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Short Stature Corn, new corn rootworm trait, digital tools highlight Bayer’s R&D pipeline

Bayer’s R&D pipeline also includes a Smart Corn System that’s a new corn growing structure.

Advancements in short-stature corn, biologicals, seeds and traits, and digital agriculture highlights Bayer’s research and development (R&D pipeline). The pipeline is valued at up to 30 billion euros ($34.13 billion) in peak sales potential over the next two decades, say Bayer officials. 
Here are some highlights.

Short Stature Corn 

Bayer’s Short Stature Corn is moving closer to farmers’ fields as the company’s shorter hybrids advance to its R&D Phase 4. Standing one-third shorter than standard height corn hybrids, Bayer scientists say the technology:

  • Improves standability.
  • Betters greensnap and stalk lodging tolerance.
  • Reduces crop loss from challenging environmental conditions and extreme weather like high winds. 
  • Allows for the more precise application of crop protection compounds and the optimized use of key inputs such as nitrogen.

Bayer expects an incremental peak sales opportunity of about 1 billion euros  ($1.14 billion) for North America alone. 

Smart Corn System

Bayer is continuing work on a full-system approach to managing corn more sustainably through its Smart Corn System. The system, an entirely new growing structure for corn, creates a way for growers to take full advantage of Bayer’s entire portfolio of digital tools, customized seed and crop protection prescriptions, crop health management, and density planting optimization, say Bayer officials.

Seeds and Traits 

Bayer’s commitment to customers and sustainable agriculture is underscored by key pipeline advancements in traits, which see critical products enter the next phase of development. 

  • Bollgard 4 cotton moves into R & D Phase 3, offering season-long protection with multiple modes of action for key lepidopteran pests, along with HT4 cotton with five herbicide tolerances, say Bayer officials. 
  • For below-ground insect control in corn, VTPRO4 technology and SmartStax PRO give growers in the Americas access to Bayer’s new RNAi-based corn rootworm trait – the first in the industry and crucial for resistance management, say Bayer officials.


Bayer’s biological crop protection portfolio has more than 20 commercial and in-licensed products reaching 60 million acres in row crops and high-value vegetables. Recent launches, like Flipper and Serenade, provide excellent control options in all organic production systems and complement Bayer’s conventional crop protection, say Bayer officials. 

Digital Agriculture and Unlocking Climate-Smart Business Models 

Bayer officials say digital opportunities extend beyond the farm, as Bayer expands its digital platforms and marketplaces, and seeks to create downstream value in carbon. 

Climate FieldView, Bayer’s digital agriculture tool, now extends across more than 180 million acres in 23 countries with the largest database of grower and field trial seed performance data in the industry, say Bayer officials. Bayer is seeing higher product sales when growers compare and track performance through the digital interface of the FieldView platform, say Bayer officials. In the United States, Bayer officials say sales were more than 5% higher for Bayer corn seed customers using FieldView Plus vs. non-users. Digital capabilities support efforts to offer farmers tailored solutions for their operations and create new offerings in regions around the world. Climate LLC research programs and FieldView are using advanced data analytics and agronomic modeling to allow farmers to understand their operations better than ever before, say Bayer officials. 

To unlock downstream value and enable climate smart business models, Bayer expanded its Carbon Initiative with Project Carbonview focused on the United States. This is designed to create low-carbon feed, fuel, and fiber products. This collaboration, conceptualized by Bayer and developed with support from Bushel and Amazon Web Services is a technology solution that will enable ethanol producers to report, analyze, and better assess their end-to-end supply chain carbon footprint, say Bayer officials.

Bayer is also working with The Andersons, one of the leading ethanol producers in the U.S., to bring this value to growers. 

Bayer’s partnership with Microsoft will build a new cloud-based set of digital solutions for use in agriculture and adjacent industries, say Bayer officials. They add that it will:

  • Bring new infrastructure and foundational capabilities to accelerate innovation.  
  • Boost efficiency and support sustainability across value chains. 

“Once again Bayer’s pipeline extends the company’s track record of converting R&D into value-adding solutions for growers,” said Bob Reiter, head of R&D for the company’s Crop Science Division, in a news release. “Whether it is leading innovation in the core business, tackling climate change with carbon-smart practices, or transforming agriculture with Digital Farming Solutions, Bayer continues to deliver solutions and remains committed to making global food systems more resilient while catering for the need to feed a growing population.” 

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