Crop Manager

The Climate Corporation (Climate), a subsidiary of Bayer, announced strong harvest results for farmers using Seed Advisor, its new predictive seed selection and placement technology for corn. The new tool, currently in testing, uses predictive technology to help determine the best performing corn hybrids for a farmers’ fields and take some of the guesswork out of the seed selection process.

In addition to Seed Advisor, Climate accelerated 25 innovation advancements in 2018 through its global, digital farming pipeline to provide farmers more data-driven insights to sustainably improve their productivity.

Announced in the United States in August 2018, Seed Advisor empowers seed dealers with a predictive model that combines the industry’s largest, proprietary seed genetics library with regional seed performance data to help predict the best performing hybrids for each of a farmer’s fields. The tool was field tested by a group of farmers and their dealers through the company’s FieldView Innovators program across 100,000 U.S. corn acres in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota during the 2018 growing season. Harvest results demonstrated an average yield advantage of 9.1 bushels per acre versus what the farmer would have planted without Seed Advisor recommendations, with a more than 80 percent win rate.

“It’s a simple tool for farmers who want to see positive results,” said farmer Rick DeGroote of Parkersburg, Iowa. “In 2018, I used Seed Advisor recommendations for 90 percent of my fields, and if my results prove anything, it’s that this technology will be adopted quickly when it’s widely available.”

“Our Seed Advisor results show that by applying advanced machine learning techniques to our robust seed genetics library and expansive field testing, we can help farmers make better decisions about the best hybrids to plant in their fields, ultimately helping them manage risk and maximize yield,” said Mike Stern, chief executive officer for The Climate Corporation and head of digital farming at Bayer.

Climate is also adding new data layers and developing new features for its Climate FieldView platform. Some of its current innovation focuses include expanding its Seed Advisor bank to include more states, adding more diseases to its disease identification technology, and fine tuning a predictive tool for variable rate nitrogen applications.

Seed Advisor 2.0
In addition to expanding the pre-commercial test of Seed Advisor in 2019 to more farmers in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, Climate is also growing its seed selection and placement research to include Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri. Predictive seed research is also underway in soybeans. An official launch of Seed Advisor is targeted for fall 2019 in the U.S., pending harvest results.

Disease Risk and Disease Identification
Climate’s disease identification research has added 15 corn and soybean diseases to its portfolio and is expanding into wheat, cotton and specialty crops. Climate has also made significant progress in predicting disease risk in fields before emergence through its advanced disease risk model.

Built on three years of in-field observations, the model forecasted the occurrence of disease more than 80 percent of the time in 2018, and can differentiate mild, moderate, and severe outcomes. Climate’s disease risk model is also helping farmers identify fields that have the highest likelihood of positive return on investment for an application of fungicide. Expanded field testing with farmers for disease identification and disease risk is planned for the 2019 growing season.

Fertility Scripting
Climate is currently testing and validating models that identify areas that would benefit from variable rate nitrogen applications by capturing key processes that impact nitrogen levels in the field. The company is continuing to invest globally to expand research on fertility prescriptions for additional crops, including soybeans, canola and wheat in parts of the U.S., Brazil and Argentina.